Adoption, is at heart, creating a family. It means that for all intents and purposes, the child (or children) is the legal heir and legal child of the adopting parent(s). That means that if the adopting parent dies the child can inherit the parent’s property as though the child was actually born to that parent. If the adopted child is in a family that splits due to divorce, then one parent may have a duty to pay child support to the custodial parent. The saying is that “you get the benefit and the burden” when you adopt a child. Becoming an adoptive parent is an important decision and choosing to adopt has lifelong impacts on children, their birth and adoptive parents, and extended families.
There are many types of adoptions. We primarily assist clients with:
- Step-parent adoption – By far, the most common type of adoption occurs when a stepparent adopts the child from his or her partner’s previous relationship. The noncustodial parent will have to terminate his or her parental rights to allow the stepparent to adopt the child.
- Second-parent adoption – A second parent adoption allows an individual to adopt his or her partner’s biological or adopted child without terminating the latter’s parental status.
- Adult adoptions – This adoption legalizes and solidifies relationships between an adult and someone he or she looks to as a parent, often times a step-parent who for many reasons was unable to adopt the child during the child’s minority.
If you are considering an adoption, we can help. Whether you are hoping to adopt as a step-parent or through other means, it is important to understand all your rights and responsibilities, how the process is conducted, what you need to do to be prepared and what you can expect each step of the way.
Your attorney will:
- Help you work on an adoption plan that suits your family’s needs
- Draw up the necessary paperwork and file with the proper agencies
- Help you understand and prepare for the state-required post-placement study
- Offer counsel and options should speed bumps occur
- Represent your best interests throughout the proceedings