Opening your heart and home to a Heart Gallery NYC child is a wonderful and life-changing
experience for parent and child alike. There are nearly 10,000 children in foster
care in New York City. Adoption provides them with a new home and family to call
their own. Being an adoptive parent means making a lifetime commitment to a child.
To inquire about a Heart Gallery NYC child, call the
Parent Recruitment Hotline 212-676-WISH (toll-free out of NYC, 877-676-WISH) to
speak with a Parent Recruitment Associate. Please let them know you are calling
about a child that you saw on the Heart Gallery NYC website. We like to keep in
touch with our prospective parents and help when we can, so please call Heart Gallery
NYC at 212-965-8699 and leave us your contact information.
The first step toward adopting a Heart Gallery NYC child is to become a certified
resource parent through an adoption agency. A Parent Recruitment Associate can refer
you to an agency that will invite you to an orientation meeting and will guide you
through the rest of the process, so that you may help a child in need.
If you already have a home study and are certified with a foster care or adoption
agency, we can forward your name and contact information to the agency responsible
for the child or children you inquired about. Staff members from this agency should
be contacting you to request a copy of your home study so that they can consider
you as a match for the child.
Step 1: Contact
Contact the Parent Recruitment Hotline at 212-676-WISH (toll free outside of NYC,
877-676-WISH) and they will mail you the packet of information.
Step 2: Attend an Orientation
After you receive your packet of information, call one of the recruitment
agencies listed in the packet and make an appointment to attend an orientation or
register on-line. At the orientation, adoption professionals will give you an overview
of the adoption process, guide you through every step of the process and answer
Step 3: Complete the Adoption Application
At the end of the orientation you will be given an application to fill out. Return
the completed application to your adoption recruitment agency. Once social workers
have reviewed it and are satisfied that the basic elements are in place, they will
contact you to begin a home study.
Step 4: Have a Home Study Prepared
The home study provides the child welfare agency and the courts with comprehensive
information needed to place a child in your care. You and your social worker will
meet several times during the process. You will have a comprehensive biographical
and physical assessment completed and will submit various documents including copies
of your birth certificate(s), marriage license (If applicable), income tax returns,
and medical reports completed by your physician. All adults in your home must be
fingerprinted and cleared through the State Central Registry for Abuse and Neglect.
Depending on the particular circumstances, a home study can take up to several months.
Step 5: Complete a Training Series
While the home study is underway, you will attend an 8-10 week Model Approach
to Partnership and Parenting (MAPP) training, where you will learn parenting skills,
assess your own strengths as a parent, and better understand the particular needs
of adoptive children.
Step 6: Have Your Home Licensed
After satisfactory completion of your training and home study, your home will be
licensed as a pre-adoptive home.
Step 7: Be Matched With a Child
Now you are ready to begin the matching process. You will have the opportunity to
look at pictures of New York City children waiting for adoption, attend matching
conferences and participate in other matching events. Your agency will assist both
you and the child to make the right match. At this point, you and the child(ren)
can begin visiting each other.
Step 8: Get to Know Each Other
After you and the child(ren) become acquainted, the child(ren) will being making
home visits and/or overnight stays at your home. At some point, when you are both
ready, the child(ren) may move in with you. During this pre-adoptive phase, you
and your child will get to know each other. You will learn about your child’s
medical and family history. You will also learn about adoption subsidies and reimbursements.
You will sign an Adoptive Placement Agreement. The agreement says that you will
take care of the child and intend to adopt.
Step 9: The Child is Placed In Your Care
After the children move into their new home with you, it will take approximately
6-8 months—and in some cases longer— before the adoption can be finalized.
The agency will remain involved with both you and the child during this time.
Step 10: Choose an Attorney to File the Adoption Petition
When you are ready to finalize the adoption, you will hire an attorney and work
with your agency to file the adoption petition in Family Court. ACS will in most
cases, reimburse fees for your adoption attorney.
Step 11: Finalize the Adoption
Your adoption petition will be reviewed in family court. When the judge approves
the match, you and your child will go to court to sign the final adoption papers.
Congratulations! You are now a family.
FACTS & FICTION
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions
about adoption. You may have more specific questions and situations vary. So read
on. And then call the Parent Recruitment Hotline at 212-676-WISH (toll-free outside
New York City, 877-676-WISH) to request an information packet, schedule an orientation,
and find out all you need to know.
Do I have to be married to adopt a child?
-Both single and married people can adopt.
Can I adopt a child of a different race?
-New York City’s children are diverse and so are our families. Neither ACS
nor the agencies it works with discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sexual
preference, gender, or age (however you must be at least 18 years of age).
Will I need to pay for adoption services?
-There are no fees when adopting through the City of New York. The home
study will be prepared with no cost to you and financial assistance is often available
to cover legal fees.
I do fine by myself, but am not sure if I make enough money to support a child.
Is there financial support available?
-You don’t have to make a lot of money to adopt. Adoption subsidies and income
tax credits may be available to help with the costs of raising a child.
What kind of help will I receive through the adoption process and after?
-ACS and the agencies it works with will be there to assist you—from
your first call to adoption finalization. You will have your questions answered,
the agencies will work with you to match you with your child, and a staff member
and your adoption attorney will help you complete the paperwork. After you adopt,
there are parent groups and services to provide ongoing support and information.
I was arrested when I was 18. Will that affect my eligibility to adopt?
-It depends on the nature and severity of the offense and the length of
time that has passed since then. When you attend an orientation, the staff will
be able to give you more specific information.
I have children at home already and no empty bedrooms. Can I still adopt?
-Children of the same gender may share a bedroom. Call the Parent Recruitment
Hotline for more information.
I don’t live in New York. Is it possible for me to adopt an NYC child?
-Yes. First you need to have a home study completed by the child welfare
agency in your state. With a completed home study in hand, your agency will begin
to work with you to match you with a child.
I’ve heard that I will have to wait several years to adopt. Is that true?
-With reasonable effort in pursuing an adoption, you can have a child in
your home within 12-18 months.