How To Fill Out Adoption Intake Forms

The intake form for adoption compiles data on the prospective adoptive parents, the birth parents, and the adoptee.

There's no denying that the adoption process involves a lot of paperwork. When you hire a family law attorney, they'll guide you through the documentation necessary to expand your family.

You can help prepare by filling out a questionnaire before your initial meeting with your family law attorney.

What Is an Adoption Intake Form?

An intake form helps you communicate your circumstances to your adoption lawyer. Law firms may have their own intake forms, but the example below can be a helpful starting point as you get your bearings.

This form is different from the adoption application itself. Yet, completing an attorney's intake form can help them better prepare for your specific case. 

What Information Must Adoptive Parents Provide?

Prospective adoptive parents must supply personal information, including your:

  • Full name
  • Legal name, if different
  • Maiden name or former name, if applicable
  • Date of birth (DOB)
  • Present address

You may also need to disclose details about previous marriages and divorces.

What Information Should I Provide About Birth Parents?

If the biological parents are known and involved, the parent intake form should include their information. Provide their full names and addresses.

It would also help to share information about:

  • The natural parents' readiness to consent to the adoption
  • Their understanding of the process
  • Their relationship with the child

If the birth parents are unknown, note the child's current caregiver or adoption agency.

What Information About the Child Is Necessary?

Provide details about the future adopted child on the client intake form. Disclose information on the child's birth, such as date of birth (DOB) and place of birth. If available, supply a certified copy of the child's birth certificate.

Flag Any Potential Complications

Inform your attorney about any existing legal matters or special factors, such as:

  • Custody disputes
  • Outstanding child support obligations
  • Previous adoption attempts
  • Health history
  • Alcoholism or drug abuse

Your attorney can protect your interests if these issues look like they're going to affect or delay the adoption process. A good family law attorney with experience in the adoption process can ease your anxiety.

Example of an Adoption Intake Form

The following section shows what an adoption attorney's questionnaire might look like. It's most helpful to complete such forms as fully and accurately as you can.

Note: We use "Adoptive parent 1" and "Adoptive parent 2" for inclusivity. If you prefer, you can substitute "Adoptive mother" or "Adoptive father."

Adoptive parent 1 Adoptive parent 2
Name________________________________ ______________________________
Date of birth___________________________ ______________________________
Social Security number__________________ ____________________

Address, including county

Length of time at that address _______ years _______ years
Previous address(es) (for last 10 years)
Home telephone number ____________________ ____________________
Work telephone number ____________________ ____________________
Fax number ____________________ ____________________
Email Address ____________________ ____________________
Former name(s) ____________________ ____________________
____________________ ____________________
Employers ____________________ ____________________
Position ____________________ ____________________
Employer's address
______________________________ ______________________________
______________________________ ______________________________
______________________________ ______________________________
Length of time with employer _______ years _______ years
Previous employer(s) (for last 10 years)
______________________________ ______________________________
______________________________ ______________________________
______________________________ ______________________________
______________________________ ______________________________
Gross monthly income $_________________ $_________________
Other income
Source/amount ________________________ _________________________
Source/amount ________________________ _________________________
Source/amount ________________________ _________________________
Date of marriage _________________________________
Place of marriage ________________________________
Previous marriage(s) Yes ____ No ____ Yes ____ No ____
Ended by: Ended by:
Death ____ Divorce ____ Date ______ Death ____ Divorce ____ Date _____
Death ____ Divorce ____ Date _____ Death ____ Divorce ____ Date _____
Children of current marriage
Name, Date of birth Adopted? Living in the home? Race/Nationality
_______________________ _________ Yes/No Yes/No __________
_______________________ _________ Yes/No Yes/No __________
_______________________ _________ Yes/No Yes/No __________
_______________________ _________ Yes/No Yes/No __________
_______________________ _________ Yes/No Yes/No __________
Children from other marriages or relationships
Name, Date of birth Adopted? Living in the home? Race/Nationality
_______________________ _________ Yes/No Yes/No __________
_______________________ _________ Yes/No Yes/No __________
_______________________ _________ Yes/No Yes/No __________
_______________________ _________ Yes/No Yes/No __________

I/we am/are interested in (check all that apply):

Domestic adoption _____ Intercountry adoption _____ Open adoption _____

Closed adoption _____ Infant adoption _____ (under 12 months)

Older child _____ (state desired age range _____-_____) Sibling groups _____

Do you have a gender preference? Yes, I/we prefer a ___________. No _____

State desired race or ethnicity of child(ren), if any. _____________________

If you are considering intercountry adoption, are there particular countries you are interested in? _______________________

I/we have the following amount available to fund the adoption (may affect options):

Up to $1,000 _____ $1,000 to $5,000 _____ $5,000 to $10,000 _____

$10,000 to $20,000 _____ $20,000 to $30,000 _____ Over $30,000 _____

Do you have a completed home study? Yes _____ No _____

Has an adoption ever been denied to you? Yes _____ No _____

Have you ever been arrested? Adoptive parent 1: _______ Adoptive parent 2: _______

If yes, explain:

Are you in good health? Adoptive parent 1: ________ Adoptive parent 2: _______

Explain all current and chronic illnesses, past and future surgeries, medications you are taking, and other relevant health information:

Do you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse? Adoptive parent 1: ________ Adoptive parent 2: ________

List three references who have known you for at least five years. Include a family member, a co-worker, and a social friend or neighbor.

Name, Address Relationship, How long known?
______________ ____________________ _______________ ____________
______________ ____________________ _______________ ____________
______________ ____________________ _______________ ____________

Other important information

Questions to ask my attorney


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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • It is a good idea to have an attorney for complex adoptions
  • An attorney can ensure you meet all legal requirements and that your adoption is finalized appropriately
  • An attorney can help protect the best interests of adoptive children, adoptive families, and birth parents
  • For simple adoptions, you may be able to do the paperwork on your own or by using an agency

Get tailored advice at any point in the adoption process. Many attorneys offer free consultations.

 Find a local attorney

Don't Forget About Estate Planning

Adopting a child is an ideal time to create or change your estate planning forms. Take the time to add new beneficiaries to your will and name a guardian for any minor children. Consider creating a financial power of attorney so your agent can pay bills and make sure your children are provided for. A health care directive explains your health care decisions and takes the decision-making burden off your children when they become adults.

Start Planning