Adopting a Child? Here are the Legal Obstacles You Will Face

children in adoption

Adopting a child is an exhilarating and heartwarming experience. It can be difficult to navigate the legal process, but it is well worth it when everything goes through. There are many reasons why people choose to adopt, such as wanting to provide a home for a child who needs one or simply wanting to start a family.

In fact, there are about 135,000 children adopted in the United States every year. Approximately 117,000 foster kids are waiting to be adopted out of the 400,000 in care. This only proves that a lot of kids need a good home.

But before you start the adoption process, you should be aware of the legal obstacles that may come your way. Here are some things you need to know about the legal obstacles to adoption.

Parental Rights

The first thing you need to know is that the biological parents still have rights to their child. This means they can choose whether or not they want to give up their parental rights. The adoption process cannot move forward if they do not want to give up their parental rights.

It is important to understand that the biological parents are not being asked to completely forget about their child. They are simply being asked to give up their legal rights as a parent. This means that they will no longer have any say in what happens to their child.

The biological parents may also be asked to sign a voluntary placement agreement. This is an agreement that states that they are willingly placing their child up for adoption. The adoption process can continue if the biological parents do not want to sign a voluntary placement agreement. However, it will be more complex and may take longer.


Another legal obstacle in the adoption process is consent. All parties involved in the adoption must consent before it can be finalized. This includes the biological parents, the adoptive parents, and the child.

If the child is over 18, they must also give their consent. If the child is under 18, their consent is not required but is still recommended. The consent forms can be a bit confusing and hard to understand. It is crucial to have a trustworthy family law lawyer look over them before you sign anything.

Your lawyer can also help you with the consent forms if you are the biological parent. They can explain what you are consenting to and help you understand the implications of your decision. If you’re the adoptive parent, your lawyer will assist you with the application and might make the process simpler and faster for you.

A father is hugging his son tightly.

The Legal Issue of Putative Fathers

If the child’s father is not listed on the birth certificate, he is known as the putative father. The putative father has no legal rights to the child and cannot stop the adoption from happening.

However, the putative father can claim paternity of the child at any time before or after the child is born. If he claims paternity, he will have the same legal rights as the child’s father. This includes the right to be notified of the adoption and the right to object to the adoption. It is important to note that the putative father only has these rights if he can prove that he is the child’s father.

Reclamation Period

Once the adoption is finalized, the biological parents have six months, known as the reclamation period. During this time, the birth parents can change their minds about the adoption and reclaim their child. If the biological parents do not reclaim their child during the reclamation period, they will lose all legal rights to the child.
Losing all the rights to the child means that the biological parents will not be able to object to any decisions made about the child. They will also be unable to contact the child or get any information about them. The reclamation period can be difficult for both the adoptive and biological parents. Having a lawyer who can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process is essential.

Home Study

Home study is one of the final legal obstacles in the adoption process. This is an evaluation of the adoptive family’s home life. A social worker will come to your home and interview you, your family, and any other adults living there. They will also examine your financial situation and ensure you have enough resources to care for a child.

The social worker will then write a report about their findings which will be used by the court to determine if the adoption should be allowed to proceed. The home study can be a long and intrusive process, but it is an essential step in the adoption process. It helps to ensure that the child will be placed in a safe and loving home. This usually takes between two and six months to complete.

To conclude

Adopting a child is never easy, but if this is what you genuinely want, all the patience and hard work will pay off. Many legal obstacles need to be overcome before an adoption can be finalized. You need to be prepared for these obstacles and seek a lawyer’s help if you have any questions. The most important thing is to ensure that the adoption is in the child’s best interests and that you’re ready to receive a new family member into your home.

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