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Understanding the Adoption Process: Know the Players

Understanding the Adoption Process: Know the Players

When considering adoption, it’s important to understand who is involved. Who are the key players in any adoption? What are the rights of those involved in an adoption?

There are three main players – they’re a power playing trio: birth parents, the child and the adoptive parents.

Professionals assisting in the adoption are held to an ethical standard in order to ensure that the rights of each of the three players are protected throughout the entire process. But what are the rights of the three main players? Here is a short summary for each.

Birth Parents have the right not to be coerced into giving their child up for adoption. They have the right to consult with an independent attorney of their own choice. They have a right to be informed of the legal consequences of voluntary surrender or involuntary termination of parental rights to a child. They have the right to certain services once the child is placed for adoption, such as counseling. They have the right to information about current adoption issues, laws and practices.

Adoptive Parents have rights to certain disclosures: information about the child and birth family, family medical history and list of medications taken by the birth mother during pregnancy, etc. Adoptive parents also have the right under federal law to take unpaid leave from work after the adoption (Family and Medical Leave Act). According to the Act, the adoptive parents can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in order to assist the adopted child in adjusting to their new home.

The Adopted Child has the same legal rights in their adopted family as a biological child of the family. They also have the right to a safe home with parents who care for them and provide for them.

Some adopted children will later wish to discover and contact their “birth parents.” The ability to do so will depend upon the type of adoption, agreements put in place regarding openness at the time of the adoption and state law. A combination of factors can leave some adopted children seeking birth parents to find them with little hassle, but others fighting against impossible odds to get even the smallest bit of information.

If you have questions about the adoption or if you need help determining your rights in the adoption process, please get in touch with the Arizona adoption lawyers at Arizona Family Law Attorneys. We can help you with your concerns and assist you with your adoption.

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