Adoption Attorney

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The Adoption Process

Adopting is an incredible process that changes the lives of everyone involved. Adoption attorneys want to ensure this experience remains exciting, stress free and ends with a wonderful addition to your family. Where to even begin in this process?

Adoption laws vary by state, it is essential to be aware and knowledgeable of all local adoption laws to avoid any complications that may arise in the future and affect your family.

Adoption attorneys will support you on every step of this new journey. This includes helping you find the perfect agency to get started with, filing of your necessary paperwork, preparing for any hearings or representation in court, handling any issues with birth parents, answering complicated questions, and overall helping you make the best decisions for you and your family.

Adoption attorneys are here to guide you and make the adopting process as smooth and simple as possible so that you can truly enjoy the excitement of adopting.

Types of Adoption

There are many different types of adoptions that your adoption attorney will assist you in navigating through these and helping you make the best choices.

All types of adoption must be done in ways that abide by the laws of the state Some of the most common types of adoption include:

International Adoption - International adoption is the process of adopting a child from another country. In this type of adoption, you must follow the laws of both your state and the country the child is currently living. Parents will be required to acquire an immigrant visa for that child. International adoption is one of the more difficult processes that an adoption lawyer can help with significantly.

Infant Adoption - Infant adoption is an extremely popular adoption process in which the adopting parent chooses to adopt their child as an infant.

Children currently in foster care – This is the process of adopting a child who cannot be cared for by their birth parents. These kids of all ages stay in foster groups or homes until they are adopted or become of legal age to live independently. There are currently more than 400,000 children living in foster care in the United States. The average age of these children is 8 years old. An adoption attorney can help you begin the process of getting to know the children that are currently living in foster homes and working with agencies to get the adoption started.

Stepparent Adoption - Step parent adoption is a very simple process when all parties are consenting to this adoption. An attorney may need to get involved when one of the parents is not consenting as this can lead to a large amount of paperwork and waiting.

Relative Adoption - This is an adoption process in which family members such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings, etc. of that child adopt him/her. This process may happen in the case that the child’s parents are not around or possibly not fit to raise their child and there is a relative that can provide this child a safe and caring home instead of going into foster care.

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Independent vs. Agency Adoptions

Independent adoptions are the most direct forms of adoptions as it is an agreement from both the birth parents of the child and the adopting parents that this adoption is consensual on both sides. In doing this, it allows for a more flexibility. This type of adoption does not involve any agencies and is far more private of a process. Laws regarding this type of adoption vary drastically by state so it is important to be aware of these laws when beginning the process of an independent adoption. Adoption attorneys are essential in ensuring a smooth independent adoption process. As you are not proceeding through any type of agency, an attorney is needed. However, this is ideal for those who have already found someone trustworthy they can adopt from.

Agency Adoptions are when adopting through an agency. In doing this, there are far more professional benefits that are offered. When adopting with an agency, they provide the right training and counseling to ensure you are ready for the journey of adopting a child. Agency adoptions often have more coordination as they are done through far more people. You are more often in contact with adoption professionals who make the process of adopting feel simpler as you are guided through this exciting process with them. There are specific agencies for the types of adoptions you are wishing to pursue so are more likely to make the best decisions for your family. Adoption attorneys can also be heavily involved in agency adoptions. In fact, they can directly locate the agencies that best fit your needs. They often can directly refer you to a social worker who is happy to get the adoption process started with you! In addition, these social workers and counselors are there to ensure you are entirely ready to become a parent and that this child is going to a safe and loving home. That is always the top priority of both agencies and adoption attorneys.

Open Vs. Close Adoptions

Open Adoptions is when the birth parents of the child and the adopting parents meet and/or generally stay in touch with each other, this practice has been becoming more popular among parents. Birth parents can have a choice of the adoption parents so that they can feel secure about the family their child is going into. It is common in this process for the birth and adoptive parents to be present during the birth and stay in each other’s life. However, this all their choice.

Close adoptions are the exact opposite of open adoptions are the birth parents and adoptive parents are not involved in each other’s lives whatsoever and most times do not even know the names of each other. Often in these cases the child will generally not meet their birth parents until after they are 18 if they ever do. This type of adoption is rarer of an adoption as years go on. The laws regarding access to information about the birth parents or the adopting parents also varies heavily by state. It is important to meet with an adoption attorney if you are looking to obtain information when dealing with a closed adoption as privacy is very much protected in these cases.

Adoption attorneys are here to assist you on every type of adoption there is and to help navigate you through the long process. The ultimate goal by the end is to change the lives of both the family’s looking to adopt and the large number of children looking for homes. If you do not have much knowledge about adoption or do not know where to even begin in all of this, an adoption attorney can be a great fit for you. You will be directly guided to all the resources you need and have all paperwork filled out so that this exciting time can remain a positive, life changing experience that all parties will remember forever.

Adoption Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do I need an adoption attorney?
Adoption attorneys are not mandatory in adopting. However, it can be a beneficial decision if you do not know much about the process and are not sure where to get started. If you are coming across complications in your adoption process or you just wish to avoid any problems in general, an adoption lawyer can be a great fit for you as well. Adoption attorneys can assist in connecting you with social workers and agencies that best fit your needs and provide you the right support for your adoption.
Can a single parent adopt?
You do not need to be married or have a partner to adopt. If the adoptive parent is abiding by adoption laws of their area, can prove the ability to financially and emotionally support this child, and that he/she is ultimately going to a good home, a single parent may adopt.
Am I able to adopt a child from another state?
Yes, in this case you would be required to comply with the laws of both the state in which you reside, and the state of the child you are wishing to adopt. Additionally, after complying with these laws, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) must approve of a child’s transfer. These steps can be made easier when working with an adoption attorney.
How long can the adoption process be?
The adoption process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years depending on the specifics of your case, such as international adoptions that can require more paperwork and assessment than a normal adoption would. This is to fully ensure that child is going into a safe and loving home.
Is the number of children I can adopt limited?
Yes, there is a limit that varies by state. Your adoption attorney can assist you in becoming knowledgeable on your state adoption laws and avoiding any complications that may become present in the future.
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