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What types of adoption are available?

One of the greatest joys in life is welcoming a new child into your family. But, there are many situations where natural birth is not an option for a couple, or it is not preferred. For couples who wish to help an orphaned, abandoned or abused child without a family, for couples who are not able to have a child together and for gay couples, there are various options available for adoption.

Adoption agencies act as a "middle-man" between a child in need of adoption and a couple looking to adopt a child. For international adoptions, couples must go through the Hague Adoption Convention. This will pair up the foreign adoption agency with the U.S. State Department and a national agency. There are several criteria for adoption via this method, such as assuring that the child has considered placing the child locally, that the child has legal consent from the biological parents and that the child has been cleared for adoption in the United States. This is all done to prevent illegal activities, such as international abductions and adoption scams.

Spouses who have children from another relationship may wish to adopt a child as a step-parent. If both biological parents agree, this is a relatively easy process. It becomes more difficult if one biological parent is not available or if consent is not granted. With the United States legally allowing gay marriage, same-sex couples may also legally adopt, although the regulations and laws vary by state.

If you are considering adopting a child, you may want to speak with a family law professional familiar with adoption before starting the process. Doing so will allow you to look at your situation and wishes and help you determine which method of adoption would work best to suit your wishes and needs.

Source: Findlaw.com, "The Different Types of Adoption," Accessed Aug. 14, 2017

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