Legal and Medical Risk in Infant Adoption

Are you considering adopting a baby? On today’s show we talk about the legal and medical risk factors you need to consider. We talk with Amy Wallas Fox about the legal risk factors in infant adoption. Ms. Fox is an attorney partner of Claiborne Fox Bradley Goldman, a North Carolina and Georgia law firm and a fellow in the American Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. We talk with Dr. Lisa Prock, MD, MPH, about the medical risk factors in infant adoption. Dr. Prock is the Director of the Developmental Medicine Center and Associate Chief in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

In this episode, we cover:

  • How can a hopeful adoptive parent find a baby to adopt in the US?
  • What is the difference between an adoption agency, adoption attorney, adoption facilitator, and adoption consultant?
  • What is meant by an adoption-friendly state? Is there a state that is better than others to try to find an expectant mom who may want to place her child for adoption?
  • What are the different time periods that expectant parents or birth parents have to change their mind?
  • Adoption is covered by state law.
  • Is it possible for a birth family to get the child back after an adoption is complete?
  • What are some of the legal issues with birth fathers—both identified and unidentified?
  • How does the Indian Child Welfare Act impact legal risk in adoption? 
  • What are some red flags that an expectant mom may not go through with the adoption plan and decide to parent?
  • What are the most dangerous drugs or substances that an expectant woman can use during pregnancy as far as impact on the fetus and baby?
  • What is the impact of alcohol on a fetus and baby, both short term and long term?
  • What is the impact of opiates (prescription and non-prescription) on a fetus and baby, both short term and long term?
  • What is the impact of methadone or suboxone on a fetus and baby, both short term and long term?
  • What is the impact of heroin on baby, both short term and long term?
  • What is the impact of methamphetamines on a baby, both short term and long term?
  • Long term impact of prenatal exposure to cocaine or crack?
  • If the birth mother stopped using drugs and stopped drinking when she found out she was pregnant, will the baby be spared the worst of the impact?
  • What are the risks to the baby if the mother has Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, HIV, syphillis?
  • Is ADHD inheritable? Is there a gene for ADHD?
  • Do certain mental illnesses have a genetic connection? What is the likelihood that the child will have depression, anxiety, bi-polar, schizophrenia, or other mental illnesses if the birth parents had the illness? 
  • Should adoptive parents worry if the expectant mom has not had prenatal care?

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth