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Can I Pick Who Adopts My Child?

Basics of Adoption and Same-Sex Couples
Can I Pick Who Adopts My Child?

With Utah Adoptions, one of the first steps in the adoption process is for adoptive parents to fill out an Adoption Planning Questionnaire, or APQ. This is a simple set of questions that helps the agency and adoptive parents determine which adoption situations fit best with their family. Answers to these questions will cover topics such as budget, contact arrangements with birth parents, medical history and race.

Once a family has completed this questionnaire, their adoption profile will be shown to pregnant mothers who are a good fit for their preferences. Ultimately, it is up to a potential birth mother to choose the adoptive family that’s best for her baby. So, while you do not get to “choose” the child you adopt, you will get to choose many of the characteristics you are comfortable with your future child having. When considering your answers to these questions, it’s important to keep in mind that the more open you are to a variety of situations, the more prospective birth mothers your profile can be shown to, and the more likely you are to be chosen for an adoption quickly. Consider the issues that matter the most to your family in comparison to the time you are willing to wait for a child; each restriction on the APQ will add time to the process of adopting.

What Families Can Control

The APQ allows adoptive parents to specify their desires and comfort level with the following issues:
• Desired race: It’s important that adoptive parents are confident in their ability to address their child’s potential cultural differences in a healthy way.
• Prospective birth parent medical history and substance usage: Nobody has a spotless medical history, so take a look at your own and remain realistic in your decisions.
• Contact arrangement with prospective birth parents: Closed adoptions are becoming more and more rare, and American Adoptions has certain openness requirements for all of our adoptive families. However, adoptive families can decide whether they are open to additional contact with prospective birth parents beyond our minimum requirements.
• Adoption budget: Each adoption budget covers the fixed costs of case management and variable expenses such as living, medical, and legal fees.

What Families Can’t Control

At a certain point, the specifics of an adoption are beyond the adoptive family’s control. Utah Adoption’s APQ doesn’t guarantee a family’s specific desires for the following:
• Gender: It is much more difficult to find potential birth mothers if an adoptive parent is only interested in babies of a certain gender.
• Genetic traits: You cannot control your own genetics, just as you can’t control those of an adopted child. Instead, an adopted child will be their own unique blend of inherited and acquired traits.
• When you’re placed with a child: Many factors contribute to the amount of time a family waits to be placed with a child, and the birth mother may change her mind for a number of reasons.
• Emotions of expectant parents: While adoptive families may be going through their own emotional struggle, it’s important that they remain supportive of the feelings of expectant parents.

Finding a Prospective Birth Mother

For adoptive parents, the process is really more about finding the right prospective birth mother than the “perfect” child to adopt. Finding a potential birth mother that matches your needs is the most important step in the adoption process; everything else will be a result of that decision. With Utah Adoptions, families can better their chances at finding the right adoption opportunity for their needs through written and video profiles, screening and counseling, advertising and marketing services, and open adoption education and support.

Legal Rights And Responsibilities Of Adoptive Parents

When parents decide to adopt a child, they enter into certain commitments connected to that kid, as well as acquire certain rights once the adoption process is wrapped up. The parent has the responsibility to look after and also provide for the child, just as with children born of the marital relationship. In addition, the parent has a right to make crucial choices related to the adopted children, including choices regarding his or her education, religious beliefs, extracurricular activities as well as various other elements of his/her life. In some scenarios, both parents adopt a child that is not biologically related to either of them. In other instances, a step-parent adopts the kid of the other parent. The court might consider the biological link and for how long the step-parent has been a legal parent to the child as part of the factor to consider, however this info may not be definitive in the child custody determination.

Legal Rights And Responsibilities After Divorce

The rights and responsibilities taken after adoption remain in force after divorce. Adoptive parents may get joint custody, or one of them might be given primary custody. Some states compare lawful custodianship, which is the capability making decisions relating to the youngster, and also physical custody. Very often, both parents keep complete lawful guardianship, yet one might get a higher amount of physical custody.

Divorce During Adoption

In numerous adoption cases, the adoptive mother is not in a stable relationship and needs for her youngster to stay in a two-parent household. Her consent could be predicated on this circumstance. If the adoptive parents separate or are experiencing a divorce before the adoption has actually been finalized, the birth parents could opt to quit the procedure before it is legislated. Additionally, the court taking care of the adoption can consider how the divorce would certainly impact the kid. In these situations, the court could decide that the adoption could continue if the birth parents still consent, one parent may proceed with the adoption, or the adoption could be denied.

Intent To Divorce

One more prospective way that the adoption can be affected is if the moms and dads were currently preparing for divorce when they commenced or were in the middle of the adoption process. A biological mother may claim that the adoptive parents committed fraud or misstated that the child would be elevated in a two-parent household when they recognized this would not be the case. If the court finds fraud did happen, the adoption could be found to be null and void, and the biological parent may recover his/her adult legal rights.

