Child Adoption Rights and Laws
These resources will help you learn about the rights of the birth mother, birth father, the birth mother's husband if she is married to someone other than the birth father, you as the adopting family, and the state and the federal governments.
Once a child has been placed into your physical custody you have all the responsibilities like any parent but you have almost none of the rights of a parent. Please review the information in this section.
The parental rights of the birth mother, birth father and the birth mother's husband if she is married to someone other than the birth father, all need to be ended before you can adopt the child. Each U.S. state and territory has a statute providing for the ending (called termination, relinquishment, or surrender) of parental rights. In some states, the rights of the maternal and paternal grandparents also must be taken into account.
This child adoption laws link provides information about more than just state adoption laws. It will give you information about the Interstate Compact Act, the Indian child Welfare Act, the requirements of the Hague Convention and much more.
The link State Adoption Laws will allow you to check out your rights under the laws of your state of residence and under the laws of the state in which the parental rights of the birth mother and birth father are ended.
An adoption disruption, where a child has been placed with you and then taken back, is a horrible emotional experience for anyone adopting. But disruptions can and do occur, so it is best to be knowledgeable about them.
You have the right to your own attorney regardless of who you work with on an adoption. If you have decided to work with a licensed adoption agency, the agency's attorney can help. If you are proceeding with a private adoption, then you should always obtain your own attorney. Please remember that when it comes to laws and legal rights, there is no substitute for an experienced adoption attorney or licensed adoption agency.