Society has changed its views and laws about the roles of Baton Rouge birthparents who choose to forfeit parental rights. In decades past, ongoing relationships among birthparents, adopted children and adoptive parents were nearly nonexistent. Today, at least in many domestic adoptions, open adoptions are the norm.
Baton Rouge individuals who give up parental rights may stay in contact with an adopted child under certain circumstances. Not all biological parents seek legal agreements for continuing contact. Sometimes, the Louisiana agreements to maintain a post-adoption relationship involve people other than parents, like siblings or grandparents.
Baton Rouge individuals and couples who want to be parents but can't have a child of their own turn to other options. Adding a member to a family through adoption doesn't happen as quickly as some would-be parents would like. Legal complications add costs and stress and, after years for one couple, the stress is now over.
People who love, care for and raise a child aren't always biological parents. Baton Rouge adoptive parents may be grandparents, stepparents or individuals totally unrelated to a child. Adoption solidifies the legal bond between a person or couple and a child they want to make a permanent family member.
For families in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who are looking to adopt children, options may be limited by the red tape associated with the process. One woman who has adopted four children with her husband said that adoption is an amazing experience, but that it can also be challenging. The Universal Accreditation Act, which goes into effect on July 14, may make the process even more challenging for those who want to adopt outside of the country.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Service, the City of Monroe and the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo recently co-sponsored a Saturday event to promote awareness of adoption. There are many families that would like to adopt a child, and many children need adopting. However, they are languishing in foster care and other temporary, less desirable arrangements. One difficulty with foster care placements is that as children "age out" and become adults, their support usually ends. They don't have a continuing family to return to. Adoption means becoming part of a "forever family," and most adoptive parents don't think of those they adopt as "my adopted child." They simply think of "my child," one to be supported, nurtured and helped through college, marriage, career and the rest of their lives.
Couples and individuals in Louisiana who want a child, but who either don't want to have one biologically or are unable to conceive, can find various forms of adoption a positive alternative. There are various paths for adoption, either domestically in the U.S. or internationally, and in some cases, becoming a foster parent can lead to a later adoption. Many people have also tried surrogacy arrangements.
While overshadowed in news accounts by some other major rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court recently issued an important decision in an adoption case. The decision came in a case involving adoptive parents who had adopted a baby girl of partial Native American ancestry.
A new law just signed by Louisiana's governor will have the effect of simplifying the adoption process in the state. The statute is called "The Faith in Families Act." The statute is particularly good news for special needs children and the families that adopt them, since medical costs and other extra adoption expenses may now be subsidized by the government.
Federal tax law currently allows a tax credit for a portion of adoption expenses, for the purpose of encouraging adoption. A new report, however, says the IRS targeted 70 percent of all families claiming that adoption tax credit in 2012 for the onerous burden of a tax audit. A full 90 percent of such families faced some additional scrutiny of their returns. To put matters in perspective, only one percent of tax returns overall are selected for audits.