Is Adoption Right For You?
People consider adoption for many reasons. On this page we will discuss why adopting children may be the right choice for you to grow your family. I will also discuss the laws and process of adoption as well as the different types of adoption available.
If you’ve been trying to conceive for a long time you’ve probably already considered alternative options. Your physician may have suggested in vitro fertilization or other alternatives but you as many prospective parents tend to view adoption as a last resort. The reason for this is that most parents want a child of their own.
Depending on their circumstances, couples may seek other options such as finding a surrogate mother. But in many cases, the obvious alternative is adoption. There are many children in need of a good home. Often childless couples are eager to adopt a newborn baby rather than an older child. Prospective parents are often deterred from adoption by the long waiting list sometimes involved in the adoption of a child.
There are many factors to consider when looking into the adoption process. You need to be sure that adoption is for you and that you are prepared to make the commitment. Keep in mind that information regarding a child’s birth parents is kept private and usually little or no information is provided unless prior arrangements have been made to the contrary.
Information pertinent to the child’s health can be disclosed and should be made available. Couples seeking to adopt a child should do plenty of research to find an attorney that is right for them. You should never become involved in an agreement that you are uncomfortable with.
Be certain that you understand all aspects of the agreement before entering into or signing any type of contract. Ask questions where any uncertainty arises. Ask for clarification of any terms you may find unfamiliar.
The first step you will need to take once you have contacted an attorney is to discuss the requirements of adoption in your area. You also need to consider such factors as costs, legal fees and placement time, among others.
Assuming that you have discussed all aspects of the adoption process with your partner or family, be certain to express your preferences, questions and concerns to your attorney you are working with. You need to know whether you are willing to provide any needy child with a good, loving home or whether there are specifics you are looking for in the child you wish to adopt.
Do you want an infant or are you willing to accept an older child?
Are you willing to accept a special needs child?
Does the sex of the child matter?
Are you willing to adopt a child from a different ethnic background other than your own?
These are questions to which you must give careful consideration.
There are more than 5,000 Kansas children in foster care with just under 900 needing adoption.
Most children waiting for adoptive families are age 10 and above or part of a sibling group needing to be adopted together. Do you have what it takes to fulfill that role?
Abuse, neglect, or other family issues prevent them from living with their birth parents.
Some of these children may be referred to as having "special needs" because they:
- Are 5 years of age or older
- Part of sibling group who must be placed together
- Are African American or Hispanic
- Have developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome
- Have other physical, mental, or emotional disabilities, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Adoption, Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to do to adopt a child?
It depends on the specific situation. Typically, an adoption is started by filing a Petition with the Court. The Petition includes all the pertinent information, including your information and the information for the child.
There will also need to be lawful consents obtained from the child’s biological parents.
What types of adoptions are there?
Independent AdoptionThis is what most people consider to be more of a traditional adoption. The child’s birth parents consent to the adoption, and the adoptive parents step into the parental role.
Step-parent AdoptionThe adoption of a child by the spouse of a parent. That parent must consent to the adoption, as well as the other parent must consent to the adoption and termination of their parental rights.
Adult AdoptionAdoption of an individual who is no longer a minor and has attained the age of majority.
Agency AdoptionAdoption of a child where an agency (typically an agency associated with the State, but can include both public and private organizations that care for children) has the authority to consent to the adoption.
I know of a child available for adoption, what should I do?
Make an appointment to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Many times adoptions are time sensitive. It is important that the appropriate paperwork is prepared and executed correctly.
I would like to adopt my grandchildren, can I do that?
Possibly. To adopt a child, the rights of the biological parents must be either terminated or they must consent to the adoption and termination of their rights.
How long will an adoption take?
It depends. There is not necessarily a set amount of time that has to pass from beginning to end. The length of time the process takes depends in large part on the position of the birth parents in a more traditional adoption, or the other parent in a step-parent adoption. If the birth parents are contesting the adoption, a separate termination of parental rights case will need to proceed first. If the birth parent(s) are not contesting the termination, then the process can go much quicker.
Who can adopt?
Any adult or a husband and wife together may adopt. One spouse cannot adopt without the consent of the other spouse though.