3 Things to Know About Foster Care and the Adoption Process In Nevada


Finding the best transformative way to expand your family is not as easy as an internet search. While being a Foster Parent varies from Adopting, there are programs that allow families to Foster-to-Adopt.   Either process may slightly vary depending on the county you reside in Nevada. Clark County Nevada has Foster Care Information Sessions a few times per month and Washoe County Nevada has partnered with KOLO Channel 8 “Have a Heart” features a child or sibling group that is in need of an adoptive home.

Since 2003, we have been holding hands with Foster and Adoptive Parents while fingerprinting them. During this juncture, we have had time to speak with and assist in the process for hundreds of families in Nevada expand their family and provide a safe and loving home to children in need.

Children are not able to reside with biological family members for many different reasons. Some reasons are temporary while others are permanent. Temporary housing for kids would be Fostering and permanent is adopting.

For people that want to place a toe in the water and not jump into the water right away, we recommend that you look into becoming a CASA Volunteer. CASA volunteers are Court Appointed Special Advocates for children in the foster system. This is a great way to mentor and make a positive change in the life of a vulnerable minor that is involved in Nevada court hearings. You can be a strong and positive force for kids that may need it the most. Learn more about CASA.

Foster care programs throughout Nevada provide training and support for To-Be-Foster-Parents. To become a Foster Parent, you must complete a 30-hour training course and comply with a successful home study. The home study is part of the application process where you honestly make the case for why you should be allowed to Foster and how you plan to do so. Foster Parents must have sufficient income to support the family expansion, provide references and an open door to Social Workers, and Foster Parents must also complete a fingerprint background check.   Children in Foster Care may have been through a traumatic event, even being removed from their family and/or siblings may heavily affect them. It is important to have a clean criminal history, empathy and compassion before making the decision to be a Foster Parent.

If you work with your local county Foster Care and Adoption programs the fees are nominal compared to going through a private agency. The county programs will work to find the best family for the child, and not the best child for a family. It is important to have the child’s best interest in mind during this process. State adoptions can take between 1 month to 5 years to complete. Private agency adoptions are often times faster taking approximately 1 month to 12 months to complete.

Adopting can be a rewarding experience for both you and the child you’re including into your family. But the adoption process in Nevada can be a challenging one to navigate. We want to provide you with some insight and tips to help you gain even more clarity about what is required.

Every state has its own rules and regulations regarding adoption. If you’re going to adopt a child in Nevada, you will need to satisfy the state’s unique set of requirements before it’s official.

The process is a complex one because state officials who are responsible for children need to ensure each child will go to a safe environment. The state follows a special process designed to find the best families to care for and meet the child’s needs.

Use this brief guide to find out more about the adoption process in Nevada.

Understanding Adoption Versus Foster Care

Foster care and adoption are often used interchangeably in Nevada, but the two aren’t exactly alike.

In Nevada, foster care is a service you provide by temporarily opening your home and your life to a child in need. The child may stay for days, weeks, months, or perhaps years. You’ll be responsible for their education, health, needs, and well-being, but they will never be an official part of your family.

Adoption is a permanent solution for children who have no hopes of rejoining their biological family.

With the adoption process in Nevada, you assume the role of the parent for a child. You are the child’s legal guardian until the child turns 18 years of age.

People and couples alike looking to adopt should realize that adoption is a lifelong commitment and does not end at age 18.

First Steps for Adoption Process in Nevada

To start the adoption process in Nevada, families apply for adoption through an adoption agency, such as  Adoption Choices, A Child’s Dream or through local county Foster and Adoptive state programs.

Anyone in Nevada may submit an application, provided that they are over the age of 21 and are at least 10 years older than the person being adopted.

Married couples applying for adoption must both be party to the process and responsibilities and in Nevada same sex couples that are registered as domestic partners and singles are also legally able to adopt in Nevada.

After you apply, you will undergo a thorough investigation so that agencies can determine if you qualify to adopt. You will also take adoption preparation classes and undergo a home study.

Once you’ve passed the basic requirements, you will be able to meet with prospective children to adopt.

What Nevada Agencies Look for in Adoption Candidates

Agencies take the adoption process in Nevada seriously. They must ensure that each child placed with a new family will be well cared for.

To determine your eligibility, officials will speak with you, family members, and other people who know you. They consider your home environment and surrounding community along with other criteria.

You and other household members may be subjected to a physical exam. In addition, you and your family members will be required to submit fingerprints for background and security checks. Fingerprinting Express offers all processes for completing the background check requirements for Fostering and Adopting. We have the FD-258 fingerprint cards in stock and we also offer expedited FBI Criminal History Reports.

Once the adoption is finalized, agencies will continue to supervise you to ensure they’ve made the right decision in placing a child in your care.

In Closing

If you dream of adopting a child into your family, being prepared often makes the process less stressful. Choosing to be pro-active by completing your own requirements, such as fingerprinting, can help ensure you’re prepared, ready and eligible to adopt as soon as possible.

Contact Adoption@dcfs.nv.gov if you have further questions about the adoption process in Nevada and for more information on fingerprinting or other legal services, visit our online resources.




Searching for “fingerprints and background check services near me?” Look no further than Fingerprinting Express! We are here to help you on your journey to adopting a child in Nevada.  Visit any Fingerprinting Express location to get support with your background check!



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