Adoption is a big decision, regardless of the circumstances, and it is important for anybody consideration an adoption to understand the process and how an attorney can assist. There are a variety of types of adoption, and these include: those which go through the Department of Social and Health Services; those which go through private agencies; independent adoptions; and step-parent and adult adoptions.
Each form of adoption, and each individual adoption case, involves unique considerations. In any adoption case, the primary issue is the best interests of the child, and adoption agencies, judges, and other parties involved in the process will be solicitous to ensure a good match. To that end, anybody who inquires about adoption is put through so-called pre-servicing training, which are preparation classes on adoption. Potential adoptive parents must also have an approved adoptive home study, which is aimed at determining whether applicants are fit to become adoptive parents.
After the home study has been completed, the next phase of the process is child selection. Potential adoptive parents have a legal right to receive family background information about a prospective adoptive child, as well as a child and family social history report and a medical report containing all available information about the child’s needs.
It if is determined that a child and a potential adoptive parent are a good fit, the next phase is the visitation and placement process, which is gradual, according to the needs of the child. After placement has occurred, the adoption process continues until the adoption is completed.
The role of experienced legal counsel in the adoption process can be important, particularly with respect to finalizing the adoption. In our next post, we’ll pick up on this point.