Open Adoption: What Does It Mean?

Adding a child to the family through the adoption process can be a thrilling, fulfilling, and happy experience. However, the adoption process is not as simple as some people think. In fact, there are many different types of adoption, and the rules that are involved with each type may vary. These are things that should be considered before choosing to adopt because adoptions are such significant, life-changing moments for the adopting parent(s) and the child. I am very interested in adoption, so I decided to do a little research on one specific type of adoption, open adoption. Here’s what I found.

I first stumbled across an excellent article by BB Law Group PLLC. The article explains that open adoption is a type of adoption where the adoptive parents and birth parents arrange an agreement that specifies that the child is permitted to keep contact with the birth parent after adoption. Under other forms of adoption, this type of conduct is not allowed.

The historical background of open adoption is very interesting. In the United States before the 1900s, most adoptions were open adoptions. Thus, open adoption is not really a new thing, at least in the United States. However, the main rationales for adoption have changed significantly since the 1900s. During that time, children were adopted out of a family to reduce the number of children their birth parents had to support, and they were adopted into a family to serve as an apprentice to the adopting families. Adoption was a mutually beneficial process for different reasons, and contact with the birth parents was the norm.

Open adoption became less frequent in the 1930s, but it again gained popularity as a type of adoption in the 1970s. During the 70s, several studies purported that open adoption was better for the child. The popularity of open adoption continued to grow. In the 90s, open adoption was offered by a majority of adoption agencies in the United States. The Washington Times found in a 2012 study that 95 percent of United States adoptions have some level of openness between the adoptive parents and the birth parents.

Open adoption gives the birth parents the ability to meet adoptive parents. It allows birth parents to maintain a relationship with the child as he or she gets older. Basically, open adoption is a good way to give birth parents the peace of mind that their child will be properly cared for and loved.

Likewise, adoptive parents get the benefit of meeting the birth parents in an open adoption. To be selected and chosen by the birth parents is a rewarding and validating experience for adopting parents. Open adoption seems to have many positive effects on the birth parents, the adopting parents, and the adopted children. Though, as the previously-mentioned article states, open adoption is only permitted under certain circumstances.

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A Case for Becoming an Attorney

When it comes time for high school graduation, a lot of students wonder what career they ought to work towards. With either college or a jump into full-time employment on the horizon for all of them, there’s a real need for a little guidance. With that in mind, here’s a suggestion: become a lawyer.

That isn’t advice for everyone. Not everyone is cut out to be a lawyer. It’s hard work, and it’s expensive upfront. It also takes a certain kind of mind. For those who have the right skills, though, there are few better careers.

It is important to point all this out now for the simple reason that a career in law has lost some of its prestige of late. The cost of attending college even for just four years can make many potentially successful future lawyers turn away into careers that are easier and cheaper to get. Of course, there are also many different negative stereotypes about lawyers to discourage even those who might otherwise be willing to pay for the schooling and take the time and effort to get the degrees and pass the bar.

This second point is somewhat odd. Other careers that require so much work are usually viewed as prestigious and end up highly lauded. Doctors on television are heroes (as they should be), and scientists or professors are seen as great learned individuals. Lawyers, on the other hand, are ambulance chasers. They are unscrupulous and avaricious. Often, they are fools, and not just fools, but cocky fools.

This, assuredly, is not the case in real life. Many lawyers dedicate themselves to helping others just as doctors do. Simply consider the needs of those who find themselves being taken advantage of after a motor vehicle accident. If a lawyer weren’t available for such people, the consequences could be dire. Such people might miss out on needed treatment or go needlessly into debts they should not have. A lawyer, in that case, is a sort of hero.

Lawyers are also often quite learned, as learned as professors or scientists in their way, and in their sphere, wise and deserving of similar appreciation.

Beyond these positive social and personal qualities, it is worth pointing out that, yes, lawyers still do on average make a very good income. Enough income, in fact, that the costs of those college degrees are more than paid for in the medium term.

With all these points in mind, those high school graduates mulling over a entering the job market, entering college, or looking for something more, ought to consider the law as a very worthy option for their time and money.

It’s an ancient, honorable, and useful profession, one that can help others and bring in a lot of money. It is important not to be swayed by the impression given off by television shows or general societal disapprobation. Law is as fine a career as there is out there, and if a student has the skills and the willingness, there is no finer career to have.

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What is Dram Shop Liability?

Alcohol can have negative effects on the body. Firstly, those who are under the influence may have compromised physical and mental abilities, and this may put them at risk of traffic accidents. Secondly, they also have the tendency to be violent.

Due to these effects, alcohol intake should be moderated. This is especially true for bars, restaurants, taverns, and other social hosts who serve alcohol to customers and guests.

