Regardless of age, every child deserves to have a parental figure that loves them and looks out for their best interests. In a variety of circumstances, adoption provides babies, children, teenagers and even adults the benefit of legally being part of a family. The circumstances surrounding adoption cases are varied and complex. For couples or individuals who are contemplating adoption, it's wise to consult with a family law attorney as soon as possible.
The decision to adopt is one that adoptive parents have likely contemplated for months or years. However, while an adoptive parent may be eager to begin the process of finding a child either nationally or internationally to adopt, it's never wise to rush the adoption process. An attorney who handles adoption cases can help determine whether an adoption agency is legitimate and provide legal advice and guidance throughout the adoption process.
When beginning the adoption process, a couple or individual would be wise to take steps to understand the different types of adoptions that exist and the potential benefits and drawbacks of each. For example, some adoptions are classified as being open. In open adoptions, the birth parent or parents are allowed to remain in contact with a child. Conversely, a closed adoption is one in which the identity of the birth parents are never known or revealed and there is no contact between the birth parents and adoptive parents or at any point during or after the adoption occurs.
Additionally, international adoptions are often an attractive option for couples or individuals who wish to adopt a child as soon as possible. Parents who choose to adopt a child from another country should proceed with caution when doing so as U.S. adoption laws don't apply to international adoptions.
In addition to adoptions of infants or children with whom adoptive parents have no prior relationship, foster parents may choose to adopt a child that's been placed in their home or a step-parent may choose to formally adopt a spouse's son or daughter. In any adoption, certain procedural rules, laws and restrictions apply and consulting a legal professional is always recommended.
Source: FindLaw.com, "Adoption," 2014