In an adoption, a child born to one person or couple legally becomes the child of another person or couple. The parental rights of the child’s birth parent(s) must be terminated before an adoption can occur unless their identities are unknown or they have died. A home study is almost always required before the Court will approve an adoption. All adoptions must be approved by the Court.
There are three types of adoptions:
- A step-parent adoption occurs when a child is adopted by a birth parent’s spouse.
- In an agency adoption, an agency works with the birth parent(s) to coordinate the location and selection of the adoptive parent(s).
- In a direct placement adoption, the birth parent(s) personally locate(s) and choose(s) the adoptive parent(s). The details of the adoption are then worked out through attorneys.*
*Anyone interested in a direct adoption should seek legal assistance well before the child’s birth because there must be a home study and a court order in place before the child can be placed with the adoptive parents.
The specific requirements necessary to complete an adoption differ depending upon several factors including but not limited to the following:
- type of adoption
- circumstances surrounding the adoption
- how the child became available for adoption
- whether the identities of both parents are known
- whether there is a desire to permit continued contact between the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s) and child.
Contact Patricia Buss to discuss your legal matter today.