How To Make Sure Your Adoption Is Ethical

Ethics is a crucial part of the adoption process. It ensures that every party from the birth parents, to the adoptive parents, to the child being placed in an adoptive home, has their rights protected. Here are some tips and facts to ensure your adoption is ethical and legal.

Generally speaking, single adults over 18 or married couples are legally eligible to adopt. Additionally, stepparents can adopt the child of their spouse if the spouse has legal custody of the child.

Any child adopted must be under the age of 18 with few exceptions in a small number of states.

If you choose to go through an adoption agency, make sure that they’re licensed, accredited, and approved by all necessary parties. If you are planning on adopting internationally, make sure that the adoption agency you choose is licensed in both your home country and the country you plan to adopt from. Every country has their own specific laws pertaining to international adoption. Ensure your agency is knowledgeable and up to date on all current laws and guidelines.

Each state has unique adoption laws, qualifications and guidelines adoptive parents must adhere to. The adoption agency you’re working with should be knowledgeable about all the laws unique to your state and follow all necessary guidelines.

Make sure that the person, agency, or organization you’re working with has obtained the proper consent to place the child with an adoptive family. Only birth parents, legal guardians, state social service agencies, and government approved and licensed child-placing agencies have the authority to place children with adoptive families. No exceptions.

Non-Agency Child Placements are when birth parents decide to place their child with the adoptive family of their choice without adoption agency, or government entity involvement.

In these situations there is no agency or government involvement. Be wary of making currency exchanges in these circumstances and get all legal documents prepared in advance. Unlike in government and agency adoptions, the birth parent has the right to keep the child up until all custody documents are signed and approved. There is no legal contract or laws in place to protect the rights of the adoptive parents.

Adoption is a wonderful, beautiful experience for both parent and child. Ensuring your adoption is ethical is one of the first steps to ensuring joy and happiness for your growing family. Check with your local adoption and government agencies to ensure you are doing all that you can to follow current adoption laws to make sure your adoption process is smooth and legal.

The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.

Do you feel there is a hole in your heart that can only be filled by a child? We’ve helped complete 32,000+ adoptions. We would love to help you through your adoption journey. Visit or call 1-800-ADOPT-98.