Deciding who can adopt a child
People who want to grow their family in Ohio often turn to adoption. For some people, the process is over before they know it. This may be the case if they personally knew the parents of the child and were specifically chosen to adopt with no objections. For everyone else, the process is often long and stressful with many disappointments.
One of the greatest obstacles people encounter is qualifying as an adoptive parent. As Cornell Law School points out, there are no constitutional rights in place to support adoption. Parents-to-be make this decision freely and willingly. Because of this, adopting is more accurately described as a privilege.
With this in mind, many states put together their own qualifying factors regarding who can adopt and why. Some states, for instance, disqualify single parents or parents who are not married and living together. In some other states, parents who suffer from physical disabilities may have a difficult time proving they can adequately care for a child.
While not specifically addressed by Cornell, there are also still states where LGBTQ people face an uphill battle to adopt children. What is perhaps most confusing for parents in these scenarios is that they are often allowed to foster these children for years, but are not legally allowed to commit to providing a permanent home. Sometimes the restrictions come not from the state but the biological parents.
This, however, is gradually changing. In some states, that change is rapid and permanent. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, most people are eligible to become adoptive parents regardless of sexual orientation, marital status, age or income status. Instead, Child Welfare says the focus is more on the results of the home study to determine eligibility.
Everyone’s experience is different. Some parents often get overlooked in place of others or fall victim to a social worker’s personal biases. Children themselves often get passed over if they are not young, have a troubled past or battle with an illness or disability. The more open-minded parents are about the children they wish to share their homes with, the more opportunities tend to be available to them.