The population of the Earth is rapidly expanding. Early models of prediction trace the human population growth to the size of some 9.8 billion by the year 2050.
This wide-spread growth is causing many Americans to consider adoption instead of rearing a child of their own. There are so many children out there in the world already, needing to be taken care of.
Many couples also struggle with medical issues that prevent them from getting pregnant. Adopting a child can be a way to still take on the role of parenthood without the need for expensive medical procedures.
Adoption can be complicated. It involves a number of lengthy processes. You’ll need to become knowledgeable in a number of legal guidelines and regulations. We’ll walk you through what you need to know below.
The Route To Adoption
There isn’t a one size fits all journey to adoption. There are 135,000 adoptions a year in the United States. Each may be different from one another when it comes to the route that was taken.
It’s important that you understand what your options are and which route will work best for you.
One of the more popular situations a family finds themselves in is working with an adoption agency. Adoption agencies have a very structured process that involves linking birth mothers up with potential parents.
Agencies will first conduct home studies and profiles of you as potential parents. This means welcoming an agent into your home and having them assess your living situation and pepper you with a number of questions.
As Netflix’s Private Life showed wonderfully this year, such adoption interviews can be nerve-wracking. There is a chance of rejection. That being said, working through an agency can add stability and predictability to the process.
That kind of solid ground can be incredibly helpful.
If you don’t want to go through an agency, you’ll likely need to hire a lawyer instead. This method gives you the flexibility to run your adoption process as you’d like without the influence of others.
A lawyer knowledgeable in adoption law can help contact potential birth families and get the ball rolling. Many families and mothers seeking adoption advertise online or in print. You may be able to connect with them without the need for an agency.
If neither of the above situations sounds right for you, you could always try foster care. The foster system requires couples to take a lengthy training and education course and requires home study.
Children taken into the home for foster care may or may not be reunited with their birth families. Thousands of children are adopted through the foster system every year. If you can stomach the risk of losing your right to adoption, the foster system can be the most cost-effective way to adopt.
Closed and Open Adoption Cases
Not too long in the past, almost all adoption cases were closed and sealed. This means that there was little to no interaction between the birth family and the adoptive family.
In the modern era of connectivity, more openness is now considered normal and acceptable. Most children who are adopted want to know more about their birth parents as they age. Many have won legal battles to gain such information.
Open adoption has a number of benefits and many behavioral psychologists believe it can only help the development process of the adopted child.
The actual relationship you have with the birth family will depend on your personal preferences and comfort level. Some adoptive families communicate solely through agencies or lawyers, while others feel close enough to all go get dinner together. The choice is up to you.
The Cost Of Adoption
Adoption is not a cheap process. Depending on the route you plan on taking, it is advisable to have up to twenty or thirty thousand dollars budgeted for the process.
Agencies and family lawyers need to be paid for their work. There are a number of medical and travel costs you’ll need to take on each time you start an adoption process. And the acceptance of these costs won’t mean that particular adoption will be successful.
There is an adoption tax credit available that can help you recoup some of the costs you spend on adoption.
The Legalities of Adoption
Adoption is a legal process. Adoptions are put through and then approved by a judge in a court of law.
There are varying adoption laws in states across the U.S. Having a lawyer on your side can help you navigate these laws successfully.
In most states, a birth mother is allowed to change her mind about adoption up until the point of birth. Upon birth, the state will have her sign “relinquish papers” that pass guardianship of the baby over to the new parents.
In most states, a pregnant minor does not need the approval of their parents when it comes to putting their child up for adoption. There are a few states where they do.
There are also varying laws about the role and rights of birth fathers when it comes to adoption. You should make sure to read up on local law in your place of origin and make sure there will be no unnecessary legal obstacles.
Adopting A Child
Adopting a child can be one of the great joys of life. Parenthood in all forms is an amazing and transformative experience, and adoption is continually becoming a wonderful path for new families.
Understanding the above information about adoption can help ensure you go into the process on the right footing.
Need more legal advice, tips, and relevant news for your family plans? Check out our blog and let us know if we can help.