Couples and individuals considering adopting or placing a child for adoption in Dover, Delaware, often wonder what local resources, services and professionals are available to them. Whether you are facing an unplanned pregnancy or are interested in growing your family through adoption, this guide provides the information you need about Dover adoption agencies, home study providers and more.
For more information about state adoption laws, processes and qualifications, visit our Delaware adoption information page.
Adoption Agencies and Professionals in Dover
To begin the adoption process, many hopeful adoptive parents and pregnant women considering adoption first choose an adoption professional to help guide them through the process.
You have many choices when selecting an adoption professional. If you are interested in working with an adoption agency or attorney near Dover, consider the following:
Dover Foster Care Resources
Like adoptive parents, foster parents must meet the requirements of their state before they can care for a child. If you want to become a foster parent in Delaware, you must fit the following criteria:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Pass a background check
- Have approved home, health, and safety inspections
- Attend 27 hours of foster parent training
- Provide references
If you would like to learn more about fostering and available children near you, you can find a list of foster care agencies in or near Dover below:
Home Study Providers
For prospective parents, the home study is one of the most important parts of every adoption and foster care process. Consisting of interviews, background checks, home visits and a written report, the Delaware home study helps ensure that your home is fit for a child.
It is important to choose the right professional to complete your adoption home study and ensure it complies with all state laws and requirements. To get started, contact a home study provider in your area:
- Adoptions from the Heart
AFTH is licensed in several states, including Delaware, to provide home studies and other adoption services to families and birth mothers.
- Child and Home Study Associates
Families in Delaware and beyond can complete their domestic or international adoption home studies with CHSA, as well as receive counseling.
- Madison Adoption Associates
This agency works in domestic, international, and foster care adoption, and they are licensed in Delaware to complete your home study and post-placement assessments.
Hospitals near Dover
As the baby’s due date draws closer, it is up to the expectant mother to create a hospital plan for her stay. If you are making an adoption plan for your baby, this will be your opportunity to decide who is in the delivery room with you, how much time you will spend with your baby and the adoptive family, and more.
When you are ready to begin planning your hospital stay, your adoption agency will work with the delivery hospital to make them aware of your wishes. Here are some local Dover hospitals that you may be able to work with:
- Bayhealth Kent General
640 South State Street
Dover, Delaware 19901
Delaware Adoption Laws and Requirements
All adoptions taking place in Dover must comply with Delaware adoption laws. State adoption laws regulate many steps in the adoption process, and it is important to work with your adoption professional or adoption attorney to ensure your adoption is legally valid.
To learn more about Delaware adoption laws, visit our Delaware adoption page. For an overview of the legal processes that impact birth parents and adoptive families, read the following sections.
Every state has unique consent laws designed to protect your parental rights and help you to make an informed adoption decision. Similarly, the father of the child must also terminate his parental rights, either voluntarily or involuntarily.
If you have questions or concerns about the father’s role in your adoption, speak to your adoption attorney or visit our Delaware adoption page.
All families must meet the basic eligibility requirements of their state in order to be able to adopt. Additionally, you may have to meet extra requirements put in place by your adoption professional. Speak to your particular professional if you have any questions or concerns, and view our Delaware adoption information to learn more.
County Court Information
Following placement, your adoption will need to be finalized in court. If you are finalizing your adoption in Dover, Delaware, find your local courthouse and other information about finalizing your adoption in your county.
Things to Do in Dover
When families adopt from outside of their home state, they must remain in the birth mother’s state for 7-10 days to wait for legal clearance. If you are adopting in Dover from out of state, here are some things you can do during your time in the city: