LegalZoom explains that a stepparent may be recognized as a child's legal guardian if they are responsible for the child's basic needs and care. Legal guardianship must be obtained through a court, and it does not terminate the rights of the biological parents.
LegalZoom claims that there are varied legal guardianship requirements and rights from one state to the next. According to the National Stepfamily Resource Center, legal guardianship gives stepparents the right to make certain limited decisions about the child's welfare, including medical decisions and other emergency situations in which a regular caretaker would need legal authority to intervene in on behalf of the child.Learn More
According to the National Adoption Center, adoption includes a pre-placement and post-placement period. After placement in the home, the post-placement period typically takes at least six months before the adoption can be finalized. Adoption of a foster child who lives in the home has no specific time requirements; however, the National Adoption Center says that state agencies are required to speed up the process from foster care to adoption.Full Answer >
Persons adopted after Nov. 12, 1975 can apply for access to their original birth records through the U.K. government adoption site. Persons adopted before that date must first meet with a counselor and an approved adoption advisor, after which they can apply for access to their records.Full Answer >
Safe-haven laws protect unwanted infants from being discarded, aborted or abandoned. Each state has safe-haven legislation in place that allows a person to drop off a baby "no questions asked" at a designated location, usually a fire station, police station or hospital's emergency room.Full Answer >
Individuals and couples wanting to become the parent of a toddler through adoption have several options, including adopting through an agency. Working with an agency gives the prospective parents the option of international or domestic adoption. A third option is to adopt through the foster care program.Full Answer >