Federal legislation sets the framework for adoption in the United States, and States pass laws to comply with Federal requirements and become eligible for Federal funding. Thus, adoption is primarily regulated by State laws, and these laws vary from State to State. This section provides resources on adoption law and legal issues, as well as links to Federal and State laws. While the following Federal- and State-level resources address a broad range of legal topics in relation to adoption, they are not intended to be a substitute for obtaining advice from an independent, legal counsel with expertise in adoption law.
Adoption: An overview
Cornell University School of Law, Legal Information Institute (2010)
Provides an overview of adoption with a focus on legal issues.
National Center for Adoption Law and Policy
Focuses on improving the laws, policies, and practices associated with child protection and adoption.
Timeline of Adoption History
Adoption History Project
Presents a timeline of significant adoption-related laws and events from 1851 to present including the orphan trains and access to original birth certificates.