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Private and Independent Adoptions

Infant, Interstate, International

Private and Independent Adoptions

Kentucky families may choose to adopt through placement by a private adoption agency or through the Independent Adoption Application. Both can facilitate a newborn adoption, but also cover other types of adoption. For a private agency adoption, a licensed private agency must complete a home study

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Independent Adoption

Independent adoptions are when the birth or placing parent places directly with the adoptive parent. There are two types of independent adoptions under Kentucky Law, Relative and Non-relative. The law defines relative adoption as one in which the child is “sought to be adopted by a stepparent, grandparent, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, great grandparent, great aunt, or great uncle”. For these adoptions, the Cabinet will complete a court report after the petition is filed. For Non-Relative independent adoptions, applicants must submit the DPP-187 Independent Adoption Application to the Adoptions Section, DCBS Central Office, with a non-refundable fee of $200.00. Once received, Cabinet staff will determine if the family will qualify for the Cabinet to complete the investigation, or if the family will need to have a private agency complete the report. Eligibility is determined based on 250% of the current poverty guidelines. If you have questions about any of these types of adoptions, please call Central Office Staff at (​800) 232-KIDS.

Out-of-State Adoptions

Out of state families can adopt children!

Out-of-state families can adopt Kentucky children. To do so you must have a current home study from a public or private agency that is licensed to place children. Current means less than 1 year old.

If you have a copy of your home study, simply contact the SNAP specialist listed with the child or children you are interested in. Some states require that Kentucky formally request your study through your state’s interstate office. Each state has different policies. You need to contact your worker and ask about your state’s policies. Once you know your state’s requirements, again, simply call the SNAP specialist listed with the child or children you seek.


International Adoptions

Kentucky families considering adopting a child from another country are encouraged to contact a private agency, licensed in Kentucky, that prepares home studies for international adoptions.

For residents of Kentucky, only licensed private adoption agencies in Kentucky can prepare a home study for an international adoption. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will not accept a home study done by anyone other than a Kentucky licensed private adoption agency.

All home studies for international adoption must be submitted to the USCIS for approval.

Foreign adoption requirements change frequently. Information about which countries are placing children and the timeframes for these placements is available from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.