Whenever the word “adoption” is used, the image that pops into most people’s minds is of a newborn infant. It’s true that there are far more people in the world who want to adopt an infant than there are infants available.
There was a 13% uptick in the number of adoptions in New South Wales in 2017. The number reversed a 25-year decline in the number of total adoptions according to the bi-annual Australian Institute of Health and Welfare study.
The majority of adoptions also defied conventional wisdom. Almost two-thirds of them were “known” adoptions. In most of these cases, foster families adopted older children.
All this is important to those looking to expand their families through adoption. For those wondering “how do you adopt a child” knowing the types of adoptions available provides a good starting point.
Adoption of a child not known to the adoptive family is called local adoptions. A local adoption severs all legal ties between the child and the birth family, usually at or near the time of birth.
All adoptions in New South Wales are also considered “open.” The law says that a child’s heritage should be respected and that where possible, even given names should be used after adoption. Whether or not communication the birth and adoptive families is kept up after birth is often decided in the adoption.
From a legal standpoint, international adoptions are always among the most complicated and time-consuming. They are also among the most costly. The adoption must adhere to the laws of the two countries which is why you will need an adoption lawyer who specializes in this area.
Family and Community Services is dedicated to finding every child a safe and stable home. Families wishing to adopt a child with a significant physical, intellectual or behavioral disability will find themselves under extra scrutiny. The casework team must determine the family’s parenting ability to meet the physical, emotional and ongoing care needs of the child often into adulthood.
Because Home Care children tend to be older and already have relationships with birth families, there aren’t anywhere near as many adoptions from Home Care as FCS would like to see. That’s why the high number from 2017 made headlines.
Regardless of the circumstance that brings about a desire to adopt a relative’s child, the adoption process is the same. Home visits and class requirements exist for relatives just as they do for everyone else.
Now that you know the types of adoption available, you can begin researching the steps necessary to complete any one of these adoptions. The road to adoption is a long one and in every case, a very complicated one.
While adoption laws in some countries are more lax than child seat belt laws, in NSW the process has been deliberately complicated. That’s why the answer to “how do you adopt a child?” always includes, find a good adoption lawyer.
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