Adoption Glossary

 Below is a list and explanation of terms commonly used in Adoption:

Abandonment - when a parent refuses to physically, emotionally, or financially support his or her child. (A signed relinquishment or surrender of parental rights legally constitutes abandonment.)

Adoption Assistance Program - federal (Title IV-E) or state payments and other benefits designed to offset the short- and long-term costs of adopting eligible children until they reach the age of 18.

Adoption benefits - benefits - such as financial assistance or monetary reimbursement for the expenses of adopting a child - available to workers through some employer-sponsored programs.

Adoption exchange - a state, regional, or national organization with information about children who are waiting for adoption within the state, region, or nation.

Adoption petition - the legal document through which prospective parents request the court’s permission to adopt a specific child.

Adoption tax credit - effective tax years 2002 through 2010, a tax benefit that allows parents who adopt to subtract up to $10,000 from taxes owed.

Agency adoption - an adoption completed with assistance from an organization of licensed, trained adoption professionals.

Birth family - those who share a child’s genetic heritage; blood relations; extended family members.

Birth parent - a child’s biological mother or father.

Closed adoption - an adoption in which birth and adoptive families have no contact and know only non-identifying information about each other.

Disclosure meeting - During a disclosure meeting the adoption worker for the child available for adoption will meet with the family in order to provide information regarding the child’s history. By law, the legal custodian of the child (the County) must disclose information about the child to families pursuing adoption.

Disruption - when an adoption is discontinued or annulled through a decision by the adoptive parents, the child, or a legal authority, before or after finalization.

Finalization - the last legal step in the adoption proces