Children’s Rights in the Adoption Process
When discussing the rights involved with the adoption process, most individuals look at the rights given to the birth parents and adoptive parents yet may neglect to concern themselves with the rights of the children being adopted. Since many children being adopted are minors, their legal rights may be limited due to their age. However, there are certain legal as well as non-legal rights which adoptive children are afforded in their situation.
Right to Be Placed in a Safe, Secure Environment
Children who are up for adoption have the right to be placed in a safe, secure environment as a result of the adoption. They have the right to go to a new home and new parents who will care for them and love them as if they were related by blood. This is an inherent right which all children should have on their side.
Right to Have Their Wishes Considered Regarding Adoption
Although children do not have to consent to the adoption, they often have the right to have their wishes considered by the judge who is ruling on an adoption. Since the best interest of the child is a major determining factor in adoption cases, it is important that the judge considers the wishes of the child prior to making a decision whether or not to award the adoption decree. A child who is hopeful with regard to adoption or, in the alternative, fearful of such must have their wishes considered.
Right to Be Placed in a Suitable Environment
Along the same lines as right to be placed in a secure environment, adopted children should also have the right to be placed in a suitable environment. For example, if a child has special needs which the prospective adoptive parents may not be able to meet, it is important that this factor is considered prior to allowing the adoption to go through. The new home environment must be suitable as adoptive children have a right to such a home.
Rights of the Child Post-Adoption
Once the adoption has gone through, the adopted child will have the same legal rights as if they were biological children of the adoptive parents. This is important for many reasons such as providing the parents with decision-making power for the child as well as estate issues down the road when the adoptive parents pass away. Once the child becomes a member of the family they are considered by law to be legal members of that family and not simply adopted children who have been added to the family unit.
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