4 Different Ways to Adopt a Child

4 Different Ways to Adopt a Child

4 Different Ways to Adopt a Child

There’s more than one way to start a family. Couples struggling to conceive naturally may utilize in-vitro fertilization or use a surrogate. Other people adopt children in need of a home. Yet, it’s important to note that there are different ways to adopt a child. This article will overview the various options so people can determine the best route is for their families.

Foster Care

There are millions of children in foster care across the United States. If you’re interested in giving one of these children a home, you should think about becoming a foster parent. You must be at least twenty-one years old to be a foster parent. You don’t have to be married to foster a child, either. However, you must provide a safe and healthy environment for every child you take under your wing. Every state has slight variations in its requirements.

In most states, the hopeful foster parent must work with a child welfare professional to determine if they are fit to be a part of the program. The child welfare expert will figure out if you can provide a stable environment. The worker will also check in with other people in your life so they can figure out if you’re emotionally ready to raise a child. Then, once you’ve fostered a child for a considerable amount of time, you should consider adopting them and making them a permanent member of your family. Yet, you should know this process takes an incredibly long time, typically one to three years. Adopting a foster child can cost money, as well. Though working with the state is free, some foster parents decide to hire an attorney or an agency to help speed the process along. Don’t let these factors discourage you, though. Millions of kids in foster care are looking for someone to give them the loving home they deserve.

Domestic Adoption

Domestic adoption is another way a person can start a family. In this method, a prospective parent contacts an adoption agency to create a profile that a birth mother can choose from. This process is unique because birth mothers determine eligibility. They can flip through thousands of profiles until they find a family that they want to raise their child. From there, the prospective adoptive parent can meet with the birth mother so they can get to know each other a little better. If you decide to go this route, you must work with a trusted adoption agency and an adoption attorney. Lawyers will help both parties to sort through the legalities and complicated matters involved. It’s worth noting that domestic adoption is incredibly expensive. Sometimes, it can cost fifty thousand dollars. Adoptive parents or single adoptees are entirely responsible for any agency and legal fees that accumulate during the process.

The requirements for domestic adoption vary by state. However, for the most part, potential adoptive parents must be able to prove they can financially support the child. They must be able to provide a healthy and safe environment for the baby, too. It’s also important to mention the differences between an open and closed adoption. Open adoption means that the birth mother will be a part of their child’s life. The birth mother will receive regular updates and potentially meet their child in different periods of their life. In a closed adoption, on the other hand, the mother does not maintain contact of any kind. Finally, people interested in domestic adoption should know that the birth mother can change her mind at any time. Until everything is finalized, the woman has the right to keep her child.

International Adoption

Some people adopt children from another country. Eligibility requirements vary from country to country. Most countries only allow married couples to adopt a kid. This process is incredibly expensive because couples must work with international adoption agencies with astronomical fees. Also, couples must pay for any travel expenses that come up during the experience. International adoption can take several years, too. Moreover, in some cases, little is known about the little one’s medical or family history. However, couples shouldn’t let these factors deter them from going this route. There are millions of children across the world that need a loving, stable home in America.

Adopting a Stepchild

Adopting a stepchild is one of the most popular forms of adoption. When someone marries a person with a child, that person often becomes a central figure in the child’s life. It’s only natural, then, that the stepparent would want to adopt that child. However, there are important factors to consider in order to make this happen. Restrictions vary from state to state. In Washington State, for example, a stepparent needs permission from both parents to adopt the child. Matters can get rather complicated if a stepparent doesn’t have permission from both parents.

If a stepparent doesn’t receive permission to adopt from both parents, courts must get involved. If the child’s birth parent who is refusing the adoption is mentally sound and they can provide a safe environment for the child, then there’s not much the stepparent can do. Courts are more likely to favor a child’s birth parent—they don’t want to change the little one’s life. Yet, if the birth parent is against the adoption and the stepparent can prove that the birth parent is unfit, the stepparent has a more substantial chance of success. Once a stepparent adopts their stepchild, one of the birth parent’s rights are terminated. Therefore, both birth parents must agree, or there must be evidence that one party can’t provide for their child.

This article has reviewed the different ways to adopt a child. Whether you decide to adopt a child out of foster care or you’re adopting a stepchild, you’ll need a trusted lawyer by your side to help you through the process. Anyone looking for an adoption attorney in Washington State should contact LaCoste Family Law immediately. Our team of professionals will guide you through the experience and make sure that everything runs smoothly. We’re dedicated to helping you get the family of your dreams. Please don’t think that you’re in this process alone. If you work with LaCoste Family Law and follow all the proper procedures, your family will be complete soon enough.

Ways to Adopt a Child