Are you considering adopting a child, either from the US, or abroad? If so, you will likely need to have a family lawyer to guide you through the adoption process. By having a legal advocate on your side, you can ensure all documentation is completed in a timely, effective manner. If you would like to speak with a family lawyer about your adoption needs, please call a law firm today.
The Adoption Process
Each state has their own regulations and rules for adopting a child; however, most are similar. Before you begin the adoption process, it will be a good idea to take time to understand what you may expect. Please know that the adoption process can be time consuming, costly, lengthy, complicated, and emotional. However, it should not prevent you from saving the life of a minor child. Furthermore, having an experienced family lawyer on your side can make the process easier.
Consenting to Adoption – Before the adoption can be made legal, the biological parents of the child must agree, or consent, to the adoption. The exception to this rule is when the parents’ rights have been terminated or the court has found them to be unfit. Some states require the child to be born before the consent can be given. Other states allow their consent while the mother is pregnant. Bare in mind that some states also allow the biological parents to revoke their consent up unto a period of time – usually 3 months. As a family lawyer might explain to you, this period of time can be emotionally stressful for the adoptive parents. Even with the right lawyer, there is not much that can be done should this happen. For this reason, it is important to feel confident in the biological parent’s choice. If either parent seems to be mentally unstable, adopting their child, could be risky and should be fully thought through.
The Home Study Investigation
Before you can adopt a child, you will go through an investigation which is overseen by a licensed agency or social worker. Frequent, even random, visits to the home will be made to examine your life, behaviors, routines, and so forth. Once the investigation is completed, a social worker will prepare a report for the court. After the court will make a final decision on whether or not the adoptive parents can proceed. The investigation may include:
- The marital stability of the parents
- The financial stability of the parents
- Each parent’s lifestyle
- Each parent’s habits
- Obligations to a career
- Whether there are other children
- The health of all those living in the house
- Whether each parent has any criminal history
The social worker or agency can also help the adoptive parents to prepare for the adoption by addressing questions and concerns, as well as, potential issues that may arise in the future.
The Court Procedure
Whether the adoption has been overseen by an agency or done independently, the court must approve the adoption. This is when it is important to have a family lawyer on your side.
Call a Family Lawyer to Learn More About Adopting a Child
Whether you are using an agency, adopting independently, are the foster parent of a child you would like to adopt, a step parent, or guardian, it is important to talk to a family law lawyer in Rockville, MD about the process, rules, and what to expect.
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and adoption.