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Challenges of Adopting a Foster Child Across State Lines

Challenges of Adopting a Foster Child Across State Lines

It shouldn’t be difficult to bring the love of a family into the life of a foster child, but when it comes to interstate adoptions there are challenges. In fact, in some ways it seems easier to adopt a child from a foreign country than to adopt a child from a different state in the same country.

In 2012 foster care saw 840 interstate adoptions and 8,868 international adoptions to American adoptive parents. Why are there so many children adopted from foreign countries in comparison to children crossing state lines within the United States for adoption? Many believe it is simply because there are always political leaders and representatives who fight to keep the international gates open for orphans in need of parents.

Other Challenges that Must be Faced with Interstate Adoption:

  1. Each state in the United States has its own child welfare system (sometimes referred to as Child Protective Services) with varying costs, benefits and regulations. No state can override or control those of another state.
  2. The lack of a national adoption system makes it difficult to adopt children across state lines, even while children wait for homes and families are wishing to adopt. In the United States, we have 50 different child welfare systems with 50 different processes for adoption eligibility, recruitment, training and approval.

Laws do exist that allow for interstate adoption. The major difficulty in adopting across state lines comes from bureaucracy and unintentional disincentives. They generate barriers that have been recognized by professionals for years. For instance, the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 provides a provision that penalizes any state that denies or delays child placement for adoption when there is an approved family that is available to adopt outside of the jurisdiction.

If you are interested in utilizing interstate adoption law to provide a home for a child, contact an experienced family law attorney. At Arizona Family Law Attorneys we know how to rise to the challenges of adopting a foster child across state lines.
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