Filling out an adoption application is exciting; it is often the first step beyond decision-making that you take in the adoption process that will end in meeting your new family member. While many adoption agencies start you off with a brief get-to-know-you sort of application, a more thorough questionnaire soon follows, and it is helpful to know what to expect when the time comes to fill that out. More than just a name and address form, this application helps show your worthiness and readiness as parents and prove to the authorities involved in approving adoptions that you can provide a safe and stable home for a child. Below are some of the items you can expect to be asked about while filling out your adoption application.
Letters of Reference
One of the most powerful things you can include in your adoption application, and ones that are often requested by agencies, are letters of reference. These can be from friends and family members, but you should try to include at least one or two from coworkers, as they are often seen as a more unbiased source of information. If you are religious, you may also choose to include a letter from a faith leader.
These letters of reference should speak to who you are as a person -- your ideals, how you behave, how others perceive you, and how reliable you are. Each letter should begin with an introduction and an explanation of how the letter-writer knows you, and how long you've been acquainted.
Criminal Record Check
Your adoption agency will at some point need to run a criminal record check on you and, if you have one, your partner. If there are any other adults living in the home, they may be subject to this check as well. A criminal record check will be run at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure a thorough background is reported. This is standard procedure, and is simply to ensure children are going to a safe home.
Proof of Income
You will need to be able to provide proof of your household income, simply to show that you are capable of providing for a child. Please note that you do not need to be wealthy to adopt a child, despite that stereotype; you simply need to be able to pay your expenses. Proof of income can include items like pay stubs, a w-4, income tax records, or bank records. Ask your agency what records they are able to accept as proof.