While a waiting child is in foster care, the child's case is usually reviewed periodically in court, to determine whether the goal should be reunification with the birth family or adoption.

If the goal is changed, it must be done by a judge.

A family court judge will make the decision to terminate parental rights of the birthparents and will preside over the finalization hearing and issue the adoption decree.

He or she can be a resource for answering questions that pertain to the adoption statutes of that state, and resolving difficult issues.

Adoption agencies are licensed by the state in which they are located.

An adoption is considered low risk when the rights have not yet been terminated, but it is expected that they soon will be, and there is little likelihood of the child returning to the birth family.

Each state makes its own laws in the area of adoption, according to state statute.

Along the way, there are many points where adoption laws will have an effect on your child's adoption.

Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) This is a legal process involving a court hearing during which a judge issues a decree that permanently ends all legal parental rights of a birth parent to a child.

You may want to read the documents found at: the Intercountry Adoption Bureau of Consular Affairs of the US Department of State.

A judge's role in the adoption process is to make any needed changes in the child's legal status.

Legal Risk Legal risk is a term used to describe a potential adoption in which the child to be adopted is placed with the adoptive parents before the birth parents' rights have been terminated.