Open Arms’ goal is to find safe and loving homes for children, which is why we follow
state requirements for adoptive parents. Although the requirements for adoptive parents vary state to state, Open Arms works with applicants no matter their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, and other protected characteristics, as long as they meet criteria in both the state they reside in, and the state in which the birth mother resides in. To be eligible to adopt in Washington state, one must be a legally competent adult and have an approved home study.
As each adoption is different, there is no exact preparation that will provide you exactly
what you need, but there are plenty of resources and support to help you feel ready to
become an adoptive parent. Open Arms requires 10 hours of online adoption education
training that covers a range of topics related to adoption. If you are interested in adopting a child with special needs, there may be more required training for you to take. Talking with friends and family members that may have adopted and gone through the process can also be a good resource. There are multiple support groups for adoptive parents and we can assist connecting you with them.
The adoption process will look a little different from person to person, or family to family. Generally it begins with filling out an application, approval or denial of that application, completing a home study, being selected by a birthmother and potential communication with that birthmother, figuring out and assisting with potential financial needs of a birthmother, birth, legal paperwork, post-placement, home study, and finalization of the adoption. The length of this process is unknown, and we cannot guarantee a placement. We take this process very seriously, as it is our priority to make sure prospective adoptive parents are the right fit for a child. Open Arms will be supporting you throughout this process through clear communication, emotional support, and community resource referrals for adopting parents.
While not guaranteed to speed up the process, there are some things to keep in mind
when looking to adopt that may help. The most common way that a prospective family is shown to a birth mother is an adoption profile containing pictures and information about their family, home, and where they live. When it comes to a profile, we suggest families keep theirs updated and remain open to our professional recommendations. Another factor that can speed up the process is being open to more contact with a birth mother after the adoption. Sending letters, photos, phone calls, and in person visits are all something that are becoming more common for a birth mother to be interested in. Families should discuss if they are open to adopting a child that may have experienced substance exposure throughout the pregnancy, or is expected to have any medical conditions or special needs. We advise all parents to do research on the effects of prenatal exposure and adopting a child with special needs to decide what they are comfortable with. Lastly, families that are interested in adopting a child regardless of sex or race may be quicker to adopt.
Once your application has been completed and approved and you have an approved
home study, Open Arms will begin showing your profile to expectant mothers that we are
Prospective adoptive parents receive detailed, non-identifying information about the
baby and both birth parents, including medical and social history.
Open Arms works with prospective parents that are in different spots in the adoption process. If you are in the middle of the adoption process and have already completed a home study, or are working with another attorney, agency, or consultant, we can still work with you! Open Arms is happy to work alongside these professionals on the families behalf. We ask for transparency from prospective parents when they are working with another adoption professional.
Open Arms can assist you in locating financing options that are best for your family.
Adoptive families can use several financing programs. Some of the most common
Check out our Fees and Financial Information page for more information.