Guide to Adoption in Nevada - Glossary of Terms

Adoption is a service provided for children who cannot be raised by their birth parents and who need and can benefit from new and permanent family ties established through legal adoption.

Adoption Exchange:
A recruitment and referral agency, which helps social workers, find adoptive families for special needs children. The exchange does not place children.

Adoption Assistance Program (Subsidy):
Financial, medical, or social service assistance provided to the adopting parents to provide for the needs of an eligible special needs child.

Consent to Adopt:
A Consent to Adopt is a legal document the birth parents sign which releases all of their parental rights to the child to the specific adoptive parents they have selected. It cannot be signed until a minimum of 72 hours has elapsed from the time of a child's birth. Once signed and properly witnessed and notarized, it cannot be revoked by the birth parent. Nevada law requires that Consents to Adopt be witnessed by a social worker employed by a licensed child placing agency, or an agency which provides child welfare services, unless one of the adoptive parents is related to the child within the third degree of consanguinity.

The process in district court, in which an adoption is recognized by the law as final, and the adopted child is considered in the same relationship to you as though he/she were born to you. In Nevada, the child must have resided in the adoptive home for a minimum of six months before finalization can take place.

Foster Care:
Temporary care for children by families who are licensed by the Division of Child and Family Services or other public child welfare agency, which provides child welfare, services.

Home study:
This is a written report completed by a social worker, after compiling the information contained in your application, personal references, medical and law enforcement reports, individual and/or group interviews, and required home visits. During this process the worker evaluates the family motivation for adoption, expectations, parenting skills, ability to support a child, etc. An approved home study does not guarantee placement of a child.

Independent/Private Adoption:
An adoption arranged directly between birth parents and adoptive parents. Also known as specific adoption.

International/Intercountry Adoption:
International adoption, also known as intercountry or foreign adoption, involves the legal adoption of a child from a country other than the United States by an American citizen, or the adoption of a child from the United States by a resident of a foreign country.

Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC):
The ICPC is a formal agreement between states to facilitate and regulate the placement of children into or from another state; including adoptive placements.

Legal risk placement:
Adoptive placement of children who are not yet legally free for adoption, i.e., the parental rights of one or both parents have not yet been terminated or relinquished.

Life book:
Life books are a collections of drawings, report cards, pictures, etc., that tells the story of the life of a child. They generally include a narrative describing the child's history. The process of compiling a life book helps the child establish a better sense of self and identity and is especially important for children being adopted.

Non-identifying information:
Information about the child such as birth date, birthplace, hospital, birth weight/length, medical/psychological history of the child, whether or not the child has siblings, their sex and age at the time of adoptive placement. It also includes information on the birth parents, such as their age at time of the adoption, ethnic background, marital status, height, weight, eye and hair coloring, religion, and complete medical and psychological background, without revealing the identity of the birth parents.

Parent support group:
A group of concerned adults and adoptive families who come together for the common purpose of promoting adoptions, and supporting each other and their children through education, information, and social gatherings.

Refers to a legal process through which a birth or legal parent voluntarily surrenders their parental rights with the intent that the child will be adopted. Relinquishment in Nevada can only be accepted by a public child welfare agency or a licensed child placing (adoption) agency.

Social Summary/Social History:
Refers to a cumulative document in which all information regarding a child's life is maintained, to be shared with appropriate caregivers to ensure continuity of care. This information includes all known family history (including hereditary problems or conditions), in addition to the child's personality, temperament, habits and the current status of the child's physical and emotional health, strengths and needs.

Special Needs Child:
Means a child for whom placement with an adoptive family is made more difficult because of the child's age, race, number of siblings, or because the child suffers from a severe or chronic medical, physical, mental or emotional condition.

Termination of parental rights:
Means an involuntary Court action that permanently ends the legal parent-child relationship, rendering the child legally free for adoption.

Third degree of consanguinity:
Child's relatives- limited to parent, grandparent, brother, sister, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, and nephew.

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