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Non-Departmental Adoptions in Oregon

A non-departmental adoption means the child being adopted is not in the custody of the Oregon Department of Human Services. This includes several types of adoptions.

These adoptions can be:

  • Re-adoption
  • Independent adoption (includes step-parent, second-parent, relative and non-related)
  • Private agency adoption
  • Out-of-state public agency adoption
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Questions about non-departmental adoptions

We recommend that you talk to a licensed adoption attorney. An attorney can advise you about the required process for your specific adoption, help you complete all required forms and submit them to the court as required by Oregon law.

We can’t give you legal advice or legal documents for the adoption process, but we do provide ​some supplemental ​forms​​ you will need to file with your adoption petition in an Oregon court. Note: these forms alone are not sufficient to complete an adoption. We can't provide you with a "packet of forms" to complete an adoption since each adoption is unique. 

Need to know what the filing requirements are?
See Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 109. Adoption information starts it section 109.266. 

Questions about forms?
See our contact information​ below and send an ​​email or call us.

Need help finding an attorney?
Contact the​ Oregon State Bar Association.

ODHS deals specifically with Oregon adoptions of minors. An attorney can provide you with more information on how to adopt an adult. You are not required to notify ODHS about an adult adoption.

You can find an attorney through the Oregon State Bar Association.

​An attorney is not required, but having legal advice during the adoption process will be very helpful and is recommended. An attorney can:

  • ​ Make sure you have the most updated versions of the documents and exhibits you’ll need. 
  • Make sure the correct documents are filed with the court at the correct time. 
  • Answer questions about paternity. 
  • Know if the adoption needs the consent of an absent parent.
  • Help you if someone disagrees with the adoption.  ​

After you file an adoption petition with the court, you have 30 days to send us copies of the following documents:

  • Adoption Petition
  • Adoption Summary and Segregated Information Statement
  • Any documents filed as exhibits​
  • Any amendments of these documents

Oregon law requires you to serve these documents to ODHS by personal service, ​registered, or certified mail with return receipt. Once service is complete, documents may then be e-mailed to

ODHS will review the petition and accompanying documents. We may issue a waiver of the 90-day waiting period, adoption home study or placement report if the court determines the child being adopted is not an Indian child. ODHS must submit an Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Compliance Report and the correct waivers to the court before the adoption is finalized.

Mail documents to:

Oregon Department of Human Services
Attn: Non-departmental ​Adoptions
500 Summer Street NE E71​
Salem, OR 97301-1066​​​

If you are adopting a child who has American Indian or Alaska Native heritage, you must comply with Oregon Indian Child Welfare Act (ORICWA) and federal Indian Child Welfare Act​ (ICWA) regulations. This could mean you must contact federally recognized Native American tribe(s) or village(s) and submit additional documentation before the adoption can finalize.

ODHS must submit an ICWA Compliance Report for all adoptions, per ORS 109.278(1). This report informs the Court whether the documentation you’ve submitted is sufficient for the Court to determine whether there is reason to know the child being adopted is an Indian child. The court must receive this report before making this finding.

To submit the ICWA Compliance Report, ODHS must have a completed Verification of American Indian/Alaska Native Membership or Enrollment (form 1270A) addressing ​each ​biological parent's ancestry. This form should be completed by the biological parent(s), petitioner, petitioner’s attorney or licensed adoption agency caseworker.

According to Oregon law ORS 419B.636(2), you should make a "good faith effort to determine whether the child is an Indian child, including, at a minimum, consulting with:

  • The child
  • The child’s parent or parents
  • Any person having custody of the child or with whom the child resides
  • Extended family members of the child
  • Any other person who may reasonably be expected to have information regarding the child’s membership or eligibility for membership in an Indian tribe, and
  • Any Indian tribe of which the child may be a member, or of which the child may be eligible for membership.​"

See an overview of the nine federally recognized Tribes in Oregon.

According to Oregon law, a home study is required for all adoptions filed in an Oregon court. 

The licensed ​agency completing the home study will let you know the cost and payment options.​

ODHS may be able to waive the home study if the following apply:

  • The Court finds there is no reason to know the child being adopted is an Indian child, and
  • A biological or adoptive parent is retaining parental rights; or 
  • At least one person adopting i​s a biological or adoptive sibling, half-sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent, great-aunt, great-uncle, or great-grandparent of the child, and either
    • The child has continuously lived with them since birth and for at least 6 months; or 
    • Has continuously lived with them for at least one year before asking for the waiver.

Review Oregon Administrative Rule 413-140-0032 (2)​ for more information about home study waivers. 

You can use an approved adoption ​home study from a different state but an Oregon licensed adoption agency must review and provide a certificate of approval.

You will need a placement report​ to evaluate how the child and your family are adjusting to the placement. We will assign an Oregon agency to complete the placement report. The report should be completed in the approved format within 60 days after they get the assignment.

We can waive this report when:

  • You submit a written request to waive the placement report, and
  • The Court finds there is not reason the know the child being adopted is an Indian child, and
  • A biological or adoptive parent retains parental rights, or
  • Your home study has been waived by ODHS, or
  • A licensed adoption agency writes a recommendation​. The agency must have provided services to your family in the last 12 months.

Placement report cost: 

$800 payable to the Oregon Department of Human Services.

​A background check is required for all adoptive parents and adult members of their households. 

A biological or adoptive parent retaining parental rights must complete a child abuse registry check, but is exempt from a criminal history check when applying for a waiver of the home study.

For Oregon residents:

If you’re getting a home study done, the licensed adoption agency completing your home study will give you instructions on how to get your background check done.

If you’re requesting a home study waiver, all adult household members (except the biological or adoptive parent retaining rights) must provide the following:

For residents from other states:

All adult household members (except the biological or adoptive parent retaining rights) must provide the following:

Note: ODHS will complete the Oregon Child Abuse/Neglect (CAN) Registry Check. 

If your adoption involves a child or birth parent in another state, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) rules​ may apply. These are rules that all states follow to make sure children are safe when moving from one state to another. Not following these rules will result in a notification to the Court and could impact your adoption. There are some cases where ICPC doesn’t apply, like when a child is placed with a first degree relative like a parent or a sibling. 

To learn if ICPC applies to your​ adoption, contact us:

Phone: 503-945-6630

Oregon limits or regulates the use of adoption advertising or intermediaries, also known as adoption facilitators. Using an adoption facilitator could impact ICPC approval or the finalization of an adoption. 

Oregon law states that, "A person may not charge, accept or pay (or offer to charge, accept or pay) a fee for locating a minor child for adoption or for locating another person to adopt a minor child, except that Oregon licensed adoption agencies licensed under ORS Chapter 418 may charge reasonable fees for services provided by them." For more information, see Oregon Revised Statute 109.281​ or contact a licensed attorney. 

Laws and rules


Contact us


 Phone: 971-283-4376
 Fax: 503-945-6633 
 TTY: 503-945-5896

500 Summer St NE, E71
Salem, OR 97301-1066

Contracted adoption agencies

These adoption agencies are contracted to complete placement reports for independent adoptions.

Contracted agencies