Adoptive Parents Bill of Rights
Child History Information: Adoptive parents have the right at any time during the placement of a child to receive full and complete child history information. Adoptive parents have the right to any new or additional information that becomes available during or after the placement and/or finalized adoption. Child history information includes general behaviors, known or suspected behavioral problems, health or medical history, educational status, cultural and family background, religion, possible siblings, numbers and reasons for any prior placements, court or legal decisions and any other issues known about the child. Adoptive parents have the right to complete access to all written reports, psychological evaluations, and diagnoses. Information regarding the relationships between the child and known siblings and between child and other previous caregivers shall also be disclosed to adoptive parents. In addition, adoptive parents have the right to independently seek out additional information about their children including, but not limited to history and medical information without coercion or harassment from placing agencies or their agents. Adoptive Parents have the right to be free from restriction, censure, prohibition or moderation by adoption service providers concerning contact and/or exchange of information between themselves and families of origin when such contact and/or exchange of information is mutually agreed upon by the family of origin and the adoptive family.
Parenting Education: Adoptive parents have the right to comprehensive, on-going training and support for the purpose of enhancing the ability to effectively parent the child. They have the right to be educated about meeting the health, educational, vocational, legal, and cultural needs of the child. Adoptive parents also have the right to have access to and openly participate in local, statewide, national, cultural, health, advocacy and other support groups.
Post Adoption Support: Adoptive parents have the right to request and receive post placement support including, but not limited to referrals for qualified specialists, educational programs, licensed treatment centers, and assistance in clarifying or gathering additional information regarding the child's diagnoses, behaviors or other concerns. They have the right to honest, complete and timely responses to their post-adoption questions. Adoptive parents have the right to high-quality post placement services in meeting the needs of their children including reasonable relief and respite care if needed. They have the right to access these services without fear of questioning their parental abilities. They have the right to contact any social service organization or state resource without fear of retribution or a child protective services investigation based solely on seeking out such help. Adoptive parents also have the right to assistance in dealing with family loss and separation issues when a child leaves their home for respite care, residential treatment or dissolution of the adoption. In all cases, adoptive parents have the right to be treated in a caring and compassionate manner.
Educational Support: Adoptive parents have the right to seek out Early Intervention and other school based resources for their children. They have the right to assistance in accordance with federal, state, and local laws for the unique educational issues and confounding factors that adopted children may have including, but not limited to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues, attachment issues, subtractive bilingualism and other speech and language issues, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), visual issues, auditory issues, post- malnutrition issues, kinesthetic issues, learning challenges and other health issues. Adoptive parents have the right to provide input about these issues and how it affects the plan of services for the child. Adoptive parents also have the right to express his or her opinion, provide outside references and resources that may benefit the child and have it treated respectfully.
Advocates and Services for Education, Health and Behavioral Issues: Adoptive parents have the right to access available advocacy services. They have the right to consultation and assistance in evaluating, identifying, and accessing services to meet their needs. Adoptive parents have the right to a comprehensive list of options for professional therapy, health care and educational support and other resources. They also have the right to express their opinions and be treated respectfully by all professionals. Adoptive parents have the right to complete information and direct answers to questions about choices, services, and decisions. They have the right to request support and services directly from any professional providing them.
Recourse: Adoptive parents have the right to report misconduct by agencies and service providers to any governing entity and to have such reports investigated thoroughly and appropriately in a timely manner. Adoptive parents also have the right to be free from acts of harassment and retaliation by agencies and service providers. They have the right to legal recourse in the event of a wrongful adoption including, but not limited to fraud or misrepresentation of child's health or orphan status.
For information and resources on the rights of original families, please see:
Origins NSW (Australia): http://www.originsnsw.com
Origins Canada: http://www.originscanada.org
For information and resources on Adoptee rights, please see:
Bastard Nation: http://www.bastards.org
Adoptee Rights Coalition: http://www.adopteerightscoalition.com