So, You’re Considering Adoption? We Can Help You Through the Process
For November, we’re blogging about common adoption considerations, since it’s National Adoption Month. Like we say on our website, adoption is one of the greatest gifts a family can give to children. At Summers & Associates, we serve adopting parents throughout West Virginia and Ohio. Though we’d never discourage anyone from pursuing adoption, its important prospective parents understand everything worth considering before adopting. When contemplating this option as a means to expand one’s family, adoption is possible in several ways.
Do You Want Private Adoption or Would You Consider Foster Children?
The question really is do you want to pursue private adoption, or adopt children via the foster care system? Private adoption involves biological parents voluntarily placing a child or children up for adoption. Foster care adoption is when the adoption of children takes place because the state terminates their biological parents’ rights. Private adoption finalizes within one to 12 months, while foster care adoption can take longer, depending on the case. In many scenarios, foster care adoptions involve children with trauma or special needs, while private adoptions generally involve newborn infants.
Open Adoption Versus Closed Adoption: Which One Do You Want to Do?
Once you decide to finalize a child’s or children’s adoption, even foster children, you’ll want to decide between open adoption and closed adoption. Open adoption means the biological and adopting parents maintain communication about adopted children, sometimes with the children. With open adoption, records aren’t public, but authorized parties can access them. The court seals closed adoptions records, however. With a closed adoption, biological parents can’t communicate with adopting parents or adoptive children. Currently, 16 states only allow closed adoptions while five states allow unrestricted access to adoption records.
Adoption Considerations Specific to W.V. and Ohio
The court in Ohio doesn’t enforce open adoption agreements and all adoptions in West Virginia are closed adoptions. West Virginia requires biological parents to wait at least 72 hours after their child’s birth before signing adoption consent papers. If children in West Virginia are 12+ years old, adopting parents also need the children’s consent to finalize the adoption. Both West Virginia consent rules are also true in Ohio.
To obtain legal services or a consultation about adoption, call Summers & Associates at (304) 420-0975. Follow us on Facebook for updates. We are happy to discuss other common adoption considerations.