Adopting a child is certainly a life-changing and fulfilling experience – both for you and the new member of the family. But while it is a great deed and exciting, there are a number of factors to keep in mind. It’s also important to understand that after reviewing the process with your family, you still may not be ready to adopt just yet.
This article highlights each part of the adoption process as well as the different types available to allow you as the parent to make a well-informed decision when bringing in a new member to your household.
Types of Adoption
Before getting into the process, know that there are 3 common different types of adoption. They include:
- Public agency adoptions
- Private agency adoptions
- Independent adoptions
Public Agency Adoptions
This type of adoption is when the state agency has legal custody of the child. These situations are often the result of the child coming from a life-threatening or traumatic background. For more information on this process, it’s best to speak with an experienced adoption attorney.
Private Agency Adoptions
These private agencies often assist families who are looking to adopt children by connecting them with others who are fostering the child. If present, this process will involve the birth parents helping the private agency to choose the adoptive parents.
Independent adoptions will be exclusive of agencies altogether, where both families will collaborate without the help of a third party. Regardless, this adoption will still require the help of an adoption attorney to oversee the legal side of things.
It’s important to know that working with an adoption attorney is imperative. Due to the legal procedures, a lawyer must oversee that the adoption runs in accordance with both federal and state laws.
Open and Closed Adoptions
In addition to the 3 listed above, there are two additional types of adoption: open and closed.
- Open Adoption: There is an open relationship between all 3 parties, each being the adoptive parents, birth parents, and child. It can be hard to define this type of adoption since it will depend on the unique situation of the families. But these will usually involve updates like sharing pictures, emails, talking over the phone, and in-person meetings between the birth parents and child.
- Closed Adoption: All communication between the birth and adoptive parents will end after the adoption in this case. This is particularly common for families who have adopted a new-born after delivery.
Cost of Adoption
Finances are a large and important part of every adoption process. If adopting through a private agency, the adoptive parents will have to inquire the expenses and fees of that agency. With a public agency in which the legal custody belongs to a state agency, the adoptive parents will be granted a subsidy in order to provide for the needs of the child.
However, there are others fees that must be paid with these types of adoption, including fees from the court, attorney, medical expenses, as well as the child’s birth mother’s living expenses. To get an idea of what to expect for these fees, it is best to look them up separately as they will vary by state. Your adoption attorney can also provide you with an idea of what to expect.
Aspects of the Adoption Process
The child adoption process will generally include all of the following:
Adoption Home Study
An adoption home study is a vital part of all adoption process and is required in order to be approved. Simply, this is to ensure that the child is going to a safe and well-maintained home.
The adoption home study will be included within the paperwork, or dossier, and is conducted by a social worker who will interview the adoptive parents. After inspecting the condition of the home as well as asking a set of pre-determined questions, the worker will either approve or disapprove, followed by filling out the necessary paperwork.
Adoption Child Referral
The Adoption Child Referral will include a call to the potential adoptive parents regarding a child that an agency has chosen for them. Depending on the family’s criteria, these agencies will usually select a child that they believe to be the best fit for them. But if for any reason that the situation does not work out, the family will have the right to decline the referral.
Consent to Adoption
Whether it’s a parent, relative, or state that is in charge of granting the approval, they will have the authority of deciding if the child’s adoption is granted to the adoptive family. Otherwise taking this child without consent will result in a legal risk placement.
If the adoptive family is adopting a child that was born in a different country, they are not granted a subsidy. But if it was granted through a foster care adoption program, it is likely that the family will be qualified for a monthly aid.
In order to find an adoption method that works best for you and your family, networking can be very helpful. Simply talking about your desire to adopt a child with extended family, co-workers, or close friends can lead you to make the best decision. Also be sure to speak with adoption support groups; they can provide great resources and connect you with the professionals that facilitate the adoption process.
Work with an Adoption Attorney
Once you are ready to adopt a child, don’t forget to hire a professional adoption attorney. It’s crucial that the process and paperwork abides by all federal and state laws, and an experienced lawyer can handle this for you.
Boca Raton Divorce Lawyer has years of experience when it comes to assisting families with the adoption process. If you have any questions regarding the adoption or legal process, please don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation.
Attorney advertising. The information is not provided to serve as unsolicited legal advice, nor as a suggestion of a need for legal services. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Allen Gabe Law, P.C.