Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices
“Train up a child in
the way he should go
and when he is old,
he will not depart
from it.”
Proverbs 22:6

What should I know about the adoption process?

Making the decision to adopt is a significant and exciting decision. Growing your family through adoption, however, may bring up some questions about the process. Knowing the answers can help ease anxiety as you begin a new phase of your life that includes pursuing the adoption process. It can be helpful to understand the basics of the adoption process.

To begin with, there are different types of adoption. Prospective adoptive parents can work to adopt through an adoption agency or may pursue an independent adoption with no adoption agency involvement. In addition, adoptions can be open or closed which is an important consideration that will impact the amount of contact and involvement the birth parents of the child may have. Choosing an open or closed adoption has an impact on knowing the identity of the birth parents so it should be carefully considered.

A home study is also conducted as part of the adoption process. The home study process serves to educate prospective adoptive parents concerning the process, helps to gather information concerning the prospective adoptive parents and helps a social worker match a child with prospective adoptive parents and place the child in the home. A home study also helps determine the fitness of the prospective adoptive parents. It is also necessary to find a child available for adoption, of course, and determine if you will pursue an adoption domestically or internationally.

There are important legal requirements to be aware of including obtaining consent, a termination of the parental rights of the birth parents and approval of the adoption petition from the court. Because the adoption process can be complicated, yet rewarding, it is helpful for prospective adoptive parents to fully understand it when embarking on an adoption journey.

Source:, "Adoption Checklist," Accessed Dec. 28, 2016

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