Through the process of adoption, the rights and obligations of biological parents are terminated. The child is then eligible for adoption by one or more persons who can care for them and be responsible for their health, education, and overall welfare. Once a child is adopted, the birth parents are no longer responsible for the child and have no right to custody or visitation with the child. The adoptive parent(s) is held accountable for the child's well-being, and the adoptive parent(s) decides whether the birth parent(s) will be allowed to visit with the child.

Generally, a child can be adopted by a single person or jointly by a husband and wife who are considered fit parent(s) by state standards. A stepparent may also be allowed to adopt their spouse's child. Conditions for adoption vary from state to state. In some states, for example, the adoptive parent must be a certain number of years older than the child they are adopting.

What types of adoption may be available to me?

Adoption is a legal process, and as such it may be complex and difficult to navigate. All paperwork must be properly filled out and deadlines made in order to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. There are different types of adoption that one may wish to consider, including the following:

Private Adoption
Private adoption occurs when a family works with an adoption attorney, bypassing adoption agencies, to find a child to adopt. During a private adoption, adoptive parents may pay for the biological mother's medical and pregnancy expenses. However, adoptive parents are not allowed to pay the biological mother to give their baby up for adoption. Read more about private adoption.

Related/Relative Adoption
Related adoption occurs when one of the child's relatives formally adopts the child. Read more about related/relative adoption.

Stepparent Adoption
Stepparent adoption occurs when a biological parent's spouse formally adopts a child. Read more about stepparent adoption.

Agency Adoption
Agency adoption occurs when adoptive parents work with an agency to adopt a child. Agencies connect potential adoptive parents with biological mothers who wish to give up their children. Adoption agencies require potential adoptive parents to go through extensive screening processes and tend to have long waiting lists. Read more about agency adoption.

Open Adoption
Open adoption occurs when the adoptive parents agree to allow the biological parents to see the child or have contact with the child after the adoption. The amount and type of contact is usually outlined in the adoption contract. Read more about open adoption.

It is crucial to fully understand your rights and obligations in relation to adoption. This is a selfless act and one that will forever change your life and the life of the child you adopt. To learn more about adoption and other family law matters, feel free to browse through the information on this site or use our directory to find a local adoption attorney to address your needs.

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