Adoption is a process where an individual or group takes in a child to raise as their own. The process usually begins with the birth of the child, either within or outside of marriage, and will typically require some legal action and provisions to be made for the child. There are several types of adoptions that can be used for a child’s needs. Adoption is not only used for the best interests of the child but also helps a family in need. The three primary types of adoption are domestic, international, and step-parenting adoption.
Domestic adoption can occur within the United States or in a foreign country. Parents can adopt children of a similar age, an older child, or even a newborn. Domestic adoption is most often used by step-families, single parents, and gay couples. In some cases, international adoptions are also considered domestic because they fall under the jurisdiction of U.S. laws and regulations regarding immigration.
What Are The Adoption Process Basics?
The adoption process begins with the prospective parents filing a petition with the court. This petition is often referred to as a “Determination of Suitability to Adopt” form or an “Application for Adoption.” Upon receiving the petition, a court will appoint an attorney or Guardian ad Litem (GAL) to look out for the best interests of the child. Parents that have previously been investigated and cleared by social services agencies are often considered suitable to adopt. The investigation will look into the prospective parents’ employment, criminal records, financial status, and mental health history. Once the court has decided to grant the petition, a home study is required for both parents.
What Are The Types Of Adoption?
- Agency Adoptions: This type of adoption is done through an agency that facilitates the adoption process. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, there are over 100 domestic adoption agencies in the United States, and most of these are private agencies. Agencies are often referred to as “Agency Adoptions.”
- Public adoption agencies: These adoptions are conducted through a public agency and may be done directly or through an intermediary. These types of adoptions usually only allow married couples to adopt and often have programs to support the birth parents. Some agencies hold orientation classes for adoption and provide counseling services as well.
- Private adoption agencies: A private adoption agency is a non-profit organization with the goal of helping families adopt children that are in need of adoption. These agencies are often run by a board of directors or other volunteer community members and will often offer training and certification programs to prospective adoptive parents. According to the State of California, some types of private adoption agencies include:
- Independent Adoptions: An independent adoption is when a birth parent decides to place him/herself and the child with a family that they choose. This can be done through an attorney, a private adoption agency, or even just through the help of personal friends and family members.
- Open Adoptions: Open adoption means that birth parents and adoptive parents have agreed to remain connected. The type of contact can vary from frequent phone calls and letters to meet-ups and even holiday visits.
How Is The Child Placed With Prospective Parents?
Once the court has granted the petition, a home study is required for both parents. Home studies involve an investigation into the prospective adoptive parents’ employment, criminal records, financial status, and mental health history. The home study is meant to help ensure that the prospective parents are able to provide quality care for the child. After reviewing all of this information, if deemed suitable by social services professionals and the court, a child can be legally placed with prospective parents through what is called an “Interstate Compact.” If the court decides to grant the adoption, an agency will then be required to find adoptive parents. The agency usually has several families in mind that they would like to place the child with. A home study will be conducted for each family, and their suitability will be reviewed along with all other information about them in order for the court to approve their placement for the child.
The Adoption Process: Is It Right For You?
Adoptions should only be done when they are in the best interests of the child and if they are in the best interest of the prospective parents. Before you decide to file a suitability, it is important to understand both sides of the adoption process as well as what is involved in an adoption. The process and procedures may vary depending on your particular situation, so it is very important that you discuss these options with an experienced lawyer that is focused on adoptions.
Adoption is a wonderful way to ensure that a child can receive the best care and continue to be loved. There are many options for adoption, so it should be thoroughly explored before deciding on the perfect option for you and your family. This article provides a brief overview of how the process works in the United States and speaks to some common issues that people face when considering this option. It is important to remember, however, that each state will have different laws regarding adoptions.