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8 Major Legal Struggles in Adopting a Child

— August 22, 2022

Most adoption agencies provide post-placement services for a certain period after the adoption is finalized.

While adopting a child can be a rewarding experience, it can also be a legal minefield. Several legal issues can arise during the adoption process, and you must be aware of them before you begin. 

Here are eight of the most common legal struggles in adopting a child:

1. Qualifying to Adopt

To adopt a child in the United States, you must first be deemed eligible by a state or private agency. There are many requirements that prospective adoptive parents must meet, such as being over 18, passing a criminal background check, and having a stable income.

2. The Adoption Process

The adoption process can be lengthy and complicated. Once deemed eligible to adopt, you’ll need to choose an adoption agency and complete an application. Then, the agency will conduct a home study to ensure you’re prepared to provide a safe and loving home for a child.

If you’re adopting a child from another country, you must comply with that country’s laws and regulations.

3. Birth Parent Rights

Although the adoptive parents will ultimately have legal custody of the child, the birth parents still have certain rights. For example, they may be able to object to the adoption or request contact with the child after the adoption is finalized.

4. Open vs. Closed Adoption

Open adoption allows the birth parents to have some degree of contact with the child, while a closed adoption does not. Open adoptions are becoming more common, but they can still pose challenges for adoptive and birth parents.

5. Adopting a Child with Special Needs

If you’re considering adopting a child with special needs, you’ll need to be prepared to provide the necessary care and support. You may also be eligible for financial assistance to help cover some of the costs associated with adoption.

6. Home Study Requirements

Every state requires a home study before an adoption can be finalized. A home study is an in-depth investigation into your home life, family dynamic, and readiness to adopt. A social worker will visit your home and interview you and your family. They will also run a background check on everyone in the household. The home study process can be time-consuming and costly, but it’s an essential step in the adoption process.

7. Interstate Adoptions

Gathering before the 37th Annual Capital Pride Parade at Dupont Circle, NW, Washington DC. Photo by Elvert Barnes, via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

If you live in one state and the child you’re adopting lives in another, you must comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). The ICPC is a cooperative effort between states that facilitate the placement of children across state lines.

8. Who will Provide Post-Placement Services? 

Most adoption agencies provide post-placement services for a certain period after the adoption is finalized. These services can include regular check-ins, guidance, and support for the adoptive family and help in case of any issues or problems.

It is essential to do your research before you choose an adoption agency. There are many beautiful agencies out there, but it is crucial to find one that is a good fit for your family and your needs. You need an adoption attorney for these processes. This is because the process can be complicated, and you want to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

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