Uniform Adoption Act Law and Legal Definition

The Uniform Adoption Act (UAA) was adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) in 1994, following five years of intensive discussions with the entire adoption field. The 1994 UAA is the third uniform act NCCUSL has developed. A 1953 act, did not receive support. The second UAA, issued in 1971, was adopted by only eight states.

The guiding principle of the Uniform Adoption Act is a desire to promote the welfare of children and, particularly, to facilitate the placement of minor children who cannot be raised by their original parents with adoptive parents who can offer them stable and loving homes. The Act is premised on a belief that adoption offers significant legal, economic, social and psychological benefits not only for children who might otherwise be homeless, but also for parents who are unable to care for their children, for adults who want to nurture and support children, and for state governments ultimately responsible for the well-being of children.

The Act aims to be a comprehensive and uniform state adoption code that:

(1) is consistent with relevant federal constitutional and statutory law;

(2) delineates the legal requirements and consequences of different kinds of adoption;

(3) promotes the integrity and finality of adoptions while discouraging "trafficking" in minors;

(4) respects the choices made by the parties to an adoption about how much confidentiality or openness they prefer in their relations with each other, subject, however, to judicial protection of the adoptee's welfare; and

(5) promotes the interest of minor children in being raised by individuals who are committed to, and capable of, caring for them.