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Ways to adopt a child: Types of adoption

The prospect of adoption is exciting for many Georgia couples who are looking to have a child of their own or complete their existing family. There are several ways to adopt a child, however, so the process can be complex. Read on to learn about the various types of adoption and why it's important to understand the legal issues involved.

Many couples adopt through public or private agencies. Public agencies usually take in children who have been abused or orphaned, while private ones tend to cater to parents who voluntarily bring in their children for adoption. Sometimes couples will find a mother who wants to give up her child and then have an agency complete the rest of the process. This frequently allows adoptive parents to choose their child without having to deal with a waiting list.

International adoption is common, but can be very complicated since state and international laws apply. It is also risky at times, since some adoptions through foreign countries turn out to be scams. Agencies must meet certain requirements and prospective parents must obtain the appropriate visa.

Adoption does not always have to occur through an agency. In some cases, relatives - such as aunts, uncles and grandparents - adopt children in their families when the birth parents die, become incarcerated or are otherwise unable to care for the children. In addition, there is also stepparent adoption, which is when a person adopts the child of his or her spouse. These types of adoptions can be relatively easy if the birth parent or parents agree to the adoption.

Adoptive parents should ensure their legal rights are protected during the adoption process. State laws must be followed as well as international laws if adopting from a foreign country. While some types of adoption may not technically require a lawyer, adoptive parents tend to benefit greatly from legal assistance during this important time in their lives.

Source: FindLaw, "The different types of adoption," accessed July 10, 2015

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