Adoption Law Overview
The manner in which consent is to be provided pursuant to state law varies among the different states. Some require birth parents, or the agency or person with authority to give consent, to appear before a judge, for example. Other states require written consent statements that are notarized and witnessed. The waiting time before a consent is legally binding also varies from state to state.
It is important for all parties to understand the requirements for a consent to adoption because in all but the most extreme cases of duress or fraud, the consents are irrevocable in order to promote secure placements for the children being adopted.
Who may be a party to an adoption: Most states allow single and married adults to adopt children. However, the states define adult differently (typically, between the ages of 18-25) and may require additional things such as a minimum age difference between the adopting adult and the adoptive child. Approximately half of the states also allow for the adoption of adults. The adoption of adults is limited to step-children or mentally disabled adults in some states.
State laws may also protect the rights of unwed fathers and regulate the amount that may be charged for an adoption in that jurisdiction.
The federal laws permit interstate adoption and provide financial incentives, such as tax credits, for adoptive parents to help offset the costs of adoption.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
Additional Adoption Articles
- Adoption Law
- Open or Closed Adoption: Which is Right for You?
- In what situations can an adult be adopted?
- What are the differences between adult adoptions and minor child adoptions?
- What Is Adoption?
- What Is The Process Of Adoption? How Is It Started?
- Can prospective adopters seek legal compensation for a default adoption?
- What Happens During The Adoption Probationary Period?
- Do Prospective Adopters Need An Attorney?