Obstacles to Adoption

Putative Fathers: Many adopted children may not know the identity of their birth fathers. Birth fathers may sometimes want to exercise their rights to claim their children. Unwed, or "putative" fathers may establish certain rights thanks to changes in state laws in the last 30 years. However, a putative father needs to prove that he has actually earned these rights. He must prove his commitment to his child by having signed the birth certificate, provided support for the child, communicated with him or her, and by obtained a court order establishing his paternity. He should also have submitted their names to a registry of putative fathers in their states. In most cases, all of these steps need to have been taken before a birth mother has made a petition to the court to give up her child for adoption. Court cases involving putative fathers who have tried to revoke adoptions after claiming they knew nothing of their children's births have resulted in many states clarifying their laws. Putative fathers may have the law on their side, but only if they can prove they are truly concerned for their children's welfare.

Multiethnic Issues: Even today, there are still questions of whether or not to allow children of one race or color to be adopted by parents of another race or color. Multiethnic adoption can be a problem for two reasons. One reason is that there are many more minority children available for adoption. The other is that there are many more caucasian people than minorities who are willing to adopt. Insisting on matching race to race can leave many children without available parents to adopt them.

Open Adoption: Open adoption allows the birth family to have visitation rights with the child and the adoptive family. In some cases this may be beneficial to the child, but it can also create uncomfortable situations in which the child ends up being forced to make a choice between both families. Searching for Birth Parents: State laws vary widely on whether adopted children can have access to the names of their biological parents. Often the parents do not want contact with the child and even if they do, the situation can present problems for everyone involved.