Adoption is a lifelong decision that makes a significant impact on the adoptive parents as well as the adopted child’s lives. Protecting the child and keeping the child’s best interest in mind during any adoption process is crucial. The American government has made laws that protect the child first and foremost during an adoption.
Not everyone is deemed fit for adoption, which is why people are supposed to go through several screenings and provide medical, financial, and criminal records to ensure their eligibility and that they can provide the best environment for the child. Speak to a Houston Child Adoption Attorney today to learn more about child adoption laws.
Child Adoption Laws
- Safe Haven Law
Safe Haven law enables the biological mother to legally give up her newborn baby to an authorized caregiver in an assigned location. Safe Haven law was made to decrease the number of newborn babies’ deaths and traumas due to unsafe abandonment.
Once the birth mother legally gives up her baby, the baby is then placed for adoption. Safe Haven laws control things like the age that qualifies a newborn as a newborn, the assigned locations for the newborns, etc.
- Putative Father Registry Law
Putative father registry law controls the limit of an uninvolved biological father’s authority in a birthmother’s decision to put up her baby for adoption. Putative means assumed or supposed.
A supposed father will have to prove he is the biological father and that he has the child and birth mother’s best interests at heart to be allowed authority over the adoption decision.
- Adoption and Safe Families Law
Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) is a law that was passed in 1997. It sets requirements and time frames for states to move children into adoption from foster care when appropriate promptly.
- The Multi-Ethnic Placement Law
The MEPA (Multi-Ethnic Placement Act) is a federal law that forbids a federally assisted agency from refusing a person the opportunity to adopt or foster a child solely based on race, color, or nationality.
- The Indian Child Welfare Law
The ICWA is a federal law that decides which Native American children can be adopted. ICWA requires the involvement of tribes in every adoption process of children with Native American heritage.
The Indian Child Welfare Act was passed in 1978. It protects the authority of tribes for matters of relinquishment and adoption. This means the appropriate tribe will be given notice to decide if a child qualifies for tribal membership. If a child qualifies and the tribe votes to intervene, the adoption cannot be processed without the tribe’s consent.