Child Adoption Facts: To Know Before You Decide

Adoption Facts

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People consider adoption when they fail to have children of their own or empathize with parentless kids and would like to assimilate them in their families. But what is ‘adoption’? Well, it is a legal procedure which allows you to assume the parenting rights of a child who is not biologically related to you. All the duties and responsibilities of the child as well as the right to filiations are transferred to you legally from the biological parents. It is a permanent change and requires recognition from the society as well as the legal and religious institutions to prove its validity.

Adoption is not at all a new-age concept. In the primeval times also, many rulers had taken the advantage of adoption to continue their lineage, if there was no natural heir to the throne.

Who Considers Becoming Adoptive Parents?

  • Many childless couples have been blessed with the happiness of parenthood through adoption and have provided the orphaned kids a safe and secure haven to live life to the fullest under the loving care of their adopted parents.
  • In fact, there are numerous cases where couples have gone for adoption even when they were blessed with their biological children, to expand their family.
  • The same-sex couples or single parents have been increasingly showing interest in adoption to feel complete and enjoy a full-fledged family life in the company of their children.
  • A step-parent can adopt their spouse’s children from the previous marriage.

[ Read: Semi Open Adoption ]

Child Adoption Facts:

Age Limit of Adoptive Parents:

  • In the US, each state has its set of adoption rules. But the minimum average age to adopt is 18 in some states and 21 in a few others.
  • In India, the minimum age is 21 years.
  • There is no maximum age limit, as such. But parents older than 45 years may find it difficult to adopt children as young as one year.

What Is The Minimum Age For The Child For Adoption?

You can take a newborn baby who is hardly a few months old or even a teenage kid from the foster home. But in most cases, parents go for newborn babies or infants when considering adoption as it is easier for both the parents and the child to blend well and adopt each other without any psychological constraints.

What Is The Prime Reason To Adopt A Child?

In almost 90% to 95% of the cases, the underlying reason for the adoption of the child has been infertility. Childless couples seek adoption to enjoy the experience of a complete family.

The recent trend has been for the same-sex couples to adopt a child and expand their family.

Control Of The Adoption Law:

In the majority of the countries, adoption is controlled and executed by the state governments and the laws are implemented or amended by them according to the changing times and societal demands. It may vary from state to state as well as from region to region. In the US, some states have liberal adoption laws which allow the same-sex couples to adopt children and start a family. It was in 2012 that the jurisdiction of more than 20 states of the US made it legal for the same-sex couples to adopt children through legal procedures.

What Is Free Adoption?

People have the option to adopt a child from foster care, and the trend has recently gained popularity. More parents and single parents are going for adoption from foster homes to provide the child a better life and a happy upbringing. The concept of adopting from foster care is also known as free adoption. The encouragement from both government and private agencies and concrete laws in states has helped the parents to adopt children from foster homes and provide them with a stable family life.

What is An Open Adoption?

Open adoption allows the sharing of some common information between the biological and the adoptive parents and there is a scope of communication between the two. It can either be an informal agreement between the two parties on aspects such as updates about the growth and milestones of the child adopted, or a legal contract which gives the biological parents certain rights such as regular visitations, monthly updates .

[ Read: Open Adoption Vs Closed Adoption ]

Top 5 Open Adoption Facts:

1. Adoptive parents could feel jealous of biological parents as their child might love them more:

This is not the case. As the child grows, she understands how affectionate her adopted parents are. Also, as she sees more of the adopted parents than her natural ones, there is no scope for jealousy.

2. There would be no curbs on natural parents:

Natural parents cannot cross the limits set in the agreement. They cannot visit the child, and make any advancement that would go against the principles of adoption. You can always seek a legal course of action if they try to breach the terms of the contract.

3. “I might neglect the kid if I get pregnant”:

This has been witnessed only among 20% of adoption cases in the US. The rest have been having a harmonious relationship.

4. Children may move to their biological parents after they grow up:

They would not do it as the kids have been receiving your love for so long that they do not find the need to go back to their natural parents. Your place is their home.

5. Open adoption could be confusing to the child:

It is not as the child sees both the adopted and natural parents. She clearly understands the difference between the two. Also, as she is privy to the story of her adoption, the kid is lucid about her relationships.

Popularity of Open Adoption:

Nowadays, the inclination is towards open adoption as more and more people are freely adopting kids from various backgrounds with an open mind and no preconceived notions regarding the environment of the child. Open adoption brings in the trust factor between the parents and the adopted child, and the clarity of the situation helps in the proper growth and development of the child so that she can take up the responsibilities of life in a better way, without attaching any stigma of being an adopted child.

[ Read: Different Types Of Adoption ]

What Is Closed Adoption?

In a closed adoption, the identity of the child is sealed and never disclosed. Also called as a secret or confidential adoption, it is rarely practiced in the modern times. In some US states, Safe Haven Laws allow the parents to leave their newborn babies on the doorsteps of the hospitals, police station, orphanages or the fire departments anonymously.

5 Main Closed Adoption Facts:

1. Very little is known about the child’s natural parents:

Once you decide to adopt a child, it does not matter who the child’s natural parents are. Her health and upbringing will depend completely on you as you nurture her in the growing years.

2. The child could get inquisitive about her parents:

You can avoid this by revealing it to your child that you are her adoptive parents. The more you try to suppress the reality, the more inquisitive she becomes.

3. The child’s biological parents may come back to claim her:

This can never happen as long as the adoption has been done through legal procedures.

4. The kid’s background is shrouded in secrecy:

You can seek as much information as you want from the adoption agency. They would provide it as long as it is not infringing the privacy of somebody else.

5. The adopted child might leave you in search of her ‘real’ parents:

She might want to know about her natural parents, but she would not leave you, who has been her life support for all these years.

[ Read: Common Challenges Of Adoption ]

Do You Need To Know The Child’s Biological Background?

In some cases, the adoptive parents are curious about the family background of the child’s biological parents as well as their family history. The reason that they quote is to understand better the psychology of the child and the needs to be fulfilled for a proper and satisfactory upbringing. But most parents give importance to nurture than nature and the agencies also do not provide exclusive information, especially in cases where the biological parent(s) show no willingness to disclose their identities.

Public And Private Adoption:

  • In the case of public abortion, the agencies involved are run by the state. The charges for the adoption procedure are a bare minimum.
  • The private adoption agencies or institutions function by procuring a license from the state. In most cases they cost a great deal for the completion of the adoption procedure but are a little lenient on the criteria and conditions required to be fulfilled for the adoption of the child.

Do The Adopted Children Live Happily?

  • According to a survey conducted in the US in 2007, more than 88% of the adopted children above the age of six were found in good health and a satisfactory lifestyle, free of abuse and any misconduct by the parents.
  • Around 88% of the adopted children who were surveyed demonstrated positive and suitable social behavior, in class or among the peer groups, reflecting their state of happiness.
  • But it has been observed that in closed adoptions the child may suffer from some psychological issues that arise from the secrecy and lack of openness about the adoption.

[ Read: How To Avoid Adoption Scams ]

Legal Rights Of The Adopted Child:

  • An adopted child is like any other member of your family and enjoys the same benefits that any biological child entails. She is your responsibility, and you are obliged to look after all the financial, emotional and psychological needs of the child.
  • The child has equal inheritance rights to property and assets as a biological child does.

Duration For The Completion Of Adoption Procedure:

There is no particular or exact time frame that can be provided for the completion of the adoption procedure. It can take anything between a few months to even years for the adoption to take place. The results vary from case to case and heavily depend on the circumstances. The only way you can get an idea about the duration is by consulting the agency. Your attorney can also give you some valuable details.

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