Adopting a child is a beautiful way to either grow your family in Wisconsin or to strengthen the bonds within your own family.
According to FindLaw, there are several methods through which prospective parents in the United States can adopt a child, although not all of them are available in Wisconsin. The different types of adoption available in this state fall into two broad categories: the adoption of family members and the adoption of a child previously unknown to you.
Adoption of family members
There are two types of family member adoptions. The first is kinship adoptions, in which you adopt a child who is a blood relative to either you or your spouse. Kinship adoptions usually involve grandparents, aunts or uncles adopting grandchildren, nieces or nephews when the birth parents are no longer able to provide adequate care for whatever reason.
The second type of adoption involving family members is a stepparent adoption, in which you adopt your spouse’s children from a previous relationship. If your stepchildren’s other parent is amenable to the adoption, or is no longer living, this can be a relatively simple process as the children presumably already live with you and have a relationship. However, if the other parent is not available to give consent or refuses to do so, stepparent adoption becomes a much more difficult process
Adoption of an unknown child
Theoretically, it is possible for birth parents and adoptive parents to find one another and agree to the adoption of a child. However, this type of independent adoption involves a lot of potential legal difficulties and is not available in all states. Wisconsin is one of the states that does not allow independent adoption, meaning that even if adoptive parents and birth parents find each other independently, or with the help of a go-between such as a clergy member or physician, they must still enlist the help of an agency to handle the rest of the process. The term for this is adoption through identification. As a prospective parent, you may also start the process by working with a public or private adoption agency.
Though common, adoption of a child from a foreign country is the most complicated type because you must abide not only by Wisconsin adoption laws but the laws of the country where the child comes from.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.