Adoption Process


Adoption is an effective process which has turned millions of lives together.  In simpler terms it is a legal process where adoptive parents are allowed to adopt a child by satisfying various rules and procedures of different states and countries, depending on the type of adoption preferred.    The process of adopting a child is very complex and complicated.  There are many issues and several factors to be addressed before adopting a child.  One has to really follow a large part of procedural law before adopting a child.  Either a person or a parent can adopt a child from within or outside the United States.  There are many advantages and disadvantages in the process of adopting a child domestically or internationally.

Domestic adoption covers both private adoptions and public adoptions (from the foster-care system).

The process of private domestic adoption is uniformly divided between agency adoption and independent adoptions.  In simpler terms, the distinction arises where the birth parents place their infants with the adoptive parents through an adoption agency or independently with the help of an attorney or facilitator.  If adoptive parents don’t work through an agency, then s/he can hire an attorney to handle the legal process of the adoption.   Most private domestic adoptions discourage gender selection and favors newborns.  In most domestic adoptions, the birth mothers choose the adoptive parents based on pictures, biographical information and meetings.  Adoption laws vary from state to state.  In every state birth parent must either terminate their parental rights or consent to the adoption through relinquishment of parental rights.  In nearly all private domestic adoptions, birth mothers relinquish their parental rights through consent.  In most states, before giving their consent to relinquish parental rights, the parents should wait for a period of one to fifteen days after the birth of the child.  Birth mothers can change their mind before or after selecting an adoptive family, before or after birth, and before or after birth mother’s expenses are paid by the adoptive family.  It is always recommended to consult an experienced agency or attorney for advice.

Most States’ laws give birth parents a period of time (usually 0 to 180 days), after they have signed the relinquishment papers and placed the baby with the adoptive parents, to change their mind.  This procedure is only to make certain whether the birth parents are truly committed to the adoption.  Once this legal time period has passed, it becomes difficult for a birth parent to successfully challenge the adoption.

Yet another time lagging process in private domestic adoption process is to find out birth mothers who want to make an adoption plan for their child.  How adoptive parents find birth mothers depend on the agency or attorney/facilitator.  With some agencies, the adoptive parents need only to apply; the agency will find out the birth parents.  To speed up this process, many facilitators and some agencies require adoptive parents to look for birth mothers independently.  One of the main drawbacks with independent adoptions is that it child is more expensive when compared with agency adoptions.

The process of public adoptions from the foster-care system varies from state to state.  These adoptions are carried out through local and regional public agencies.  Private agencies play a great role in conducting home studies.  Private agencies also help in recruiting and licensing adoptive parents for children under foster care.   A home study is essentially a review of family and home environment of prospective adoptive parents.  In some states, prospective parents will be licensed as both foster and adoptive parents.

Adoptive parents in the United States must meet several legal requirements and receive approval from various authorities before the international adoption becomes official.  In brief, to adopt a child from outside the United States by prospective adoptive parents, s/he must satisfy certain conditions.  The adoptive parent must satisfy the laws of the country of the child’s birth.  Prospective adoptive parent must meet all the requirements of the United States immigration laws, procedures and polices.  Finally, an adoptive parent must comply with the laws of the sate where the adoptive parents reside.  Prospective parents are left with different routes in adopting a child.  One method is to use a U.S.-based international adoption agency.  The second possible method used is a more independent technique known as “parent-initiated” or “direct” adoption.  This method involves retaining the services of a lawyer, doctor, or social worker.  Some countries prefer certain particular methods for adopting.  For instance, Asian countries generally favor adoptions through U.S.-based international agencies.  On the other hand, Latin American countries prefer independent adoptions.  Independent adoptions offer three advantages.  First, independent practitioners can seek children publicly through media such as advertising, newspaper which accelerates the adoption process.  Second, pregnant mothers are benefited where independent practitioners are able to assure confidentiality regarding the identity of the child’s father.  Finally, pregnant mothers can have their child without worrying about medical costs because the adoptive family usually pays them.

The whole process depends upon one’s personal choice to opt for a good process (domestic or international) that avoids complex issues.