Home Study

Adoption Guide Overview

Adopting a child is accomplished by taking one small step at a time with the Alliance staff assisting all along the way.


1. Read the Alliance Adoption Qualifications and our set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). You may also wish to browse through My Story, a section on our site where families share stories about adopting through the Alliance for Children. If you live near our offices, you can attend one of our free adoption information meetings.
Print and return our online Application. Alternatively, you can contact the Alliance main office by phone, mail, or e-mail, and leave a mailing address and phone number so the application can be sent to you. Complete and send in your application to the Alliance.


2. The homestudy consists of five to seven meetings scheduled over two to three months with at least one visit to your home. Residents living outside Massachusetts or Rhode Island are required to obtain a homestudy within their home state. Click here to learn more about the homestudy.

For International Adoptions - During the homestudy, your social worker will help you decide on an adoption program and help you complete the documentation necessary for your dossier. You can change programs at any time; however, a change in program usually requires a change in paperwork. To preview the Alliance international adoption programs, visit our International Programs page. There you can browse through our quick reference guides for adopting from Asia, Europe, and Latin America, or look through our more detailed country by country adoption guides.

For Domestic Adoptions - If you are considering a domestic adoption, your social worker will help you prepare a "Dear Birthmother" letter and photo album, which will be presented to prospective birthmothers. Click here to learn more about Alliance domestic adoptions.


3. For International Adoptions - Most international adoption programs require dossier documents to be "authenticated." Your social worker will explain how and where to do this. Once your dossier is complete, it is translated and sent to our referral source in your country of choice. They review the dossier, contact us, and make a referral of a child suited to your requests who is legally available for adoption.

For Domestic Adoptions - Once a referral is made, Alliance provides counseling, medical, and housing expenses at no additional cost to the adoptive parents. In Massachusetts, termination of parental rights can occur within four days of birth. Alliance helps complete all necessary legal work, including the Interstate Compact, should that be necessary.

4. After your child arrives home, your social worker will begin postplacement services, consisting of three visits in your home to help you evaluate your child's adjustment and answer any questions you may have. These visits are required by law in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.


5. Within nine to twelve months, you will be asked to legalize (finalize) the adoption of your child in your home state. This requires a brief court appearance which takes place during the first year your child is at home.

6. The last step is naturalization and citizenship. Alliance will assist you in applying to the Immigration and Naturalization (INS) immediately after legalization.

Feel like you'll never get there? Visit My Story for inspiration from Alliance families who've gone through the adoption process.