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What should you know about adopting in Wisconsin?

As a Wisconsin resident who is ready to start the journey of adoption, there are a number of things you should know first. Not only are there national laws about adoption, but each state has its own adoption system as well, with its own requirements, rules, and regulations.

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families has a page on adoption within Wisconsin. There, you can find a good deal of information on how to adopt and on becoming an adoptive parent. For example, Wisconsin has five different types of adoption. As listed on the website, they are:

  • Relative
  • Public
  • Private
  • Stepparent
  • International

In a relative or stepparent adoption, you must either be related in some way to the child already, or they must be your stepchild. The child's original birth parent will also have to relinquish their parental rights or be deceased.

Public adoption and private adoption are the two options that come to mind first for most people when they think of the adoption system. Public adoption involves adopting a child who is a ward of the state. Generally speaking, the children are older and come from foster homes. In many cases, they are in the system to escape a harmful home life. Private adoption agencies, on the other hand, involve adoptions that the state doesn't oversee. The children are largely newborn babies whose mothers have given them up.

International adoption is the most complex of all, because you have to deal with the adoption laws of an entirely different country. However, it's still a popular option and entirely possible with help from the right legal professional.

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