Types of Adoption Tips

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How can legal guardianship be used in place of adoption?

The Guardianship Alternative

Children whose parents are unwilling or unable to raise them deserve safe homes where they can receive love and care without sacrificing their identities. Legal guardianship allows both extended family members and compassionate strangers to take custody of a child in need. Unlike adoption, guardianship has no provisions for altering the child's original name or birth certificate; caregivers are not the legal equivalent of parents, though they are able to make decisions on the child's behalf. Guardians can be required to maintain contact between the child and his or her natural family whenever possible, and the arrangement can be re-evaluated if those involved feel that it no longer suits the child's best interests. The legal process for guardianship is much less expensive than adoption.


Foster Child Adoption: An Alternative To Costly Private Adoptions

According to the Child Welfare League of America, there are over 126,000 children in foster care who are legally available for adoption in the U.S. Adopting from foster care is a great alternative to traditional private adoption, which typically costs an average of $20,000 or more. There are many families who want to adopt, but find the cost of private adoption, whether domestic or international, to be out of reach financially. By adopting from the foster care system, adoption once again becomes a viable option for the average family.

A drawback to foster child adoption is that most of the children available are older children, above age 7, and most have had parental rights terminated due to abuse or neglect; therefore, there is the potential of physical, emotional, or behavioral problems resulting from past maltreatment. However, most public adoption agencies will provide services and support beyond the adoption finalization, and the children often qualify for medical and mental health subsidies from the state.

If you are interested in adopting from foster care contact your local social services agency for further information.

What is an open adoption?

What Is An Open Adoption?

An open adoption means there is some level of communication between the birth parents and the adoptive parents in an adoption, whether it is directly or indirectly. Openness is an increasingly popular practice among the adoption community. Medical data, social history, and other possible information can help the adoptive family, the adopted child in particular, cope with and understand more about the reasons for adoption and the birth parents in general.

Birth parents can feel greater confidence in their decision to plan adoption when they know who will be caring for their child. There are varying degrees of openness in adoption. In most cases, the birth parent will choose the adoptive family and disclose medical and social history. The birth parents and the adoptive parents may choose to have pictures sent back and forth through the use of the adoption agency. In other cases the birth parents and the adoptive parents may meet face-to-face and the birth parents may stay involved throughout the child's life. The level of openness is different for each situation depending upon what both the birth parents and the adoptive parents are comfortable with.

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Byron White