1. How is the adoption carried out?
In each state, there are special adoption agencies that are state-owned or operate under state licenses. Agencies select future parents and introduce them to their biological mother. They also advise both parties (adoptive parents and mother) on adoption issues and their consequences for them.
If it comes to adoption after childbirth, then, as a rule, adoptive parents pay mothers the cost of expenses for medical care, accommodation during pregnancy and several months after it, as well as for legal services related to pregnancy and adoption.
The agency also usually helps to bring the legal side of this adoption process to the end by contacting a lawyer who will formalize the adoption through the court. As you know, it is possible to adopt not only babies but also children of a later age.
The legal aspects of the case here are approximately the same as in the case of newborns, except that if the child is in an orphanage, then most likely that his biological parents have already been deprived of the rights to him, and no consent to adoption is required.
2. Does the adoption procedure vary from state to state?
Yes. You can adopt a child from another state by meeting the requirements of that state. However, there is much in common in the requirements of different states.
For example, all states require that when adopting with the agency’s participation the latter should become familiar with the financial and personal circumstances of future adoptive parents.
Specifically, the representatives of the social service are engaged in this, which, in addition to interviewing and viewing relevant documentation, also visit the place of residence of future parents. The purpose of this acquaintance is to establish whether the parents’ living conditions meet their intentions to take on their child’s maintenance.
In addition, in all states, new parents enter their rights only after an appropriate court decision.
3. What is private adoption?
This is the adoption without the participation of the agency. In this case, the mother who wants to give the child to new parents and future adoptive parents find each other through friendships, through familiar lawyers or doctors, through newspaper ads.
Such adoptions have recently been practiced more and more often. It should, however, be borne in mind that it is forbidden to pay a party for the transfer of the child by law.
Only reasonable cost of registration of adoption is paid. Therefore, if the payment, for example, to the mother in the course of private adoption exceeds a reasonable figure, which could result in her medical, legal and other related costs, or if a third party who has associated the biological mother with the adoptive parents is assigned commissions, then in these cases all participants in the “transaction” are at risk of being brought to justice.
4. Can I adopt a child from another country?
Of course, but in this case, it may be necessary to help an immigration lawyer or an agency that specializes in such cases, since this adoption process involves additional difficulties.
Future parents will have to process documents that meet the legal requirements of another country, as well as the requirements of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service.
5. Can future parents refuse to adopt if the child was born unhealthy?
It is clear that with new parents, the news of an unhealthy child can cause serious psychological trauma, not to mention the additional financial costs of treating the disease.
Nevertheless, in most states, parents will not be allowed to return the child to the place where they took it. The only case where this is possible is if the parents themselves were deceived (for example, the agency knew of a defect in the health of the child, but concealed the truth).
However, whether you are a biological mother or an adoptive parent, but unable to support the child for mental, financial or other compelling reasons, you can voluntarily surrender it to a children’s shelter for the care of the state. This, however, in most cases, will lead to depriving you of parental rights, whether you like it or not.
6. What happens to the rights of the biological mother when she gives the child for adoption?
From the legal point of view, this means a complete deprivation of parental rights to the child. Although a number of states practice so-called open adoption when the child is placed in an orphanage, the mother retains the right to visit him there.
If the mother finally decided to separate her destiny from the child’s fate, despite the advice and warnings of doctors, lawyers, and social workers, she will have to sign a legal document, according to which she voluntarily agrees to resign from her parental authority.
7. And if the mother reconsiders her decision?
In most states, the biological mother has a waiting period during which she can change her decision.
If this happens, the adoption process will be suspended and she will have to assume all the rights and responsibilities of the parent again.