Deciding to adopt a child is life-changing for both you and your future child. Your family grows in size, and you can learn from your new child’s background and life experiences. Many adoptive parents already have an “adoption plan” in their head when they decide to take this journey. They may have an idea of the preferred gender, race, or birth location of their new family member. However, it is still important to research the different types of adoption before deciding which one is best for you. In some cases, finances and convenience take priority, while in others, adopting from a particular culture may play a bigger role. Regardless, future parents should put their preconceived notions aside and explore every avenue available to them before committing to one type of adoption over another.
The Different Types of Adoption
Various types of adoption are available to those who wish to expand their family in this manner. Many people have a general understanding of the different types of adoption, but some may not recognize the different benefits that come with each one.
- Domestic adoption: This type of adoption occurs within one’s home country. The birth mother will voluntarily and permanently choose the child’s parents and future family. This can be done through an agency or independently. Agencies can connect the birth mother with families looking to adopt a child. The agency will guide both sides in completing the necessary steps. Independent adoptions, also known as private adoptions, occur when the adoptive couple already knows the birth mother. The legal process of terminating the birth parents' parental rights and legally adopting the child will still need to be completed; however, the adoptive parents will not have the assistance of the agency when doing so.
- Foster care adoption: This kind of adoption takes place when a child’s biological parents’ rights have been terminated by a court. In many cases, foster care adoptions occur after a family has been fostering a child for a period of time. Every year, more than 400,000 kids live in foster care, but only a small fraction are adopted; however, this number is continuously increasing. Foster care adoption is often much cheaper than other forms of adoption, although few infants are adopted this way.
- International adoption: This form of adoption is fairly popular, but it has seen a decrease over the past few years. Families that wish to take care of a child from another culture will often decide that this type of adoption is best for them. Those who adopt internationally will usually not have any contact with the child’s birth parents and may not have much information on their medical or familial background.
Within each type of adoption, there are also two options for the level of connection between the biological parents of the child. Open adoptions allow the birth parents to be involved in their child’s life. The level of involvement comes on a spectrum; some biological parents talk to their child regularly, while others will rarely see or talk to them. Closed adoptions take away this option. The birth parents will likely never see their child again once the adoption is finalized. This is common in cases of abuse or when a child is adopted as an infant.
Contact a Katy, TX Adoption Lawyer
Adopting a child gives him or her the lifetime gift of love and family. This gift is not only given to the child, but it is also given to your family as you parent the child and make lifelong memories. Regardless of the type of adoption your family chooses, you will need an experienced adoption lawyer to help with the legal process. At The Foray Firm, we will work to ensure that your adoption goes smoothly, allowing you to enjoy this next chapter in your life while avoiding any mistakes along the way. If you are considering growing your family through adoption, contact our Fort Bend County family law attorneys at 832-919-6400 for help.