The couple has been happily married for many years. However, despite the mutual desire to have children, it is not possible to fulfill it. Spouses are ready to accept in the family a child born by another woman. What is the legal process of adoption? What problems may arise?
How is adoption done?
Each state has special adoption agencies owned or licensed by the state. Agencies select prospective parents and bring them to the biological mother. They also advise both parties (adoptive parents and mother) on adoption issues and its consequences for them. If we are talking about adoption after childbirth, then, as a rule, adoptive parents pay the cost of medical care, accommodation during pregnancy and several months after it, as well as legal services related to pregnancy and adoption. The agency also usually helps to complete the legal side of this process by contacting a lawyer who will arrange the adoption through the court. As you know, not only infants are adopted, but also children of a later age. The legal aspects of the case are approximately the same as in the case of newborns, with the exception that if the child is in an orphanage, then, most likely, his or her biological parents have already been deprived of their rights to him or her, and consent for adoption is not required from them.
Is the adoption procedure different in different states?
Yes. You can adopt a child from another state by following the requirements of that state. However, the requirements of different states have much in common. For example, all states oblige the agency to check the financial and personal circumstances of future adoptive parents. This is done by representatives of the social service, who, in addition to the interview and viewing the relevant documentation, also visit the place of residence of future parents. The purpose of this introduction is to establish whether the living conditions of the parents correspond to their intentions to take the child for their maintenance. In addition, in all states, new parents take their rights only after a court decision.
What is private adoption?
This is an adoption without agency involvement. In this case, the biological mother who wants to transfer the child to new parents and future adoptive parents find each other through friendly relations, through familiar lawyers or doctors, through advertisements in newspapers. One should keep in mind that by law it is forbidden to pay one side or another for the very transfer of the child. Only the reasonable cost of an adoption is paid. Therefore, if the payment, for example, to a biological mother during a private adoption exceeds a reasonable figure, which could result in her medical, legal and other associated costs, or if a third party who linked the biological mother to the adoptive parents has been paid, then in these cases all participants in the “transaction” run the risk of being tried.
Is it possible to adopt a child from another country?
Of course, but in this case, you may need the help of an immigration lawyer or an agency that specializes in such cases, since this process involves additional difficulties. Future parents will have to draw up documents that meet the legal requirements of another country, as well as the requirements of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service.
Can future parents refuse an adoption if the child was born unhealthy?
It is clear that new parents may be upset by the news of an unhealthy child and this can cause additional financial costs. However, in most states parents will not be allowed to return the child to where they took him/her. The only case when this is possible is if the parents themselves were victims of fraud (for example, the agency knew about the defect in the child’s health, but concealed the truth). However, whether you are a biological mother or adoptive parent, but are not able to support a child for mental, financial, or other compelling reasons, you can voluntarily take him/her to an orphanage under state care. This, however, in most cases will lead to the deprivation of your parental rights, whether you want it or not.
What happens to the rights of the biological mother when she gives the child up for adoption?
From a legal point of view, this means a complete deprivation of parental rights for the child. Although a number of states practice the so-called open adoption when a child is placed in an orphanage, the mother retains the right to visit him/her. If the mother finally decided to separate her fate from the fate of the child, despite the advice and warnings of doctors, lawyers and social workers, she will have to sign a legal document, according to which she voluntarily agrees to resign from her parental powers.
And if the mother reconsiders her decision?
In most states, a biological mother has a waiting period during which she can change her mind. If this happens, the adoption process will be suspended and she will again have to assume all the rights and obligations of the parent. In addition, if the mother succeeds in proving that she did not consent to the transfer of the child, or if this consent was obtained from her by deception or pressure, then she may be able to return the child through the court.