While adoption law is primarily state law, there are some issues before Congress which relate to adoption and which are of great importance.
An adoption may become contested when a birth parent is not willing to consent to the adoption or seeks to obtain custody of the child or visitation with the child. Often these cases occur when a child has been removed from the parents by Child Protective Services for abuse or neglect. When this happens, the child is placed with a foster family. It is a common practice for Departments of Social services to require foster families to indicate that they are willing to adopt if the child becomes available for adoption. The purpose of this policy is to minimize moving the child from one home to another.