Types of Adoption

Adoption cases have numerous factors influencing each one. They are all unique and must be taken into consideration individually. Due to the large number of variances among them, there are a few types of adoptions that are established to best fit each situation. Within these differing types, each state also has its own regulations on adoption that are important to be aware of.

An adoption will either be open or closed depending on what the birth parents and adoptive parents agree on. On a closed adoption, the identities of the parties are unknown and there is no contact kept between them. In an open case identities of both parents are known and they may choose to keep up as much contact as they wish either before or after the adoption.

Sometimes a difficult situation arises within a family, and a relative steps in to help with the responsibility of parenting a child. This is what is known as related adoption. It is when a member of the family seeks adoption and it is generally much easier than other forms of adoption, providing that the biological parent is willing to consent to the parental custody change. If they are unwilling, then it must be decided in court if the biological parent is unfit to raise and care for the child.

Another form of related adoption is known as stepparent adoption. If a spouse enters into a marriage with a child from their former relationship, the new spouse may choose to adopt this child. The consent of both the child's biological parents is needed unless one of them is deceased. If the biological parent is still living but is unwilling to give up their parental rights, then the stepparent may choose to bring them to court and prove that they are unfit. If the court agrees it is in the child's best interest to transfer custody, then it is in their power to determine the verdict and award legal guardianship to the stepparent.

Private adoption is also used when an attorney is used as the mediator between the birth parents and the adoptive parents. This can be a more direct route and may help parents not be put on a waitlist to receive a child. Agency adoption is another form and is done through a licensed agency that mediates between both parties to help find a good match and ensure that legal requirements are adhered to.

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