If you are considering adoption, the most important first step you should take in your research is to determine the type of adoption that’s best for you and, if you’re married, your spouse.
General eligibility to adopt
Oregon adoption law allows any resident of 6 months (adult, single or married) to adopt any person. However, married spouses who are not legally separated must jointly adopt. Also, those who are over the age of 14 must consent to being adopted.
Further requirement specifics may vary depending on which type of adoption you choose to pursue.
Inter country (international) adoption
Inter country adoption can oftentimes be faster, less expensive and easier to ensure. These types of adoptions are generally conducted between an individual (or couple) and a foreign court. The adoption laws, costs and requirements vary depending on the country you will be working with.
For example, an attorney you work with must be accredited by the U.S. government if the child is from a convention country. However, if the child’s native country is not associated with the Hague Convention, the rules of the Hague will not apply.
Foster care adoption
Adopting a child from a foster care system is possible when a child cannot be safely returned home to his or her parent(s). Typically, if there are relatives or adults who have a close relationship with the foster child, these candidates are primarily considered for the adoption of the child.
These types of adoptions may or may not require consent from the natural parents, depending on the circumstance. The parents may also maintain the right to notice the petition to adopt and challenge it.
Private infant adoption
Private infant adoption agencies that are licensed by Oregon can help you set up the adoption process for an infant. These adoptions offer an infant the opportunity to grow with parents who may be better able to meet his or her needs.
It’s important to note that in some circumstances, an agreement can be made to allow the birth relatives to have continued contact with the child or adoptive parents. There are also circumstances that may warrant revocation of consent by the natural parents.
A child who is not in the custody of the Department of Human Services (DHS) may be eligible for adoption. These types of adoptions are usually made for stepchildren, relatives, friends or neighbors.
If you are considering adoption, call an experienced family law attorney to learn more about your options. Each type of adoption may present a different set of legal complexities that a lawyer can help you be prepared to address.