Categories: Family Law Children’s Law
Adoption Law & Policy (Law 939) is a 2-credit in-person course. This course meets for one 2-
hour class period each week over the spring semester and carries the expectation that students
will work on course learning activities (reading, writing, assignments, studying, etc.) for at least
about 4 hours out of classroom for every class period. Overall, the 2-credit standard for this
course is met by an expectation of a total of 85 hours of student engagement with the course’s
learning activities (at least 42.5 hours per credit), which include regularly scheduled class meeting
times, reading, writing, and other assignments.
This course addresses adoption law and policy in the United States. Topics include: (1) an overview
of the history of adoption law and current trends in adoption policy and practice; (2) the adoption
process including an examination of the differences between agency and independent adoption, the
form, timing and revocability of parental consent to adoption, the selection of adoptive parents and
stepparent adoption; (3) parental rights of nonmarital fathers; (4) adoption by gay and lesbian
parents; (5) transracial adoption; (6) adoption of Native American children and the Indian Child
Welfare Act; (7) open adoption practice; (8) international adoption; (9) and government law and
policy on the adoption of children from foster care.
Course requirements include engaged, consistent and constructive class participation, serving as
class discussion leader and drafting Commentaries and Discussion Questions, and completion of a
research paper. This course offers a discussion-based examination of the readings in which regular
class attendance and participation is absolutely crucial.