Adoption is a process that creates a legal parent-child relationship. It is usually a happy event for the child and adoptive parents. There are a variety of scenarios in which adoption can occur.
Sometimes a new parent does not feel prepared to care for a child and will voluntarily give their child up for adoption in the hopes of giving the child a better life. An adoption agency will usually act as an intermediary in these cases. There are a number of statutory protections for the biological parents, including a requirement to attend counseling before relinquishing their parental rights.
In other circumstances, foster parents or family members may wish to adopt a child they have been caring for after the death of the child’s biological parents or a court termination of their rights. There is often financial assistance available to assist with the cost of the adoption in these situations.
Additionally, a stepparent may wish to adopt a stepchild. This usually occurs when the other biological parent has abandoned the child, or wishes to give up his or her parental rights.