In family law, adoption is the legal procedure by which the “birth parent” (or parents) give up their child to “adoptive parents”
Under the old rules of adoption once the adoption is final, the child no longer has a parent-child relationship with the birth parents, but only with the adoptive parents. This is no longer the case.
Today, one in eight couples are unable to have a baby. In modern adoption, the woman placing a child for adoption maintains 100% control over the process and creates a customized adoption plan. This includes choosing the family as well as selecting how much contact she wants with the family both before and after placement.
Open vs. Closed Adoption
In an adoption, there are many options adoptive parent(s) can choose. Some women are not interested in knowing or choosing the adoptive parent(s), while other women insist on developing a relationship with the child’s adopting family.
In an open adoption there is at least the exchange of information between the woman placing her child for adoption and the adoptive parent(s). Openness can mean a variety of things. If everyone agrees, contact can be maintained following the birth and placement of the child.
A closed adoption means there is not and will not be any contact between the mother placing her child for adoption and the adoptive parents.
Adoptions are handled by public agencies and by private agencies, and are sometimes done privately between the parties. Usually, the adoptive parents are screened and evaluated and the placement of the child is monitored for some period of time. The process concludes with the approval of the adoption by the appropriate court. This approval formally terminates the birth parent-child relationship and creates a new parent-child relationship with the adoptive parents based on what the parties have agreed to.
How can I find out about adopting a child?
You may contact a private adoption agency, state-regulated adoption agency, an attorney who handles adoption matters, or you can simply talk to friends who have adopted a child and been through the process. There are many online communities that share their experiences and can offer good advice about the process of adoption.
Must I use an adoption agency to adopt a child?
Whether or not you have to use an adoption agency to adopt a child depends upon the law of your state. Some states prohibit the so-called “independent” or “private” adoption – that is, an agreement only between the birth parents and the adoptive parents; other states allow such an adoption. In any case, a judge must approve the adoption. Some state agency will generally investigate the adoptive parents and prepare a report for the judge who will make that decision.