Adoption laws may differ by state, but there are certain adoption laws that each state must abide by in order to comply with the federal government.
Federal adoption laws are many in number, but here are a few of the more important ones which are incorporated by individual states in order to provide for safe and secure adoptions for all parties involved:
Adoption Assistance & Child Welfare Act
Introduced in 1980, this was a major step in federal adoption laws, as this act provided programs to help birth mothers, adoptive families, and children who need medical assistance, financial aid, and counseling.
This act was also one of the first in introduce federal legislation to prevent child abuse, and to allow state adoption laws to give out identifying information to adoptive parents and children, if the birth mother chooses to do so.
Adoption & Safe Families Act
In 1997, this act was included in federal adoption law in order to focus on making adopted child placement a permanent process.
This was done to counter the trends of adopted children bouncing from one foster home to the next, and to encourage the idea that adopted children have as much right to a loving and nurturing family as biological children.
2000 Children’s Health Act
In a major revision of federal adoption laws, which was made mandatory in adoption laws in all states, programs and financial aid must be made available to adopted children with special needs – be they medical, physical, or developmental.
Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act
This law requires that adopted children, and children placed with agencies or foster homes, are fingerprinted in order to safeguard against abuse, neglect, abduction, and other crimes that focus on adopted children as the victims.
2008 Fostering Connection to Success & Increasing Adoptions Act
This federal adoption law focuses on supporting older adopted children; improved upon existing health services for adopted children in each state; offers incentives to adoptive families to make an adoption a permanent act; as well as expanding the resources for Native American Indian resources.
In addition to this, the act requires state adoption law and services to provide educational assistance and stability so that adopted children have better opportunities in school.
The above are some of the major federal adoption laws which must be recognized by each state.
However, individual state adoption laws differ widely outside of federal legislation, so it is always wise to research our own state’s adoption laws, or consult with an adoption law attorney.
Gay Adoption Rights
One of the hottest issues regarding adoption law over the past few years has been the right for gay and lesbian adults to adopt children.
While there is no over-arching federal adoption law that allows for GLBT adoption, there are a growing number of states which provide for gay households who want to adopt.
The following states (in alphabetical order) have adoption laws that allow gay, lesbian, and overall GLBT adoption:
- District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
LGBT Adoption Laws in the United States
Keep in mind that the adoption laws in individual states are constantly being reviewed and revised, and with many states erring on the side of civil rights progress, you can expect to see even more states including gay adoption under their state adoption laws.
As always, it is best to contact your state health and child welfare offices regarding adoption law, or to consult with an adoption law attorney who specializes in civil rights.
Adoption Laws by State:
- Arizona Adoption Laws
- Arkansas Adoption Laws
- California Adoption Laws
- Colorado Adoption Laws
- Florida Adoption Laws
- Georgia Adoption Laws
- Illinois Adoption Laws
- Indiana Adoption Laws
- Kansas Adoption Laws
- Kentucky Adoption Laws
- Maryland Adoption Laws
- Massachusetts Adoption Laws
- Michigan Adoption Laws
- Missouri Adoption Laws
- New Jersey Adoption Laws
- New York Adoption Laws
- North Carolina Adoption Laws
- Ohio Adoption Laws
- Pennsylvania Adoption Laws
- Texas Adoption Law
- Utah Adoption Laws
- Virginia Adoption Laws
- Washington Adoption Laws