The process of adding a child to a family through established legal processes is a well known process throughout the United States, including Colorado. The goal of the adoption process is to provide loving homes to children who need them. The outcome of the procedure should always meet the best interests of the child. Unfortunately, one recent trend is challenging the entire adoption process.

Some children are reportedly being "given away" to people found online, a process some critics have called "private re-homing." The children involved often were born abroad and have behavioral problems that their adoptive parents have had trouble addressing. The topic was the recent subject of a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing after child-care supporters asked Congress to address the growing problem. One senator claims children have been shifted to families and homes that adoptive parents have never met - and some of those families have histories of child neglect and abuse. One official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau said people who adopt children this way often have no intention of becoming actual parents for these children. Some children have ended up with known child molesters.

The issue of private re-homing attracted national attention after one journalist reported that some parents had used online social media platforms to advertise their adopted children without the involvement of the usual social service agencies. Approximately 70 percent of the children involved were elsewhere and later adopted by U.S. parents. Some parents prefer private re-homing adoptions because of their low cost and speed. Four states, including Colorado, have stiffened their adoption transfer and custody laws as a result.

The well-being of children should always be the primary focus of adoption. Parents who decide to adopt should always keep this in mind to avoid legal consequences and possible penalties.

Source: LA Times, "Advocates for adopted children decry 'private re-homing'," Marianne Levine, July 8, 2014