Vermont Adoption Laws and Policies

Who Can Adopt in Vermont?

Any individual may adopt, including a parent’s partner.

Domestic Adoption Laws in Vermont

Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? Yes.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? Not unless parents are using a licensed agency with custody of the child and other conditions are met.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, an agency, attorney, or certified placement intermediary may be used. Adoption agencies may accept payment, but attorneys or other certified placement intermediaries may not.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal, counseling, plus transportation related to all three. Living: no specifics in law, but no direct payments to birthparent without court pre-approval. Max 6 weeks postpartum, except counseling, which is allowed for reasonable time pre- and postplacement.

Is there a putative father registry? Yes.

When can consent to adoption be granted? 36 hours after birth.

When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? 21 days after signing in court. Return automatic.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? No, post-adoption contact agreements are not legally enforceable after an adoption decree is finalized. This does not necessarily apply to stepparent adoption.

International Adoption Laws in Vermont

Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Yes, a foreign adoption decree is recognized by the state as long as the adoption decree is issued under due process of law.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Parents can readopt in Vermont, and although it is not mandatory, it is recommended.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The Supervisor of Vital Records will issue a certificate of foreign birth to a child who was not a U.S. citizen at birth upon receipt of a certified copy of the foreign adoption decree, as well as necessary information regarding the child’s original birth certificate. The Supervisor of Vital Records will issue a Vermont birth certificate if the adoption was not finalized in the foreign country upon request from either the adopting parents or adoptee if s/he is 18 years or older and upon receipt of a record of the adoption.

Adoption From Foster Care in Vermont

Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, adoption subsidies are available for a special needs child as defined by at least one of the following: four years or older, is of a racial or ethnic background that makes placement difficult if the child is three years or older, member of sibling group of two or more children being placed together, has a physical, mental, emotional, psychological or medical condition, or has is at high risk for developing a genetic or mental illness as documented by a professional. The child must also be in the custody of the state. Starts upon placement or finalization (although subsidies must be approved before finalization).

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Vermont?

Vermont Adoption Unit

Program Manager: Gillie Hopkins

280 State Drive
Waterbury, Vermont 05671
Phone: (802) 241-0891


DISCLAIMER: The state laws and policies outlined above are offered to readers only for general information and do not constitute legal advice. Furthermore, the state laws were accurate at the time of compilation, but The Current Initiative cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent changes or revisions to the laws. Please do not rely on the information above without first consulting an adoption attorney licensed in your state. Updated in November 2014.