Adoption is a court process through which an adult legally becomes the parent of someone who is not his or her biological child. In general, the adoption process terminates the birthparents' legal relationship with the child. An exception to this rule is in the case of stepparent adoptions when the adoption process terminates only the parental rights of the birthparent without custody. While adoption laws are often similar from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, e.g., most states require that there be a home study conducted on a prospective adoptive home, no state's adoption laws mirror another's in every respect. And, on certain questions, e.g., how the rights of putative fathers are addressed, i.e., those presumed or alleged to be the child's biological father, there is less uniformity among state laws.
Listed below are some frequently asked questions about adoption with a summary of each state's applicable laws. Whether you are interested in knowing if a state requires adoptive parents to establish residency in order to be eligible to adopt or when a birthmother may legally relinquish her parental rights and consent to adoption, this state-by-state adoption law summary will prove of use to you.
Please note that this summary is not intended to serve as legal advice. It is a summary of state laws compiled by the Infant Adoption Awareness Training Project in an effort to provide useful information to Master Trainers, Adoption Specialists, and Adoption Information Liaisons.
Should you have any comments or questions about the summary, please send them to email@example.com.
Here you will find common questions and answers that relate to the birthmother, birthfather, adoptive parents, court specific procedures, special issues, and child welfare.
1. Who may adopt?
2. Who may place a child for adoption?
3. Is birthparent counseling required?
4. May birthparents receive assistance with expenses?
5. How are putative father rights addressed?
6. When may the birthparent(s) relinquish custody and consent to adoption?
7. How much time does a birthparent have to change his or her mind after consenting to the termination of parental rights?
What trainees are saying ...
I found the parts of the training that dealt with pursuing the adoption option with clients most helpful. Interaction exercises were always beneficial, and the time with birthmothers was, of course, touching and reinforced the whole training. It was wonderful to be pampered as we were with meals and accommodations.