Adopting a child is one of the biggest decisions you can make in your lifetime. It is also one of the few times that people are excited to go to Court, including the judges. The joy of finalizing an adoption is difficult to describe. Our attorneys welcome the opportunity to assist you with your adoption.
Once you have made the decision to adopt a child, it is normal to have questions about the legal process. Because the decision is not one that should be taken lightly, it is important to make sure that you are prepared for the requirements and procedures to complete the adoption. It is also important to have a plan prior to the birth of the child that will continue all the way through finalization.
Fortunately, an attorney can be of significant help throughout the adoption process. Hiring an attorney will help you navigate the adoption process and avoid setbacks, thus helping your adoption go smoother and quicker. Here’s how:
- An attorney will explain the process from start to finish. The adoption process is more than just finding a mother looking to place her child with a family. There are many different types of adoptions including step-parent adoption, foster parent adoption, adoption with a family member, adult adoption, and private adoptions. Each different type of adoption may have different requirements. Depending on the type of adoption there will be numerous steps that need to occur before parental rights can be created and/or transferred. An attorney will be able to explain the entire process of adoption in detail and explain any issues that may arise along the way.
- An attorney will represent you in court should any issues arise. Adoptions must be finalized in court by a judge. There are occasions when an adoption may become contested, or there may be other issues or questions a judge has about the case. When this happens, it is important to have an attorney familiar with your state’s adoption laws so they can advocate on your behalf. It is vital that you retain an attorney early on in the process so that he/she will be familiar with the particular facts and issues in your case and prepared to represent you.
- An attorney will guide you through collecting the needed documents. In most states, the adoption process requires you to provide documentation that you are an acceptable person/couple to adopt. This may include providing:
- Statements demonstrating your financial resources,
- References and social history,
- Moral history,
- Physical and mental health,
- Fingerprint-based criminal history records check,
- Hospital and medical records related to the child, and
- Any other relevant information
Providing these documents and statements is a very thorough process, but one that can go smoothly when you have an attorney who is prepared to help.
- Adopting a child from another state. If the child you are adopting was born in another state you may be required to obtain permission from the sending state before bringing the child home. If this is the case, it is vital to meet with an attorney well in advance of the birth of the child so you can come collect the documents needed to submit the request. This will help you to be able to come home as quickly as possible.
These are many of the benefits of hiring an attorney to aid and guide you through the adoption process. If you, or someone you know, is looking to start the adoption process, contact one of our qualified attorneys.