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Challenges inherent in adopting children between states

People in Houston may be involved in adoptions for different reasons. For some, adopting a child is the only way to realize the dream of parenthood. For others, legally adopting a relative can protect a child who may have no other means of achieving a home. Still others participate in a planned adoption when unable to raise or care for a child of their own. No matter the reason, there are many choices for both biological and adoptive parents to make through the process.

One decision that people must make is whether to adopt a child domestically or internationally. A recent media article highlighted some of the challenges inherent in domestic interstate adoptions. Despite the Hague Convention’s rulings and resulting international adoption rate drop, it remains easier and more possible to adopt a child from another country than from a different state within this country. The article’s author indicates that this should not be the case.

Statistics from 2012 indicate that more than 8,800 children from other nations were adopted by American families. In that same year, only 840 adoptions between U.S. states took place. The article suggested a few reasons for this discrepancy, one being the challenge of navigating 50 unique state child welfare systems. Additionally, many people seek to adopt younger children and the average foster child is roughly 8 years old. The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 allows for states to be penalized if they stand in the way of an interstate adoption yet no state has ever been penalized.

Adoption issues can be complex and may even include logistical and legal challenges found within a single nation. Working with an attorney who has good experience with adoptions is one thing that people may consider as a way to help make the process easier.

Source: The Washington Post “Why is it easier to adopt a child from overseas than from another state?,” Jeff Katz, April 27, 2014

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