Consent: The act of voluntarily releasing a child for adoption. The agreement by a parent, or a person or agency acting in place of a parent, to relinquish the child for adoption and to release all rights and duties with respect to the child.
Revocation: Reversing or nullifying a consent to adoption that a expectant parent has previously signed.
ICPC: Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children is an agreement between two states that regulates the lawful movement of foster children and adoptive children from one state to another for the purposes of adoption.
ICWA: The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 is a federal law that takes precedence over the local adoption laws of every state and gives Native American Indian Nations and Tribes the right to control adoptions that involve Native American children.
PFR: The Putative Father Registry, which exists in some states, is a public registry that allows a male to register if he believes to be the father of a child in order to obtain the right to be given notice if the child is placed for adoption.
Living Expenses: Expenses that may be paid for the birth mother by the prospective adoptive parents including but not limited to housing, food, utilities, clothing, transportation, and medical bills.
Termination of Parental Rights: A legal process that allows a child to become adoptable and severs the biological parents’ rights to and legal obligations to care for the child.
Relinquishment: The act of voluntarily releasing a child for adoption. The agreement by a parent to relinquish the child for adoption and to release all rights and duties with respect to the child so that someone else can adopt the child.
Agency Adoption: Adoption that is facilitated by a State Licensed Agency. There are two types of adoption agencies; public and private.
Public adoption agency: An agency publicly funded, run by counties or states, and assists in the adoption of children in the foster care system.
Private adoption agency: An agency that is privately funded licensed adoption agency, which charges fees for its services.
Private Adoption: Also known as independent adoption and are done through adoption attorneys.
Domestic Adoption: The adoption of a child born in the United States.
Interstate Adoption: The adoption of a child who lives in one state by adoptive parents who reside in another state.
Intrastate Adoption: The adoption of a child who lives in the same state as the adoptive parents.
International Adoption: The adoption of a child from a foreign country.
Re-Adoption: When a family adopts a child from a foreign country and then adopts the child again once back in the United State which allows them to obtain an adoption decree and birth certificate from their state of residence.
IR-3 (or IH-3) Visa: The type of visa provided to children whose adoptions were completed overseas.
IR-4 (or IH-4) Visa: The type of visa provided to children whose adoption were not completed overseas.
Special Needs: known or suspected medical, mental, emotional, behavioral, or education needs that could require on-going additional attention. An older child could be considered a special needs child.
USCIS: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau which is a federal governmental agency that approves and adopted child’s immigration into the United States and grants U.S. citizenship to a child adopted internationally.
Open Adoption: An adoption in which the expectant parents and adoptive parents have agreed to some form of contact with each other before and/or after the placement of the adoptive child.
Closed Adoption: An adoption in which neither the adoptive parents nor the expectant parents have any identifying information about each other.