Personal Relationships & the Law

PREGNANCY AND HAVING CHILDREN: Lesson 3

We Are Just Not Ready for a Baby: The Adoption Process Overview

  • Step One: Understand your rights – and responsibilities – as a parent:
    • You have the right to raise your child as you see fit.
    • You have the responsibility to ensure a child is well cared for in a safe home with sufficient food, clothing, and emotional support: It takes time, money, maturity, dedication, stamina.
    • If you know you are not ready to be a parent, you have the right to consider placing your baby for adoption.
  • Step Two: Consider different kinds of adoption:
    • Guardianship: court awards temporary custody to a family member or other agreed party. This arrangement is awarded by the court, and terminated by the court when the guardianship is no longer needed. The child can go back to the parents, or the guardian can adopt the child.
    • Kinship adoption: this is a permanent adoption that keeps your child in the family. Instead of being adopted by strangers, your child is adopted by a close relative.
    • Open adoptions: Also a form of permanent adoption, it allows birth parents to interact with the child and adoptive family. The family adopting the child must agree to this for it to happen.
    • Traditional or closed adoption: birth parents have little to no input or contact with the adopting family, and the records are sealed. This allows everyone to move on.
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