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How does the adoption process work?

Adoption is a beautiful concept. It allows a parent or parents who do not want or are unable to care for a child to offer their child to a parent or couple who either cannot have children or choose to adopt for other reasons. Let's say you want to adopt. How does the adoption process work in a nutshell?

The first and most obvious step in adopting is to find a child to adopt. Adoption agencies are a common way to pair up parents who have or will have a child to give up for adoption with a family willing to accept a child. You may also be able to have a surrogate mother carry a child to term. This is common if the adoptive mother is unable to give birth to her own child. Other less traditional methods that are gaining popularity are to find less formal organizations and even social media to reach out and find a child in need of adoption or someone willing to be a surrogate.

The United States courts have always placed an emphasis on seeing that the best interests of a child are met, and this holds true in adoption as well. There is an extensive vetting process, including a home visit to assure that prospective parents are both educated in rearing children and that they are in a situation conducive to raising a child.

Lastly, adoptions require a petition to court which will identify all appropriate parties, terminate the parental rights of the biological parents and grant custody to the parents who wish to adopt. These proceedings are often not easy, and it may be beneficial and at times even necessary to assure that the adoption process moves smoothly and ultimately results in a new family for a couple by having a lawyer familiar with adoption aid you along the way.

Source: Findlaw, "How to Adopt," Accessed Mar. 14, 2017

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