Adopting a child or baby in Hawaii can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. However, completing an adoption successfully can sometimes be a complicated matter, and it is important to have a qualified, knowledgeable attorney to guide you through the process to avoid any setbacks or needless delays.
A Hawaii Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents. Modern systems of adoption, arising in the 20th century, tend to be governed by comprehensive statutes and regulations.
Hawaii Adoption Types
The adoptions in Hawaii can be by consent or can be non-consent where the adoption is contested.
Consent and Non-Consent Adoption
In a consent adoption, the birth parents usually know the adopting family. The natural parents sign documents consenting to the adoption, and once approved by the court, the adoptive parents become responsible for the health and welfare of the child. In a non-consent adoption, the natural parents and the adoptive parents either do not know each other or are in conflict regarding the child. A trial in Family Court may be necessary to resolve a non-consent adoption.
Whatever your situation may be, our firm is qualified to lead you smoothly through your adoption case.
Forms of Adoption
Contemporary adoption practices can be open or closed.
Open adoption allows identifying information to be communicated between adoptive and biological parents and, perhaps, interaction between kin and the adopted person. Rarely, it is the outgrowth of laws that maintain an adoptee’s right to unaltered birth certificates and/or adoption records, but such access is not universal. Open adoption can be an informal arrangement subject to termination by adoptive parents who have sole authority over the child. In some jurisdictions, the biological and adoptive parents may enter into a legally-enforceable and binding agreement concerning visitation, exchange of information, or other interaction regarding the child. As of February 2009, 24 U.S. states allowed legally enforceable open adoption contract agreements to be included in the adoption finalization.
The practice of closed adoption, the norm for most of modern history, seals all identifying information, maintaining it as secret and barring disclosure of the adoptive parents’, biological kins’, and adoptees’ identities. Nevertheless, closed adoption, may allow the transmittal of non-identifying information such as medical history and religious and ethnic background. Today, as a result of safe haven laws passed by some U.S. states, closed adoption is seeing renewed influence. In safe-haven states, infants can be left, anonymously, at hospitals, fire departments, or police stations within a few days of birth, a practice criticized by some adoptee advocacy organizations as being retrograde and dangerous.
Adoptions can occur either between related family members, or unrelated individuals. Historically, most adoptions occurred within a family, though.
A common example of this is a “stepparent adoption”, where the new partner of a parent may legally adopt a child from the parent’s previous relationship. Intra-family adoption can also occur through surrender, as a result of parental death, or when the child cannot otherwise be cared for and a family member agrees to take over.
Unrelated adoptions may occur through the following mechanisms:
Private Domestic Adoptions
Under this arrangement, charities and for-profit organizations act as intermediaries, bringing together prospective adoptive parents and families who want to place a child, all parties being residents of the same country. Alternatively, prospective adoptive parents sometimes avoid intermediaries and connect with women directly, drafting contracts through a lawyer (these efforts are illegal in some jurisdictions). Private domestic adoption accounts for a significant portion of all adoptions; in the United States, for example, nearly 45% of adoptions are estimated to have occurred through private arrangements.
Foster Care Adoption
This is a type of domestic adoption where a child is initially placed in public care. Its importance as an avenue for adoption varies by country. Nevertheless, the example of the United States is instructive. Of the 127,500 adoptions that occurred in the U.S. about 51,000 or 40% were through the foster care system.
This method of adoption involves the placing of a child for adoption outside that child’s country of birth. This can occur through both public and private agencies. The laws of different countries vary in their willingness to allow international adoptions. Recognizing the difficulties and challenges associated with international adoption, and in an effort to protect those involved from the corruption and exploitation which sometimes accompanies it, the Hague Conference on Private International Law developed the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, which came into force on 1 May 1995 and has been ratified by 75 countries, to date.
Common Law Adoption
This is an adoption which has not been recognized, beforehand, by the courts, but where a parent, without resort to any formal legal process, leaves his or her children with a friend or relative for an extended period of time. At the end of a designated term of (voluntary) co-habitation, as witnessed by the public, the adoption is then considered binding, in some courts of law, even though not initially sanctioned by the court. The particular terms of a common-law adoption are defined by each legal jurisdiction. For example, the U.S. state of California recognizes common law relationships after co-habitation of 2 years. The practice is called “private fostering” in Britain.
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