As one of the largest states with one of the lowest populations, there is plenty of room for families to grow in the Equality State. Whether you are pursuing adoption as a hopeful family or an expecting mother, the state of Wyoming has specific laws, regulations, requirements, and resources that you will need to know.
Read on to find everything you need to know about adoption in Wyoming.
Laws, Rules and Qualifications for Adopting a Child in Wyoming
In order to adopt, you must follow the specific rules and regulations set forth by your state. Here, you can find the most important laws pertaining to adoptive parents in Wyoming.
What are the laws and qualifications for adopting a child in Wyoming?
In Wyoming, any adult may adopt if they have lived in the state for 60 days and are deemed to be fit and competent.
What adoption expenses can be paid by adoptive families in Wyoming?
Wyoming’s laws do not address the payment of birth parent expenses by adoptive families. For information on state regulations, speak to your adoption professional.
What are the laws to become a foster parent in Wyoming?
To become licensed as a foster parent, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be in good physical and emotional health
- Show proof of financial stability
- Pass criminal and child abuse background checks
To learn more, visit the Wyoming Department of Family Services.
What are the requirements to finalize an international adoption in Wyoming?
Wyoming’s statutes do not address foreign adoption decrees or completing an international re-adoption. If you have adopted or are planning to adopt abroad, follow the guidelines given to you by your state-licensed adoption professional.
If you would like to receive a U.S. birth certificate for purposes of changing your child’s name, you may do so through the State Registrar of Vital Records.
Is it legal to use advertising or facilitators to adopt in Wyoming?
Wyoming does not address the issue of advertising or facilitators in its state laws. Consult your adoption professional with any questions you have about finding a match with a birth mother.
Laws, Rules and Qualifications for Placing a Baby for Adoption in Wyoming
If you are pregnant and considering adoption for your baby in Wyoming, you should be aware of the laws that regulate the process. In the sections below, you can find information on laws that affect birth parents in Wyoming.
When and how can birth parents consent to the adoption?
In Wyoming, a parent may consent to adoption any time after the child has been born. Consent will be executed in writing, and the written order will be filed along with the petition to adopt. Afterward, the consent must be approved in one of the following ways:
- The consent is formally acknowledged by:
- A person authorized to take consents
- A representative of the Department of Family Services
- A represented of an agency that has custody of the child
- Consent may be approved by a court after:
- The consenting individual appears in court
- The court determines that consent is voluntarily given
Who must consent to the adoption?
According to Wyoming’s laws, the following parties must give consent to an adoption when applicable:
- Both surviving parents
- One surviving parent
- The child, if he or she is over 14
- The mother and putative father, if the putative father’s name is known
- The mother if she does not know the name of the putative father, at which point the court will check the state paternity registry
- The legal guardian of the child
- The head of an agency where a child have been relinquished
- The legal guardian of any parent who is deemed mentally unfit to parent
When does the birth parents’ consent become irrevocable? If a birth parent revokes consent, is the child automatically returned to the birth parent?
In Wyoming, adoption consent is irrevocable upon signing unless the court determines that the consent was obtained under fraud or duress. The court may also choose to deny an adoption on account of a claim or objection of the putative father of the child, in which case the mother of the child would be able to withdraw her consent.
What rights does the father of the baby have in Wyoming adoptions?
Wyoming defines a parent as the mother or father or a child, as long as their rights have not been terminated. A putative father is the alleged father of a child born out of wedlock, regardless of whether a court has determined the rights and obligations of the father.
The Department of Family Services has a putative father registry that records the information for:
- Any person determined by the court to be the father of a child born out of wedlock
- Any person who has filed a notice of intent to claim paternity of a child born out of wedlock
- Any person determined by the court of another state to be the father
- Any person who has filed with the registry to acknowledge paternity
The putative father may not assert paternity in adoption or the termination of parental rights unless:
- He has been identified by the mother or agency
- He has lived with or married the mother after the birth of the child and before the filing of the adoption petition
- He has acknowledged paternity or registered as a putative father before the adoption hearing
Home Study and Post-Placement Requirements in Wyoming
The home study is one of the most important steps in the process of adopting a child. Once completed, it indicates that you are officially ready to adopt a child.
Every state has different laws, processes, and home study providers. Read on to learn how to complete your Wyoming home study.
What is included in the Wyoming home study process?
The Wyoming home study will consist of the following elements:
- Information on psychiatric health
- Criminal background information
- Information on the age, employment, marital status, financial stability, and living situation of the petitioners
- Contact information for five references who have known the petitioners for at least 2 years
- A statement on motivations to adopt
- Autobiographical information on the petitioners
- Interviews at home and the department field office
Who is included in the home study process?
The individuals who are petitioning for adoption will be studied.
Who will conduct the home study?
Home studies will be conducted by child-placing agencies except in cases of certain interstate adoptions. In these cases, the Department of Family Services will accept home studies as ordered by a court.
What are the qualifications to complete a home study?
In order to be eligible to complete a Wyoming home study, parents must have lived in the state for 60 days prior to the filing of the petition. They must also be determined by a court to be mentally competent.
On what grounds will the home study not be approved in Wyoming?
Home study approval may be withheld at the discretion of the court, if they find that it is in the best interest of the child.
What is a post-placement study in the adoption process? What are the post-placement study requirements for Wyoming?
A post-placement study is a series of assessments that take place after the family has returned home with their baby. In Wyoming, a court may issue an order to investigate and report on the child, the petitioners, and the consenting parties. After a period of six months, the court will accept a final decree of adoption.
What are the home study requirements for stepparent or relative adoptions in Wyoming?
Wyoming laws to not list any exceptions for stepparents or relatives. Speak to your adoption professional for more information.
What are the home study requirements to adopt a child from another state?
If you are adopting from out-of-state, you may not bring the child to Wyoming until the state’s authorities notify the sending agency that the proposed placement has been accepted.
What are the pre-placement requirements to adopt a child that is currently in my care?
If you are a foster parent interested in adopting a child in your care, speak to your local foster care agency for details regarding additional requirements.
To begin the home study process in Wyoming, consult one of the following state-licensed adoption professionals listed in the following section.
Visit 1800HomeStudy.com to learn more about Wyoming home study providers.
Wyoming Adoption Professionals
In addition to taking you through the adoption process, your Wyoming adoption professional will help you complete your home study and meet any other adoption requirements. To get started with an adoption, consulting one of the following state professionals:
- Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society
- Catholic Charities of Wyoming
- Connecting Hearts, Inc.
- Bethany Christian Services
Things to do in Wyoming
If you are adopting in Wyoming from another state, you will have to remain in the state for 7-10 business days to wait for ICPC clearance. While you are visiting, here are some of the places you can see in the state:
- Yellowstone National Park
- Buffalo Bill Center of the West
- Grand Teton National Park
- National Museum of Wildlife Art
- The Wyoming Dinosaur Center
Visit Wyoming Travel & Tourism for more information on the state.