September 2003Vol. 4, No. 7Access to Adoption Law Now Easier Than Ever
State law governs almost every aspect of the adoption process--yet these laws vary widely from State to State and are often difficult for adoptive families to find and understand. In July, the National Center for Adoption Law & Policy at Capital University Law School launched a new comprehensive online tool designed to help families, their advocates, and others concerned with adoption law. The website, www.adoptionlawsite.org, offers free access to adoption-related statutes and regulations, as well as key cases and articles, from every State and territory. The site also offers material on Federal and international adoption law.
"The Adoption LawSite is a powerful tool for policymakers, judges, child advocates, and adoption professionals, but it's also a long-needed resource for adoptive and prospective adoptive parents trying to better understand the adoption system," said U.S. Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio). Pryce, a former judge and adoptive mother, helped secure $230,000 in Federal funding to support the site's creation.
The site's content represents more than 8,000 research hours by Capital University law students. It includes plain-English summaries of State laws and key cases, with links to the original sources. The site can be searched by topic, document type, and State.
"Knowledge is power," said Sue Badeau, an adoptive mother of 22 children who spoke at the site's unveiling. "This site provides access to critical adoption information for the folks who need it most."
The National Adoption Information Clearinghouse also offers information on Federal and State adoption laws in the Legal Issues section of its website, at http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/general/legal/index.cfm.