Many people who want to be parents tend to exhaust infertility treatments before turning to adoption, regarding it as a last resort. Other couples, such as those interested in serving as foster-parents or who don’t wish to endure the processes of conception and pregnancy, will turn first to adoption.
Whatever the case, adoption is a legal process that involves the adoptive parent or parents assuming all the rights and responsibilities of birth parents for a particular child. The process further bestows on the child all the rights and responsibilities of any other member of the adoptive family. To that end, ultimately no legal distinction is made between an adopted child and a child by birth.
When adopting, there are a number of factors to consider, including the following:
- Is the adoption process open or closed?
Adoption.com defines an open adoption as “the sharing of information and/or contact between the adoptive and biological parents of an adopted child. This can occur before, during and/or after the placement of the child.” Although many adoptive parents fear open adoptions can lead to the birth mother wanting the child back, this occurs very rarely and is often blown out of proportion by the media.
- What are the requirements for adoptive parents?
Requirements differ from agency to agency and country to country, and depending on what they are, can exclude some couples from adopting. It is important to remember in this regard that adoption is not a de facto legal right.
- What is the location of adoption?
Adoption laws vary worldwide and even, in the US, from state to state. As a result, there are a number of legal issues to consider.