FYLaw Network

Adoption Overview

Adoption is a life-changing experience for all members of the adoption triad: birth parents, adopted persons and adoptive parents. Adoption is the legal transfer of parental rights to the adoptive parent(s) from the birth  parent(s) or legal custodians of a child.  Adoption provides children who need permanent homes with the opportunity to be loved, nurtured, and part of a stable family, and supports children's chances of becoming healthy, productive adults. Research shows that most children who are adopted thrive in their adoptive homes. 

Many children need the permanency that adoption offers, including:

  • Children and youth in foster care who will not be reunited with their birth parents.
  • Other infants and children whose birth parents make adoption plans for them.
  • Children in other countries who need families.

Public agencies place foster children for adoption either directly or through conracts with private agencies for placement of foster children.  Adoption in the United States is governed primarily by State law, although State law must comply with applicable Federal law.

You don't have to be special or perfect to be an adoptive parent--with training and support, even the most ordinary people can offer the love, stability, and nurturing that all children, especially those waiting for a permanent family, need.