Adoption law offers parents a voluntary right to assume the legal rights and responsibilities of a child that is not born to them. This will also remove any legal ties from child’s birth parents.
Most states will have varying laws for adoption. Often states will have a rule that the local department of family services has to visit and assess the child’s new home, ensuring that it is stable, safe and free from bad influences. The parents who are adopting will have to meet certain requirements, in terms of age, income and criminal background checks.
Termination of parental rights – To enter an adoption agreement, the parental rights of the birth mother and father have to be terminated. If the birth parents agree, signatures on a legal document will suffice. If this is difficult, the case will have to heard in a family law court.
Open vs. closed adoptions – The right to have contact with the adopted child is always in the hands of the adoptive parents. If the adoption is an open one, then the child will have some degree of contact with their birth parents. In a closed adoption, the birth parents will have no contact with the child after the adoption.
Adoption by a stepparent –A stepparent can sometimes take an important role in their stepchildren’s lives. In this case, the birth parents will have the legal right over the stepparent. To allow the stepparent to adopt a stepchild, the court will have to understand both sides of the story to find out what is in the best interest of the child.