State Legislation to Expedite and Streamline the Adoption Process 2008 - 2013

Nina Williams-Mbengue 2/5/2014

The chart below reflects recent state legislation to expedite and streamline the adoption process. The legislation includes eliminating certain requirements such as: home study requirements for relatives adopting children; foster care licensure for prospective adoptive parents and, requirements that an adoptee live in adoptive home for specified time periods.  Other strategies to expedite and streamline, or otherwise improve the adoption process reflected in recent state legislation include: expanding intra-family adoptions; allowing expedited adoption orders; providing maternity and paternity leave for adoptive parents; and, requiring trauma-informed training for adoptive parents.

You can also view State Legislation to Provide Adoption and Post-Adoption Supports, Subsidies and Tax Credits 2005 – 2013 chart. States have been working to provide adoption and post-adoption supports, subsidies and tax credits. Legislation includes expanding and increasing adoption payments and subsidies; increasing adoption tax credits; creating sliding-scale fees for adoptions, based on the income of the prospective adoptive parent; extending adoption assistance; expanding the eligibility of children for post-adoption assistance and support; and, requiring departments of child welfare to provide information on adoption tax credits to adoptive parents (now a federal requirement).

ADOPTION 2012 (No enactments identified for 2013)


Senate Bill 1128

Eliminate the possibility of a home study when an adoption involves a child's relatives. Relates to family adoptions, makes technical corrections to provisions requiring social studies before such adoptions.



House Bill 1451, Act 607

Changes the age for those required to consent to adoption from 10 to 12. The law further determines that residence in an adoptive home for at least six months after placement by an agency or for at least six months after the petition for adoption is filed is not required for a minor to be adopted if the minor is in the custody of the Department of Human Services.


Assembly Bill 687, Chapter 462

Sec. 6: Authorizes a court to issue an order of adoption and cause it to apply to an earlier date if it would serve the best interests of the adoptee, such as in cases in which adoption finalization has been delayed beyond the child’s 18th birthday because of factors beyond the control of the prospective adoptive family and the proposed adoptee. Sec. 7: Establishes that a foster care license or certification would not be required for placement, for up to 30 days, of a nondependent child who is relinquished for adoption to a licensed private adoption agency. This would apply in cases where the child is placed in the care of a prospective adoptive parent with an approved adoption home study that meets the criteria established by the Department of Social Services for home studies conducted within the state.


House Bill 4381, Act 32

Adds a designee of an authorized representative of the Department of Human Services to the list of those permitted to consent to the adoption of a child, in case the representative is not available.


House Bill 2878, Chapter 120

Specifies that the Department of Human Services may approve an application from an Oregon resident who is seeking to adopt a child in the custody of the Department of Human Services or a public child welfare agency in another state, or who is or has been under study or  Consideration by another public or private agency for placement and has an approved home study.

Puerto Rico

Session Laws, L 0247

Allows potential adopters residing in any state to participate in the Voluntary Adoption Registry of Puerto Rico, provided that anyone who resides or is in a marriage in any state and wishes to be considered a suitable adoptive home must apply at their own expense. The law specifies that the Administration of Children and Families will conduct the required adoption social study. It also creates a Candidate Selection Panel that will evaluate adoption applications and eliminates the requirement for six months of continuous residency in Puerto Rico for adopters.


District of Columbia

B 547, Chapter  230

Establishes a sliding-scale fee for adoptions and repeals the prohibition against relinquishment of parental rights within 72 hours of a child’s birth. The law extends from 10 days to 14 days the time that a relinquishment by a parent may be revoked. It also exempts a prospective adoptee who is age 18 or older from the requirement that he or she must have been living for at least six months with the petitioner for adoption.


House Bill 319, Act 190

Expands intra-family adoptions to include a step-parent, step-grandparent, great-grandparent, grandparent or collaterals within the 12th degree if the person is related by blood, is older than age 18 and has had legal or physical custody of the child for at least six months before the petition for adoption.

New York

Assembly Bill 1523, Chapter 509

Enables an adult unmarried person, an adult married couple, or two unmarried adult intimate partners to adopt a child.


House Bill 443, Chapter 271

Amends the eligibility and application process requirements for adoption assistance. The legislation also provides for separate maintenance and state special services payments to facilitate adoptive placements and ensure permanency for children with special needs. In addition, it allows payment to adoptive parents for nonrecurring expenses related to the adoption, such as court costs, attorney fees and costs related to the adoption study.



Senate Bill  1016, Chapter 109

Allows the court to waive the requirement for consent by the Department of Economic Security to place a child for adoption in certain adoption proceedings if, after conducting a hearing, the court determines it is in the best interest of a child to waive this requirement.


Assembly Bill 665, Chapter 250

Makes a change to provisions of existing law under which the State Department of Social Services may provide state adoption services and which requires the state to reinvest adoption incentive payments for the placement of older chil­dren into the child welfare system to provide adoption services for older children.


About This NCSL Project

The Denver-based child welfare project staff focuses on state policy, tracking legislation and providing research and policy analysis, consultation, and technical assistance specifically geared to the legislative audience. Denver staff can be reached at (303) 364-7700 or

NCSL staff in Washington, D.C. track and analyze federal legislation and policy and represent state legislatures on child welfare issues before Congress and the Administration. Staff in D.C. can be reached at (202) 624-5400 or