Adoption is the process of facilitating guardianship of a child by an adult who legally acquires rights and responsibilities of a parent by doing so. The child called adoptee becomes the legal heir of the adult called adopter and this process terminates legal rights of the natural parent. There are two types of adoption. Open adoption entitles the birth mother to select the adoptive parents of her child while closed adoption takes away all her rights over the child and entitles a State Agency to select the adoptive parents. In some jurisdictions, natural parents can visit and contact after adoption in a regulated manner. Once a parent makes a consensual forfeiture of her rights, she cannot revoke it. In the 1982 Supreme Court case, , it has been decided that natural parent’s right of custody of her child is a fundamental right. There is no fundamental right to adopt as per the U.S. Constitution as held in Lindley v Sullivan, 889 F. 2nd 124 (7th Cir. 1989) .
In the cases of adoption being opposed by some biological parents, the child may be adopted only if the parental rights are involuntarily terminated. It can happen when mother relinquishes but biological father refuses to give consent, when the stepparent adopts, non-custodial inactive father objects and when the abused or neglected child is under foster care, biological parents who have not yet rehabilitated themselves may oppose to voluntarily relinquish their children for adoption. Supreme Court decision Santosky v Kramer requires “clear and convincing evidence for termination legal rights of biological parents .
The objective of American adoption law is the creation legal parent-child relationship just as what is created when a child is born. However, the procedures and standards of adoption that ensure protection and balancing of the interests of all the parties have been difficult
Different methods (styles) of adoption are: Domestic (In-country) Adoption in which there is infant adoption usually of child under one year or two years in some cases. Special Needs Adoption: In America there are approximately 114,000 special needs children currently under foster care requiring adoptive families. Intercountry (International) Adoption by which Americans have adopted orphaned children in wars in different parts of the world.
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LegalInformationInstitute. Adoption: An overview. 19 August 2010. Web . 3 Sept 2013. <http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/adoption?quicktabs_3=0#quicktabs-3>.
Moe, Barbara A. Adoption : A Reference Handbook. . Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2007. Print.
Nolan, Laurence C and Lynn D Wardie. Fundamental Principles of Family Law. 2. Buffalo, New York: Wm. S. Hein Publishing, 2006. Print.
Santosky v Kramer. No. 455 U.S. 745. U.S. Supreme Court . 1982.