We can help with the adoption process.
Adoption is the formal process that occurs when an adult becomes the legal guardian of a child. When an adult adopts a child, he or she takes on all the rights and responsibilities of a parent. Once the adoption is finalized, the non-custodial biological parent (or parents, if this is not a stepparent adoption) no longer has any legal right to the child.
The most common type of adoption is called stepparent adoption. It is exactly what it sounds like: if the parents of a child have been separated for a long time and the mother or father is no longer involved in the child’s life, then a stepparent can petition to adopt the child. There are a few requirements for this type of adoption to take place:
- First, it is a requirement that the stepparent must be married to the biological parent of the child for at least two years prior to petitioning for adoption, regardless of how long the stepparent has been taking care of the child.
- Second, the non-custodial biological parent must sign an agreement consenting to the adoption. If the non-custodial biological parent cannot be reached, it is at the discretion of the court whether or not to grant an adoption without consent. If the non-custodial biological parent objects to the adoption, then you must proceed with a hearing for termination of parental rights (TPR) before the adoption can occur.
- Finally, if the child being adopted at least twelve years old, then the child must sign forms acknowledging and consenting to the adoption.
While most adoptions occur when a stepparent adopts the child of their spouse, adoptions through the foster care system are also common. Whether you worked with an agency to adopt or you are the stepparent of a child you want to adopt, the adoption process consists of many legal rules that you must follow.
For this reason, one of the most important steps you can take when you decide to adopt is to call our law firm. During your initial consultation, we will go over the adoption process with you and help you understand what to expect when you decide to adopt a child. As your adoption lawyer, we will work diligently to eliminate potential problems and prevent unnecessary delays.
Our law firm can work on both open and closed adoptions, and we will oversee your case from the initial consultation to the final hearing. Our goal is to make adopting less stressful, so you can look forward to expanding your family.
If you have any questions about what the legal adoption process looks like, contact our law firm. We are highly motivated to help families with the adoption process and look forward to hearing about your plans to adopt.