What Is Adoption?
Adoption is the permanent, legal transfer of parental rights and responsibilities from a child’s birth parents to the adoptive parents. To adopt a child, the birth parents’ parental rights must be legally terminated. Birth parents can also voluntarily terminate their parental rights to allow another person to adopt their child.
There are two ways to adopt a child: through a private adoption or state custody adoption. For more detailed information on adoption options click here:
MBCH Children and Family Ministries (MBCH CFM) can facilitate private adoption placements; however, it is a rare occurrence currently since most of the birth mothers we provide services choose to parent their babies. When we do have biological parents who choose to place their babies privately, MBCH CFM provides adoptive homes that have been pre-approved. The basic requirements for adoptive parents to adopt an infant privately through MBCH CFM are:
- One of the couple must be 45 years of age or younger
- Must be physically and emotionally healthy
- Must have a stable marriage of at least two years
- Must be professing Christians and active members of an evangelical church
- Must have a home study approved by MBCH CFM.
What is much more common is for MBCH CFM to assist in facilitating a state-custody adoption of a child/youth. Most often the child starts as a foster child in the family’s home. If the child/youth becomes available for adoption, the foster parent may be eligible to adopt if there are no relatives available to adopt the child/youth. Infant adoptions through foster care are not common. The average age of a foster child needing to be adopted is 8 years old.
Open adoption is a child-centered process. MBCH Children & Family Ministries encourages open adoptions when the situation is appropriate. Not every situation is conducive to open adoption.
Obviously, in cases of severe abuse and/or neglect by the biological parents, it may not be in the best interest of children to have contact with their biological parents. In situations where contact would not be detrimental, open adoption is a way for the children to know their biological family.
It can be a healing process for children to learn the reasons their biological parents were unable to parent them and the choice of the parents to place them with a loving, adoptive family. Open adoption also becomes a way to stay abreast of the biological family’s medical history.
For private infant adoptions coordinated through MBCH Children & Family Ministries, the practice is for the birth mother and/or father to choose the family for their child. Non-identifying adoptive family profiles are presented to the birth parents. They will choose two or three families and receive more information about them. The life books for these families are then shared with the birth parents.
If the birth parents have decided to have an open adoption they have the choice of meeting with the adoptive parents if they wish to decide on the degree of openness. They can also choose to arrange the amount of openness through an intermediary.
The adoptive parents must be as honest about the extent of openness they are comfortable with as the plan is based on the good faith of the adoptive parents. Legally, there is no binding contract, and the decisions of contact rest solely on the adoptive parents after the finalization of the adoption. MBCH Children and Family Ministries expect its adoptive parents to honor the commitments they make with birth parents.
See further information about open adoption see this file.
Contact our Intake Department for more information.