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Is there a law that states how long you must be married to be able to adopt?

My hubby has heard that you have to be married for ten years before you can adopt a child, but we're kind of conflicting on this. Or maybe some kind of marriage stability clause? Could that just be a state law? Any thoughts?


Asked by katskelington at 8:44 PM on Jan. 7, 2009 in Adoption

Level 7 (188 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • Yes, there are regulations about marriage. International adoption regulations vary from country to country. My husband and I adopted from the Wisconsin foster care program and their regulations stated that if you were married, you had to be married for at least 2 years before adopting. We had been married for 4 when we adopted.

    Answer by MommyAddie at 10:31 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I have never heard anything about that before.

    Answer by Jazak at 8:46 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • wow... that would make all the single moms adopting and gay couples adoptions null-n-void....
    never heard of a law like that unless it was recently passed... or maybe it was an old law that he heard about..

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:47 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I have never heard of ten years. I know in my state we did have to be married for at least a year. The birthparents had a right to know how long we had been married. We also had to answer if we ever had marriage difficulties or if we had ever seen a marriage counselor. They asked a lot of detailed questions of both of us on our marriage. I am presuming to make sure we were a solid, steady, and supportive couple.


    Answer by frogdawg at 8:59 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • International adoption will vary from country to country, but ten years is WAY longer than any requirements that I have ever heard of.

    Answer by joy2bamom at 9:01 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • For domestic adoption at the agency we are working with, I don't think there was a specific number of years that we had to be married. As has been mentioned, international adoption requirements vary by country. For example, for China and Taiwan, I think the requirement is that you have to be married for two years, but if one of the partners is previously divorced, you have to be married for five years. There are also requirements about maximum number of divorces. Btw, there are also varying age requirements for each country.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:36 AM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • When we started looking into international adoption, most of the countries have at least a 2 yr marriage requirement (there was one with a 5yr, but can't remember which). Private adoption there wasn't any length of time we had to be married since the BParents were the ones choosing us. There MAY have been a 1yr year waiting period before we could become foster parents, but I don't think there was. I've never heard of a TEN year waiting period...that seems a little extreme.

    Answer by LizClara at 12:37 AM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • I've never heard that. I have heard 2 and 3 years with some agencies though.

    Answer by Jill42721 at 2:50 AM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • I know there are some agencies that have their own rules that a husband and wife PAP's to have been married a minimum number of years. I believe the agency we went through had a minimum, but I can't for the life of myself remember what it would have been. We were married 12 days short of 9 years when DD was placed in our home.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 5:06 AM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • That is state to state.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 7:37 AM on Jan. 8, 2009