Adoption Attorneys

Adoption is a life-changing moment for children and their adoptive families, and the experience should be an exciting one. Adoption most often involves a complex procedure meant to ensure the change is happening in the child’s best interest. As a result, adoptive parents benefit greatly by having an experienced law firm assisting them through the process.

Below are a few different types of adoptions and a brief explanation about how they differ.

Public Adoption

public adoption
Public adoption agencies are funded by local, state, and federal sources and facilitate the adoption of children from foster care. Public agencies may arrange meetings between prospective adoptive parents and social workers and/or supervisors, or they may match children with adoptive families through a placement committee.
Read more about public adoption

Private Adoption

private adoptions
During the private adoption process, birth parents work through an agency to choose prospective adoptive parents for their child. Some birth parents and adoptive parents get to know each other before the adoption takes place. In other cases, an agency will work alone to match a child with prospective adoptive parents.
Read more about private adoption

Kinship Care and Adoption

When a child enters the public dependency system, the goal is to reunify that child with his or her birth parents. If that reunification is not a possibility, agencies then attempt to place the child in kinship care, meaning the permanent care of an extended birth family member. If these options have been explored and the child cannot be placed with a member of his or her birth family, the agency will terminate parental rights and seek other prospective adoptive parents.

Stepchild Adoption

Stepchild adoption is the most common form of adoption. Stepparents who adopt their spouse’s child become a legal parent of that child. At the same time, the noncustodial parent (meaning the parent who does not have custody of the child) will no longer have parental rights or responsibilities to things like child support. To adopt, a stepparent must have the consent of both the spouse and the noncustodial parent – unless he or she has already lost parental rights.

Same Sex Adoption

Adoption by same sex couples became legal in all 50 states in 2016. Depending on their jurisdiction, however, couples still may face some hurdles. For example, some states have restrictions on same sex partners fostering children. Other couples have experienced difficulties with social workers and agencies when trying to adopt. If you are a same sex couple considering adopting or fostering a child, it’s important to know the most up-to-date laws in your jurisdiction before proceeding. An experienced lawyer can explain your rights and guide you through the process.

Deciding to Adopt: Some Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the right adoption professionals?

When adopting you will need a variety of professionals to help along with way. You want to choose an agency and a lawyer whom you can trust. Someone or some organization that you believe will be clear, up front and capable. Think about community reputation, size, recent success stories.

What is the difference between deciding to adopt from a private adoption agency or through the public welfare system and an agency in that realm?

When adopting through a private agency, you are working with a birth family who has actively chosen to place their child for adoption, not a family who’s child/family is being monitored by a public welfare agency. A private agency may provide a bit more of a service and comfort level for families as they have an equal duty to both birth and adopting families. Often a public agency spends the first portion of its time with the foster family still attempting to reunify the child with his or her birth mother. There could be a chance in both cases that the adoption does not proceed- in a private adoption, the birth mother could change her mind; in a public adoption the child could be reunified with his or her parent. Cost can also be a factor as private agencies often cost more than adopting through the foster care system

How much is adopting going to cost?

This varies from state to state. You are looking at an agency fee, legal fees, court filing fees and possible home evaluation fees. Consult your attorney or agency for state regulations and fees.

Can I get financial assistance to help finance my adoption?

There is a a federal adoption tax credit and some states also have something similar. You may also be able to get a low interest loan, help from your employer or a grant.

Contact Our Adoption Lawyers for Assistance

As a prospective adoptive parents having the right legal assistance on your side can ensure the adoption process runs smoothly and efficiently. If you’re looking to adopt, we can help. Contact Petrelli Previtera for a confidential consultation about adoption. During our meeting, we will discuss your family’s needs and wishes and come up with the best course of action.

Call 866-465-5395 to schedule an appointment.

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Further Reading