According to the website of Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, alcohol-related accidents involving the service of alcohol to intoxicated persons or minors may be taken to court. This is called dram shop liability, wherein a social host can be held accountable for serving or over-serving alcohol to a customer that has caused injury inside or outside the social host’s premises.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving and violent tendencies come to mind once again. If a person has been served with excessive alcohol, has driven a car home, has triggered an accident, and has injured himself or another person, the social host may be held accountable because of its failure to monitor the intoxication level of the person it is serving.

Violent Tendency

It is a common stereotype that intoxicated people are often involved in bar fights, and there is a reason why such a stereotype exists. This is because those who are under the influence of alcohol really have the tendency to be violent, either inside or outside the social host’s premises.

The social host can be held liable in these cases as well, especially if they have overserved a person who already has a reputation of violence.

Proof

Many states don’t even recognize dram shop liability, because of the simple fact that it is hard to prove that the social host has been negligent in serving alcoholic products and that this negligence is the direct cause of an accident and injury. Also, there are many instances wherein the intoxicated person is really the one at fault, like how he or she is deciding to drive even when under the influence of alcohol.

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Workers’ Compensation: Intended to Benefit Workers Who have Suffered Injuries and Illnesses on the Job

Each type of working environment has its own kind or risk of accident-causing injuries to employees. Risk of accident, however, which can cause severe injuries or even death, is always higher in construction sites than in any other workplace.

Some of the causes of dangers construction workers are exposed to every day include hazardous substances, sharp and heavy tools, heavy duty vehicles and machineries, great heights, hazards from ladders and scaffolds, electrical wirings, excavations and trenches. All these, plus the carelessness of some workers and employers’ failure to strictly comply with job safety laws, can result to accidents which, in truth, are actually preventable.

Though an injury can cause a worker to stop earning wages, it is a relief to know that he/she can avail of the financial benefits by Workers’ Compensation program. Workers’ Compensation is an insurance-like program that is mandated and administered by the state. It is designed to provide immediate financial benefits to workers who sustain job-related injuries or who develop an occupational illness. The cash benefits paid by Workers’ Comp cover cost of medical treatment and hospitalization, wage replacement, rehabilitation, retraining, disability, and death (which includes payment of benefits to survivors of the worker killed on the job). The usual wage replacement is two/thirds of the injured worker’s average wage; however, there is a fixed maximum amount set by states so that the benefits will not go over it.

Workers’ Comp pays benefits regardless of who was at fault for the injury or illness. However, this employment benefit that is financed by employers serves as a sort of an exchange wherein injured employees, by choosing to receive the benefits, automatically waive their right to sue their employer for additional compensation.

There are limits, by the way, to the types of injuries paid under the Workers’ Comp program. As a rule, benefits will never be paid to workers whose injury was self-inflicted, who were intoxicated at the time of the injury, or whose injury was a result of actions in violation of the law or company policy on safety measures.

There are “legal guidelines for payment of workers’ compensation benefits. State law governs WC coverage, though some employees may be covered by other federal compensation laws. All companies must have workers’ compensation insurance. Unfortunately, some employers do not have workers’ compensation insurance despite what the law says. In Pennsylvania, for example, an employee injured at work while working for an uninsured employer may pursue benefits from the Pennsylvania Uninsured Employer’s Guaranty Fund. However, there are several deadlines applicable under the law creating the Uninsured Fund, so it is important that you contact an attorney immediately if you have been injured at work.”

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Tips for Safe Motorcycle Riding

Motorcycle riders are up there in the list of most vulnerable people on the road, together with bicycle riders and pedestrians. Like bicyclists and pedestrians, motorcyclists are not enclosed in vessels, so they have the tendency to absorb a significant amount of the collision force, unlike car and truck drivers who have their bumpers and doors to somehow protect them.

Motorcyclists can be more vulnerable to bicyclists and pedestrians because of their speed and how they interact with the other vehicles on the road. Here are some tips for them to ensure that they are away from traffic accidents.

Always wear protective gear
Motorcycle accidents can happen because of many reasons, like rider error, recklessness on the part of the other motorists around the rider, or negligence on the part of the manufacturer of the motorcycle and its parts. But once an accident already occurs, your first line of defense is your protective gear, such as your helmet, goggles, gloves, and boots.

Avoid reckless driving behaviors
Reckless driving includes distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, dangerous maneuvering, tailgating, and weaving. These behaviors put you at greater risk of crashing your motorcycle or colliding with another vehicle or obstruction.

Be mindful of road hazards
Riders should also be in consistent lookout for potential hazardous elements on the road, such as leaves, rocks and sands. Motorcycles have less connection with the pavement compared to other motor vehicles such as cars and trucks, so they are more likely to lose control over trivial things such as these.

Maintain your motorcycle
Sometimes, a safe motorcycle ride is not just about what you do on the road, but also what you do before and after you hit the road. If your motorcycle is always on its top condition, you are limiting the possibility of mechanical defects and malfunctions. The most commonly affected areas are the brakes, cooling systems, engines, hydraulic lines, steering systems, and tires.

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