Glossary of Terms - Adoption Law
The legal process by which the adoption becomes permanent and binding.
Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption
A multinational agreement designed to promote the uniformity and efficiency of international adoptions.
A study of the prospective adoptive family and their home, life experiences, health, lifestyle, extended family, attitudes, support system, values, beliefs, and other factors relating to the prospective adoption. This information is summarized in an adoption study or home study report.
An adoption arranged privately between the birth family and the adoptive family, without an adoption agency.
Inter-country or international adoption
The adoption of a child from a country outside of the United States.
Information that allows the birth and adoptive families to learn pertinent facts about each other without revealing who they are or how they can be contacted.
Open adoption or cooperative adoption
An adoption in which the birth parents and adoptive parents have contact with each other before and/or after the placement of the adopted child.
A variety of services provided after the adoption is finalized, including counseling, social services, and adoptive family events, and outings.
Special needs child
A child with medical, mental, emotional, behavioral, or educational needs that could require extra on-going attention.
Termination of parental rights (TPR)
The process by which a parent’s rights to his or her child are legally and permanently terminated, after which the child becomes eligible for adoption.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau (USCIS)
An agency of the federal government that approves an adopted child’s immigration into the United States and grants U.S. citizenship to children adopted from other countries.
A child currently available for adoption. Waiting children may be in the U.S. foster care system, might be older, or could be special needs children.