Our basic eligibility requirements are as follows:
Age: Adults of all ages are eligible to adopt children through ECFA. If the agency is unable to place a child of a specific age requested by the applicants, other possibilities can be explored with them, or they may be referred to other agencies.
Attorney: The need for an attorney in the state of Wisconsin is dependent upon the county of residence or specific situation. In most cases, the agency refers to one or two attorneys who provide their services at a reasonable cost to the family.
Childlessness: Prior to application for Infant and Toddler adoption, factors involved in a couple’s ability to have children are to be thoroughly evaluated by a physician, with recommendations (if any) followed for a reasonable period. Lack of physical reasons for childlessness will not automatically rule out applicants.
Emotional: Applicants should demonstrate general emotional stability and the capacity for meeting crisis situations in a relatively mature manner. Reasonable understanding of children’s needs is required.
Fee: Fees vary from program to program. The social worker will provide applicants with the current fee schedule that applies to the program in which you are interested.
Financial: Applicants must be able to live within their income and demonstrate the ability to meet the basic financial needs of any child(ren) in their home. Generally, applicants should have an adequate insurance program (e.g., life, medical) unless there are other provisions for such expenses.
Health: Medical examinations are required of each person residing in the home. Applicants must be in good general health so as to assure their physical capacity to care for children. Physical limitations are evaluated on case-by-case basis.
Housing: Housing must meet state of Wisconsin minimum standards (e.g., regarding safety and sanitation). Applicants can rent an apartment or a home.
Marriage: Applicants need to have been married long enough to have developed a comfortable, close relationship with each other. We consider this to take at least two years.
Previous Marriage: Applicants who have been divorced will be evaluated individually, and may be eligible if they meet all other requirements.
Religion: Since ECFA is an evangelical Christian agency, adoptive applicants need to have personally accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and be actively involved in a Protestant evangelical church. It is also expected that prospective adoptive individuals or couples agree with the agency’s Christian Lifestyle Guidelines for Adoption/Foster Care Programs. The agency has no other religious requirements. Applicants who have denominational agencies to serve them are also encouraged to work with those agencies.
Residence: Adoptive applicants must reside in Wisconsin. Generally, due to personnel and budget limitations, the Agency is able to serve applicants within a 45 county area situated around office locations.
Single Applicants: Single applicants are welcome, and are considered for the programs for which they are eligible.
State Licensing Requirement: In addition to the above eligibility requirements, all potential adoptive parents must meet the licensing standards of the state in which the family resides, a copy of which will be made available at the time of the first family study visit.
Time Between Placements: Families who have one child (whether by adoption or birth) in their home are encouraged to apply for a second child if they meet the Agency’s basic eligibility requirements. Applications for subsequent adoptions can be made after 12 months from the previous placement.
The Understanding About Openness: Planning adoption is a lifetime agreement made by both birth parents and adoptive parents. Naturally, the welfare of the child is of primary importance in this decision. The reality is that the child will always have biological ties to the birth parents and psychological ties to the adoptive parents.
We believe that the decisions about openness must be made by mutual agreement of all parties involved. Therefore, we see openness as being on a continuum. We request that all adoptive parents meet with the birth parents prior to or at the time of placement and send letters and photos to the birth parent at least two times per year until the child reaches the age of eighteen. However, we provide the opportunity of more openness if there is mutual agreement between both the birth and adoptive parents.