Reasons Why You Should Consider Adopting a Child

Whether you are looking to start a family through adoption or you are looking to add to your existing family, the best adoptions are those where prospective adoptive parents are able to move beyond their personal desires and have the interests of the adopted child in mind. Below are five solid reasons to consider adopting a child. If you find these motivations align with your heart and your mind, you are probably ready for adoption. The best adoptions are those where prospective adoptive parents are able to move beyond their personal desires and have the interests of the adopted child in mind.

Giving a Child a Family

If you want to provide a child with a loving home and family, you probably have the right motivations for adopting a child, especially if your primary goal is to make your home a loving place. The best homes for adoptive children include families that are not only accepting but also want to exchange family traditions, share their faith, and make memories. It also means accepting children for who they are—even their faults, and understanding that they have a history and a heritage that needs to be respected and embraced.

Helping a Child Move on in Life

As adoptive parents, if you have an interest in helping a child heal from past grief and pain, whether this comes from abuse, neglect, being abandoned, or orphaned, then you have the right motivations for adopting a child. The best adoptive families want to help the child start a new life. They also know that there will be ups and downs with adoptive parenting and are prepared for these challenges.

Providing for a Child in Every Way

Being ready for adoption is about more than wanting to share your home with a child, it also means having the physical space for the adopted child. You also need to be financially secure in order to be able to adopt a child comfortably. After all, you will need to be able to provide for the child’s physical needs like food, clothing, school expenses, and medical care. But most importantly, you need to have the time and the emotional energy for a new family member.

Agreeing to the Adoption

If everyone in the family agrees that adding a child to the home through adoption is the right thing to do, then you are probably ready for adoption. But, if even one person is not on board, you need to take time and reconsider whether this is right for your family. You never want an adopted child to enter an environment that is not completely welcoming. Your motivation to adopt needs to be shared by everyone, including your other children. If not all the children in the home are excited about adopting, you may want to wait. Going through with an adoption when children in the home are not on board with the plan is never a good idea.

Knowing a Child in Need of a Family

When you are aware of a child who needs an adoptive home, this may motivate you to consider adoption. The child may be a family friend, a relative, or a child you met at church or within the neighborhood—whatever the reason, your family as a whole feels that you should step forward and provide a home for this child. Again, everyone in the existing family unit needs to be on board with the adoption before this step is taken. But, meeting an existing need is an excellent motivation for considering adoption.

Signs You Are Ready for Adoption

Adopting a child is a huge commitment and you may still be wondering if you are ready to take the next step. While many adoption professionals can offer advice and suggestions, ultimately the decision comes down to you. Some signs that you may be ready to start the adoption process include the following:

You’re Informed About the Adoption Process

Adopting a child is not easy. There are a number of steps that must be taken in order for the adoption to be successful for everyone involved. As a result, you need to be sure you know exactly what is involved before beginning any type of adoption procedures. If you have talked to professionals and done your homework on what your rights are, then that is a clear sign that you may be ready to begin the process. If you have no idea what is involved in adopting a child, then you are probably not quite ready for all it entails.

You’ve Come to Terms With Infertility

Not everyone who chooses adoption had this process as part of their original plans. If you have struggled with infertility, it is crucial that you have not only accepted your infertility, but that you also have healed from the emotional heartache involved. If you still have dreams of having a biological child, you may want to delay adopting. Adopted children allow you the opportunity to create a family by providing a home for a child in need, but they should not be used to mend your broken heart.

You Have Set Adoption Goals

If you are truly prepared for adoption, you probably have already set some adoption goals. For instance, you know whether you want to pursue a foster care adoption, an infant adoption, an international adoption, or another kind of adoption. Asking yourself questions about the race and age of the child you want to adopt, are also signs that you are ready for adoption. Considering all possible scenarios is an important part of the adoption readiness process.

Reasons to Be a Foster Parent

You’re Prepared for the Process

The adoption process can be long, complicated, expensive, and emotionally challenging. If you have prepared for the challenges as well as the expenses, you are probably ready for the adoption process. You also should have a good support system in place in case things do not go exactly as planned. For instance, if you are not going through the foster care system and are instead working with a foreign entity or a local birth mother, there can be a lot of unexpected challenges along the way. If you have truly prepared for the possible scenarios, you are probably ready to begin the process.

You’re Committed to Adoptive Parenting

Becoming parents through adoption takes a strong commitment from the very beginning. As a result, one of the biggest indicators that you are ready for this challenge is that the possible issues and problems do not deter you. You are excited and determined to see this process through to the end, no matter what it takes.

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It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
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About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.