Adoption: Background Information

Beginning a family or adding to an existing one can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. Many people grow their families by adopting a child. If you are curious about the decision to adopt, the adoption process, or some of the legal issues surrounding adoption, this article is a good place to start. Here is some brief background information on adoption.

Deciding to Adopt a Child

The decision to adopt a child can be one of the most rewarding choices that an individual or couple can make. As with many of the most rewarding decisions, it can be extraordinarily complicated. Those who wish to adopt a child must be willing not merely to welcome a new life into their hearts; they must also be willing to deal with legal and bureaucratic issues that can easily take as long as a typical pregnancy. The key to adopting successfully is to do one's homework: find reputable attorneys and agencies, know the pros and cons of different types of adoptions, and understand the need to be actively involved at every step without allowing impatience or frustration to take control.

Reasons for Adoption

People adopt for a variety of reasons. Many adoptive parents cannot have children. Others want to provide a loving environment for children in need of a home; many parents who adopt have already given birth to children. Some people choose to adopt "special needs" children (children with disabilities, for example). The reasons for adoption notwithstanding, the most important requirement for adoptive parents is that they accept adoption as being as irreversible as the birth process.

Legal Adoption Issues

Adopting a child can involve numerous legal issues, beginning with the simple question of how to adopt or what type of adoption to choose. Adoption may affect your tax responsibilities and you may need to navigate complex adoption court procedures. These issues can be especially complicated if you are a same sex couple trying to adopt a child. Prospective parents should consider all of their options and be aware of all of the concerns surrounding adoption.

Adoptions from Overseas

Beginning in the last decades of the twentieth century, overseas adoptions became increasingly common. More prospective parents turned to Russia, China, and South and Central America for adoption. This trend was spurred on by several factors, the two most important being easier availability and less fear of legal challenges. Domestic adoptions are not subject to widespread legal challenges, but it is not impossible for birth parents or birth relatives to initiate proceedings to revoke an adoption. For these reasons, it is critically important to work with people who are experienced in the adoption process and who understand what makes for a successful adoption.

Additional Resources

Choosing to adopt is just the beginning of what can be a complex emotional and legal process. If you would like legal help with your adoption, you can schedule a consultation with an experienced adoption attorney to discuss your case. You can also read more general information on this topic in FindLaw’s adoption law section.

Next Steps

Contact a qualified attorney specializing in adoptions.

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