Adoption can be a challenging process for parents and children alike under the best of circumstances. Throw in the proverbial wrench of an interstate adoption and things can become even more complicated. Pennsylvania residents thinking about entering into an interstate adoption should be aware of the potential hurdles which could crop up as they enter into what may be for them uncharted territory.
Take the case of a woman from another state who wanted to adopt an older teen from Pennsylvania. She felt called to adopt a child who was close to aging out of the system because she felt that they would have a greater need for the close ties and assistance that a parent can provide. However, she soon discovered that few teenagers over the age of 16 were being facilitated for adoption. For that reason she turned to a national adoption website and learned about the boy in Pennsylvania who she felt would be a good fit for her.
Unfortunately, though, as she soon discovered, there are no federal guidelines governing how adoption works in the U.S. Adoption laws vary on a state-by-state basis, and sometimes communication between multiple states can seem less than optimal. While there is an interstate adoption contract entered into by all 50 states and Washington, D.C. (as well as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico), it doesn’t really set out minimal standards for assessing whether a potential placement is suitable for a child. That can lead to states debating which one of them is going to be responsible for the payment of filing fees and taking care of home visits and follow up meetings with adoptive parents.
In the case of the Massachusetts woman who wanted to adopt the Pennsylvania boy, they encountered several hurdles on their way toward becoming a family. Ultimately, however, she says that the challenges were more than worth it because she knew the moment she met the boy that he was meant to be part of her family. That is often the case for parents who devote themselves to building a family through adoption. It may be difficult, but the end result of a loving family often makes it worthwhile.
Source: Huffington Post, “Process, Paperwork Make Interstate Adoption a Bumpy Ride,” Ryann Blackshere, Sept. 24, 2012