ADOPTION – there are many kinds of adoptions. The simplest is a stepparent adoption, where the new spouse adopts a child. This requires a consent from the other parent, unless, for some reason, that parent is not available. Then it’s necessary to try to find that parent – by doing what is called a diligent search. It used to be a simple process – you ask people who might know, and then you put an ad in the paper. It’s not that simple any longer – now we have a lot of hoops to jump through – contacting the postal service, local law enforcement where the person last resided, Freedom of Information Act requests.
An independent adoption is a different animal. That involves a contract between the potential adoptive parents and a “bio-mom” or natural mother, and sometimes the “bio-ad” as well. Again, there are hoops to jump through, and it can be scary and frustrating. I adopted both of my children – one as an independent adoption, and one through Florida HRS (Health and Rehabilitative Services), now called Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
When you adopt through DCFS, you are most likely adopting a child who has been in foster care, and with each of these kinds of adoptions, you will have to have a home study and be approved before a child is placed with you.