I Want To Adopt: What Should I Know About Federal Laws?

Adoption is a tricky process even during the easiest cases, but it can be a true nightmare if would-be parents haven’t done their homework. The good news is that everyone wants those kids to have good homes, and if you present yourself as a responsible, loving and caring parent, then you will be approved for adoption. Here are a few things you should know about the process and the federal laws that govern it.

  1. First, some laws will help you out. The Multiethnic Placement Act was conceived as a way to reduce the time children spend with foster parents in an effort to see them adopted faster. This is good for everyone. It also prevents discrimination toward foster parents and adoptive parents. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 guarantees your adoptive children the same rights to health insurance coverage as any children you conceive naturally. If your child has special needs, a state must provide financial assistance because of the Adoption Assistance Act.
  2. There are a number of forms you must complete in order to be eligible for adoptive parenting. It’s not a bad idea to get a family law attorney in order to ensure all the appropriate steps are followed to the letter. This is not the kind of process you want to make mistakes with.
  3. To adopt without restrictions you must be at least 21 years old and a resident of the U.S. This restriction applies whether you are single or married, so long as you prove yourself to be a responsible, financially secure adult capable of caring for a child.
  4. If the child lives outside of the country, then you must ensure that the Central Authority of that country has made the child eligible for adoption.
  5. The child’s biological parents may have signed a consent to adoption, but this is only valid if the parents are unable to provide the child with appropriate care.
  6. Some criminal charges will prohibit an adoption from moving forward. The agency handling your adoption will conduct a thorough background check to ensure the household is safe. In addition anyone in the household who is 18 or older will undergo an evaluation for child abuse.
  7. Some psychiatric illnesses will eliminate your chance of adopting.