Are you considering adoption? When you want to adopt a child, conversations may seem centered on this topic as it takes over your life and your thoughts. Your excitement about bringing a child into your home may leave you full of excitement and anticipation – and maybe even a little frustration. The adoption process is not always easy on families, and our family law practice in Orlando understand the toll that can take. These are a few of the most common questions that can help you better understand the process of adoption.
Adoption laws vary from state-to-state, so you will need to consult your state laws to see if you are eligible for adoption. Typically, any single adult or married couple can adopt, but the circumstances may vary depending on the situation. The most popular type of adoption is when the stepparent adopts the children of their spouse, which can occur often in certain circumstances. However, international adoption cases will likely have more specifications.
Most states do not have age restrictions on those eligible to adopt. However, in seven states, anyone older than age 18 is able to adopt. Three states require parents to be at least 21 years old, and at least two states require parents to be 25 years or older. In some states, some minors are even able to adopt in special circumstances.
While most states do not have a residency requirement, some states require you to live in that particular state for a certain number of years before adopting. These residency requirements vary by state, and they are often between three months to a year of residency. For international adoptions, you and your spouse must be US citizens to qualify for adoption.
No. Typically, any unmarried adult or married couple can adopt. If you are married, the process can actually be more difficult for you, as both you and your spouse need to meet the qualifications to adopt. Some states also permit a single person to adopt if they are separated from their spouse. However, if you are separated from your spouse and wish to have an international adoption, both you and your spouse will need to jointly file for the adoption. Same-sex couples are also able to adopt, as US law does not prohibit this both domestically or internationally.
By understanding what it takes to adopt a child, you can prepare yourself for the long and sometime challenging adoption process. If you are looking to adopt a child and need the help of a family law practice in Orlando, trust our team of experienced attorneys to help.