For a lawyer practicing family law, most cases involve negotiating the best ways to dissolve a marriage, divide property and split responsibility for raising children. Adoption is very different because it involves adding to a family. When all goes well, adoption leads to very happy results. Unfortunately, adopting a child is often an expensive and complicated process, with a lot of frustration and setbacks along the way.
For prospective North Dakota parents who would like to expand their family by adopting a child, it is a worthwhile and positive endeavor. There are many children who are looking for a home and adoption provides mutual benefit for adoptive parent and adopted child. However, it is important to understand that the law is vigilant about protecting children and has certain requirements before a person can adopt.
Being a parent is a difficult job, but parents provide much needed stability and security to their children. Children need this permanence even more as their parents go through a divorce and in the years after it, as they watch their parents move on from one another and engage in new romantic relationships. One way stepparents can help ease the transition for their significant other's previous children is by adopting them.
Adoption has benefited many North Dakota parents and children by placing the children in a loving family environment and providing parents with a child to shower with love. The process of adoption, however, can be lengthy, and at times, frustrating or, occasionally, disappointing. Anyone thinking of adopting a child in North Dakota should understand the process.
The North Dakota Heart Gallery was promoting National Adoption Day on November 18. The NDHG is a non-profit, privately-funded organization that encourages the adoption of children throughout North Dakota. The organization travels to events and exhibitions across the state and features professional photographs of children in need of adoptive parents on its website.
A previous blog post discussed additional forms of post-adoption support for North Dakota residents who adopt special needs children. In addition to the North Dakota state-funded adoption assistance program and the federal adoption assistance program (Title IV-E), families may also qualify for other benefits including Medicaid, public mental health services, residential treatment costs and nonrecurring fees such as court costs.
A previous blog post discussed adoption assistance and eligibility for North Carolina residents who adopt special needs children. In addition to the adoption subsidy, there are other forms of post-adoption support for which North Carolina residents may be eligible.
According to recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. Many of these children have special needs and therefore may have a more difficult time getting adopted. To aid in the adoption of these children, federal and state adoption assistance programs are available which provide adoptive parents with various forms of support for children with special needs.
The Human Rights Campaign has designated June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender and Queer Pride Month. The recent increase of gay and lesbian biological parents has, in part, led to more open consideration of gay and lesbian men and women as adoptive parents. The laws in most states - like North Dakota- do not explicitly prohibit gay and lesbian adoption, however, some courts have expressed concerns about the welfare of children raised in lesbian or gay households.