The Legal Definition Of Adoption

Adoption is the process by which an adult becomes the official guardian to a child thereby incurring all the parental responsibilities. Once the process is completed, a legal relationship between the child and the adult is initiated. Here, the child becomes the legal heir to the adoptive parent and any existing rights with the biological parents are terminated.

Adoptions can be categorized into open or closed. With the open adoption, the birth mother is given the right to choose the adoptive parents. Here, the birth mother might also maintain some contact or visitation rights. During a closed adoption, the birth mother gives up all the parental rights and the state is given the authority to choose the adoptive parents for the child.

Parents looking to adopt can either choose to use an agency or direct contact with the biological parents. There are public agencies run by the state as well as private ones which facilitate the adoption process. With the state run agencies, the natural parents have relinquished all their parental rights to the child thus facilitating the adoption process.

There are statutes that determine who might adopt a child. Some states might disqualify single or unmarried individuals from adopting a child. People with mental or physical disabilities are also ineligible since they might not provide the adopted child with the care they need. Before an individual can adopt, the state presents the court with a report stating the individual is qualified to adopt.

These reports are quite detailed including the social history, criminal background, moral fitness, financial status as well as the physical or mental fitness. The court can either accept or reject the agency’s recommendation by basing the decision on the child’s welfare and best interests. There are some states that have lifted the sexual orientation clause when it comes to adopting children thus allowing the LGBT community to adopt.