Making the decision to adopt a child is one that should be fully researched and thought out because it is a decision that will affect your family and the life of a child for the rest of your lives.
There is more than one avenue to take when considering adoption. Whichever path you choose, it is wise to consult an experienced family law attorney with experience in the adoption process to help you through all the paperwork and legalities associated with adopting a new family member. Listed below are several means of adoption.
In the states where independent adoption is allowed, it is wise to hire a family law attorney to help with the paperwork. An independent adoption occurs between birth parents and adoptive parents without the use of an agency. One aspect of independent adoption is called ‘open adoption’. This is where some type of communication is maintained between the biological parents and the adoptive parents after the adoption takes place.
These agencies are regulated and licensed by the state to match children with adoptive parents. Adoption agencies can be public or private. Public agencies generally place children who have become wards of the state, because they were either abused, abandoned, or orphaned. Adoption agencies that are private are sponsored by social service organizations or charities. The children placed through private adoption agencies are usually brought to the center by pregnant women or parents wishing to give up their child for adoption.
This is the most difficult type of adoption. In order to adopt a child from a foreign country with citizenship from that country, you have to deal with the laws of the country where the child lives as well as the state laws where you live. The parents wishing to adopt internationally must get an immigrant visa for the adopted child. Once this is approved, the child will become a US citizen once they enter the country.
Additionally, there is now a treaty called the Hague Adoption Convention that regulates international adoptions. This treaty is intended to oversee adoptions to prevent adoption scams and unethical adoption schemes and protect the child, the adoptive parents, and the biological parents.
The State Department overseas international adoption and those parents seeking to adopt internationally must provide the following information in order to get the adoption approved:
- Counseling has to be provided for biological parents by the foreign adoption agency
- The biological parents have legally consented to the adoption
- Placing the child locally has already been tried by the foreign adoption agency
- The child is cleared and can be legally adopted in the United States
Adopted by a Relative
When the relative requests to adopt a child this is sometimes known as kinship adoption. Situations, where this may occur, is when the parent dies or becomes incapacitated and cannot take care of the child. When possible, the courts look favorably on a family member, usually a grandparent or aunt or uncle to rais the child. This process is usually much easier than any other kind of adoption.
Seek the Assistance of A Family Law Attorney
A lawyer, like a family law attorney in Lake Forest, IL., experienced in the adoption process can talk to you about which adoption type would best work for your needs.
Thank you to Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC. for their insight into adoption law and types of adoption.