Couples choose adoption as an option to expand their families for a variety of reasons. Is there a niece or grandchild in the family that needs a stable home? Perhaps infertility has been an issue? Some couples are concerned about the welfare of children whose parents are unable or unwilling to provide a stable home. Whatever your reason for considering adoption, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with some of the types of adoption available to you as you begin the journey to becoming adoptive parents. Your experienced adoption attorney can provide the guidance you need as you proceed.
Types of Adoption
There are a variety of ways to approach the adoption process. You should carefully consider whether or not you would welcome an infant, an older child, or a child from a different race or culture. The following are common pathways to adoption:
- Children who are currently in foster care: In these situations, parental rights have been terminated, and children of all ages are in group homes or foster care waiting to be placed in a loving home.
- Fost-Adopt: After fostering a child yourself, at some point the child becomes available for adoption;
- Private infant Adoption: An adoption is facilitated through medical personnel and your attorney without the assistance of a licensed adoption agency;
- Stepchild or Relative Adoption: Step parents, grandparents, and other relatives may choose to adopt the children of a spouse or family member with the permission of the birth parent or in the event that parent is deceased.
- International Adoption: Perhaps the most expensive and complex scenario, it can be helpful for you and your attorney to work with the Department of State or the Intercountry Adoption Bureau Consular Affairs when adopting children from foreign countries.
- Embryo Adoption: The newest form of adoption, embryo adoption is made possible when families donate remaining embryos after successful IVF procedures. The embryo may give couples wishing to experience pregnancy the opportunity to do so.
Open or Closed Adoption
Information regarding the child and birth parents may be kept confidential, or may be shared to varying degrees, depending on the wishes of the parties involved:
- Closed Adoption: No identifying information about the birth parents will be available to adoptive parents, and all records of the process will be sealed. These records may or may not be accessible when the adopted child reaches age 18.
- Open Adoption: This arrangement allows some level of communication between birth parents and adoptive parents, ranging from the sharing of pictures, letters, and phone calls, to actual visitation. The families involved determine the specifics of any agreement;
The Home Study
Regardless of whether you choose a domestic or an international adoption, and in many cases for an embryo adoption, you will be expected to undergo a home study. There are several pieces to this process, including:
- A criminal background check;
- A review of your financial stability;
- An examination of your personal relationships.
Although you may be very anxious to add a new child to your family, be prepared for this process to take from several months to as long as a full year. You will be dealing with multiple agencies and be required to provide documentation such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and more.
The adoption process often proves to be an emotional roller coaster. Having a legal team working for you to ensure that all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed can provide a level of confidence and peace to the ordeal. At the office of Derek L. Hall, PC in Jackson, you will receive nothing less. Schedule a free, confidential consultation in our Jackson office today.