|Posted by bcneal.law on April 13, 2013 at 12:25 AM|
The Adoption Process
There are many ways to adopt a child. These are the most common:
Agency Adoptions: Both private and public agencies offer adoption services. These agencies are heavily monitored and regulated by the government, and are generally less expensive than other resources. As a drawback, agency adoptions usually involve long waiting periods, a complicated application process, and home study procedures.
Private Adoptions: With private or independent adoptions, a child is placed with adoptive parents without the involvement of an agency. As a result, the adoption process is often faster and more efficient. The major drawback is that private adoptions are usually more expensive because of the absence of government subsidies and support services. Private adoptions are also illegal in several states.
Stepparent Adoptions: It is becoming more common for parents to remarry and have their new spouse adopt their child from a previous relationship. In order for a stepparent to adopt, he or she will need the written consent of the other biological parent. If this consent is denied, the stepparent must petition the court to terminate the parental rights of the biological parent.
Do I Need to go to Court for an Adoption?
All adoptions, whether through an agency or done privately, must be approved by a court. This is why it is best to hire an attorney to walk yo thru the process. The adoptive parents must petition for approval from the court as well as participate in an adoption hearing. Additionally, prior to any hearings, anyone who is required to consent to the adoption must receive notice. This includes any biological parents, adoption agencies, or the childs legal representative (if a court has appointed one), and the child if he or she is old enough.
If the court determines that the adoption is in the child's best interest, the judge will issue an order approving and finalizing the adoption. This order, usually called a Final Decree of Adoption, legalizes the new parent-child relationship, and changes the child's name to the name the adoptive parents have chosen. This information is offered in general terms and is not meant to be used without the assistance of an attorney.