Office of Children and Family Services

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Adopt a Child

Additional Information

International adoptions

Social services districts do not place children from other countries. There are approved private adoption agencies that handle foreign adoptions. For a list of these agencies, call New York State Adoption Service at: 1-800-345-KIDS (1-800-345-5437)

Interstate adoptive placements

If a child from another state is being considered, you must comply with New York State laws regarding adoptive placements, and your public or voluntary authorized agency must comply with requirements of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), which governs interstate adoption.

Medical records

Authorized agencies must provide medical histories of foster children legally freed for adoption, with all identifying birth parent information eliminated. They must also provide the prospective adoptive parents with any available nonidentifying medical histories of the child's birth parents. This information is also available to adoptive parents and the adult adoptee after the adoption is finalized.

Regulations and fair hearings

Adoption in New York State is governed by various provisions of Domestic Relations Law, Social Services Law, and NYSOCFS regulations. To ensure that the laws and regulations are being followed, a fair hearing, or administrative review, is available for families who seek to challenge the decision of an agency, for example, if their Application for Adoption or Adoption Subsidy has been denied.

The Next Step

  • Call New York State Adoption Service at 1-800-345-KIDS (1-800-345-5437) to request additional information.
  • In addition to the child photolisting available on the website, New York State publishes a printed version of The Adoption Album. It is available at your county's social services adoption unit, at voluntary authorized agencies in your community, and at most local libraries.
  • Ask for books, articles, and videos about adoption at your local library.
  • Attend an adoption orientation meeting at your county's social services adoption unit or a private authorized agency in your community.
  • Meet people who know about adoption firsthand; attend an adoptive parent group. Obtain a list of these groups from the New York State Citizens' Coalition for Children, Inc.

Once you are ready to begin the adoption process, contact your local public or authorized voluntary agency to fill out an application and begin the homestudy process.

For more information, contact the New York State Adoption Service at
1-800-345-KIDS (5437)

Or email us at: