Private Contracts or Legal Adoption – Which way to go?

When it comes to adoption, many cases have occurred over the years wherein the adoptive parents enter into a contract directly with the biological mother and/or parents of the child. Such people not only contact the birth parents on their own, but also pay a hefty amount of money to them for the child.

An often neglected aspect, entering into a private contract has its own downside. It does not only involve the investment of money, efforts and emotions, but is also absolutely unsafe. Once, there was a family who adopted a child by entering into a private contract directly with the biological mother of the child, and gave her a good amount of money. The family in question also arranged for a lawyer who gave them the assurance that everything will be sorted out as per their interests. The lawyer also charged a good amount of fee in advance, but later on turned out to be a swindler and nothing else.

To take the child with them out of the country, to their resident country, the family visited the passport office so that the child can get a passport. But, the passport office told them that according to the Indian Laws, the family does not have the custody of the child legally, and hence the adoptive parents can not take the child with them, no matter how much money and time they might have invested into the lengthy procedure of adopting the child privately.
In the end, the family had to return to its residential country, without the child, whose custody was with the birth mother, as per the laws.

Points to consider when entering into a private contract

1) First things first, the basic reason why such contracts are not at all safe is because such written agreements do not hold any value in the eyes of the court.
2) If the adoptive parents live in a country different than the birth country of the child, and need to take the child to their resident country, then according to the laws, the child does not qualify for the same.
3) Those who enter into a private contract have to understand the basic fact that such a contract does not offer any anonymity, and thus, is risky. Just because both of the parties disclose their true identities, one can take the advantage of the other. For the adoptive parents it can be a real trouble, more so if the biological parents are giving their child for money. Likewise, for the biological parents it can be unsafe as the adoptive parents can harass them to give them the child’s custody.
4) There have been many cases in the past, wherein the children were taken from the homes of the adoptive parents in other countries, and were returned to their biological parents who reside in other countries.
5) As per the laws prevailing in many countries, the passport of the adopted child usually has the names of his/her biological parents on the documents, and thus, on the passport as well.
6) Unlike the legal contracts, when it comes to the private contracts, the adoptive parents do not get a court order and the other important documents which are necessary to get a passport for the child, to take the child to other country.
7) In a private contract, one cannot legally bind the biological parents to get the child’s important medical tests done such as HIV & Hepatitis B, or to get the reports stating the health condition of the child.

Advantages of entering into legal contracts

The above mentioned points should be considered by couples who are planning to adopt children based on private contracts. Listed below are a few points that highlight the advantages of entering into a legal contract.

Anonymity :

Legal contracts do not reveal the identities of the parties involved. Thus, such a contract is absolutely harmless for both – the biological parents and the adoptive parents.

Awareness about the child’s health :

Before entering into the contract, the adoptive parents can even get the test reports of the child be it the medical tests for conditions like HIV, Hepatitis B, or the usual blood reports. These help them decide whether they should go ahead with the adoption, or not.

Proper Legal Documentation :

By entering into a legal contract, the prospective parents get all the legal documents necessary to apply for the passport and the visa of the child.

Legal contracts are safe :

The biggest advantage of entering into a legal contract for adoption is that the child’s custody remains with the adoptive parents, once the legal formalities and procedures are duly completed. Nobody, then, has the right to take the child away from the adoptive parents.

Adopting a child is a wonderful thing and a couple would not want to face hurdles after the adoption. Entering into a legal contract is always the right option when it comes to adoption, and must not be overlooked at any cost.

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