Adoption is a wonderful way to grow a family. However, it comes along with a complicated legal process, which is why it's important to work with an attorney who can help you understand the options that are available to you as while as the requirements you must meet.
There are many different types of adoptions that can take place, including open and closed adoptions, domestic and international adoptions, stepparent adoptions, and adult adoptions. Each different type of adoption has its own set of characteristics and requirements that are imposed by the court in your state.
FindLaw reports that the most complicated type of adoption is international adoption. That's because you not only have to meet the legal requirements of your own jurisdiction, you also have to meet the requirements of the child's foreign jurisdiction. Immigration laws must also be followed.
People seeking to adopt a child domestically have the choice to go through a state agency, a private agency or work on their own.
State agencies usually place children who are older and have spent time in foster care. Private agencies -- which can be for-profit or non-profit -- can have long waiting lists and can choose to set their own criteria for eligibility to adopt.
Direct placement or independent adoption means the birth parents have control over the people they choose to adopt their children, who are usually newborns. Both the birth parents and the adoptive parents have more choices and options with independent adoptions. However, independent adoptions are not allowed in all states.
A quickly-changing area within adoption law is same-sex couples adopting. The law varies from state-to-state, with some states allowing same-sex couples to go through the same adoption process as opposite-sex couples and other states requiring same-sex couples to follow a different procedure. These requirements are largely tied to the state's laws on same-sex marriage.
To read more about the different types of adoption, visit our firm's Adoption Info Center.