Adoption is the act in which an adult chooses formally become the guardian of a child – whereby also gets all the parental rights and responsibilities. After the formalities are concluded, a legal relationship is formed between the guardian and his ward. This way, the adoptee becomes the legal heir and all legal rights of the natural parents are terminated.
There are two types of adoption – open and closed.
The biological and natural parent has the fundamental right to custody of their child(ren) under US Law. Most adoptions are governed by state law, though the US Congress has some influence over adoption programs run by different states.
Prospective adoptive parents can choose between an agency or use independent means/methods to adopt a child. Public and private agencies exist to help facilitate and expedite adoptions. Public agencies work towards placing children in foster or adoptive homes. These agencies often use stringent guidelines to determine if people are suitable before placing children in their homes. Both public and private agencies can only place children when the biological parents have given up their rights.
In the case of independent adoption, the biological parents actively take the responsibility of finding suitable families.
Under the US Constituion, an individual or couple doesn’t have the right fundamentally to adopt. This aspect is determined by states and governed by statues formulated based on the Uniform Adoption Act.
In some states, single or unmarried individuals are disqualified from adoption. Adoption standards are pretty stringent in many states – people with a criminal history or unstable employement histories don’t qualify.
People interested in adopting will have to qualify and are subjected to a thorough background check with social and financial history, mental and moral fitness etc. being screened. Agencies then make a remcommendation to the court, with these factors in mind. The court then makes its decision with the welfare and best interests of the child in mind. The process is made deliberately difficult, to make sure that a child gets all the emotional and financial support necessary to live a good, fulfilled life.