Adoptive parents have several choices available to them when they are seeking to adopt a child. An adoptive parent can seek a private adoption completed with the assistance of a licensed child placing agency. Adoptive parents can also seek a private adoption of a child they know, whether the child is related to them or not. Adoptive parents can also seek to adopt a child that has been involved with the Department of Child Services, potentially after fostering or having placement of that child.
Different requirements apply for international and interstate adoptions. Interstate adoptions must comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, (ICPC) whereas international adoptions will need to comply with both countries laws on adoption.
Typically, an adoption terminates the parental rights of both birth parents. However, step-parent and second parent adoptions allow a parent to maintain parental rights while allowing the step-parent or second parent to adopt. Step-parent or second parent adoptions are frequently seen when one biological parent has abandoned the child and is no longer involved in the child’s life. This allows the spouse of the parent who is raising the child to adopt without terminating that parent’s rights.
Adoptive parents have several requirements they must meet before an adoption will be approved by the Court. All adoptive parents must undergo an extensive background check that must be completed by a licensed child placing agency. Adoptive parents also may be required to have a home study completed and have a period of Court supervision before the adoption is granted. Typically, step-parents and second-parent adoptions can have the home study and supervision period waived, but that is determined on a case-by-case basis. A court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to ensure that the requested adoption is in the child’s best interest.
If you have questions about adoption, contact the attorneys at Slotegraaf Niehoff for a consultation.