Frequently Asked Questions

The following are answers to some often-asked questions about the LawSite and about the National Center for Adoption Law & Policy.

If you have a question you need help with, whether it relates to how to use our site or to a specific legal issue, please contact us at: adoptionctr@law.capital.edu.

The Adoption and Child Welfare LawSite
Most frequent questions and answers

NCALP does not represent individual in court cases, although we do participate in selected cases in the role of amicus curiae.

We also provide resources for families, judges and attorneys who are involved in child welfare or adoption-related cases. NCALP is not a clinic or direct services organization, but instead uses research, advocacy and education to bring about changes in the systems throughout the nation.

The National Center for Adoption Law & Policy (NCALP) is a nonprofit entity at Capital University Law School that seeks to improve the laws, policies, and practices associated with child protection and adoption systems. We are not a clinic or direct services organization, but instead use research advocacy and education to bring about changes in these systems throughout the nation.

The Adoption & Child Welfare LawSite is a no-cost online resource which prospective adoptive parents, biological parents, adoption and child welfare lawyers, juvenile and family court judges and child advocates of all kinds can utilize to find child welfare and adoption information. For swift and easy access, we have compiled all state and federal adoption and child welfare laws and selected adoption and child welfare cases in a single site. Organized geographically and topically, these primary materials are supplemented with summaries of the law and other explanatory material useful to all child welfare and adoption stakeholders.

The Adoption & Child Welfare LawSite, which is entirely devoted to the law, policy, and processes associated with child protection and adoption systems, is intended to aid in NCALP’s mission of supporting and participating in systemic reform to assure that kids who are involved with these systems may be reunified with their families or, when that is not possible, be permanently placed in safe and healthy homes as quickly, and with as little trauma, as possible.

Ironically, the body of law regulating child protection and adoption can, in itself, present a barrier to the quick and safe placement of children into permanent homes. Each state has its own child welfare laws and procedures, which increase in complexity each year. To further complicate the process, there currently is no single repository of key statutes, regulations, cases and explanatory law review articles on child welfare and adoption laws. The Adoption & Child Welfare LawSite seeks to fill this void with materials suitable for use by professional and lay stakeholders alike.

The Adoption & Child Welfare LawSite includes the full text of state and federal statutes, regulations, selected cases and explanatory law materials on child welfare and adoption. Also available are summaries, in topical outline form, of state statutes and cases. In addition, the site includes specialized materials on specific topics, such as Adoption Subsidies.

A team of Student Research Fellows, along with NCALP professional staff and volunteer, have spent thousands of hours researching, reviewing, summarizing, and updating the material contained on the Adoption & Child Welfare LawSiteLawSite.

How To Use This Site
Most frequent questions and answers

SAMPLE SEARCH # 1

You want to find cases on requirements for adoption consent and in the states of Ohio and Georgia.

Recommended Search:

The best place to start most searches is with our topics outline by selecting “Search by Topic” from the Search menu in the left hand column of our Home Page. You will be taken to a drop-down menu of topics. Select “Adoption Consent Requirements” from the topics menu.

Then, refine the search by selecting “Ohio” and “Georgia” from the “State” menu and “Cases” from the “Document Type” menu, which are located under the Search tab in the left hand column. Finally, click on the Search button at the bottom and you will be presented with a list of Ohio and Georgia cases on the selected topic in a new browser window.

You want to access all adoption-related statute summaries from Illinois, Ohio and Delaware.

Recommended Search:

Using CTRL-click, select Illinois, Ohio and Delawarefrom the “State” drop-down menu. Select “Statute Summary” from the “Document Type” drop-down menu. Enter “adoption” into the “Keyword” box. Click on “Search” and you will be presented with all statute summaries from the selected states that refer to adoption in a new browser window.

You would like to a search for cases on “termination of parental rights (TPR)” in these states.

You may start with the Search by Topic menu and select a TPR-related topic from the outline. Then select Illinois, Ohio and Delaware “State” drop-down menu and select “Cases” from the “Document Type” drop-down menu. Click on “Search” and you will be presented with a list of cases on the selected topic from the selected states.

You may access information through topical, geographical, or keyword searches, or any combination of these methods. You may also further narrow your search by document type, using the drop-down document menu