Fresh Thinking.

Effective Representation.

Adoptions

We can help you with relative and step-parent adoptions, adult adoptions, and foster care adoptions.  This is a life changing event that can sometimes be overwhelming, with long term effects for both biological and adoptive families. Let us help to ensure that your interests are well protected and appropriately represented.

Adopting someone into your family is a life-changing event.  Adoption is a statutory process, which means that there are very specific laws and rules apply.  Prior to completing an adoption, the rights of the biological parents need to be terminated.  This is a complicated process that needs to be done in accordance with the strict requirements of the law.  When an adoption is complete, the court issues a new birth certificate for the adopted individual and any existing legal relationships with biological or custodial parents are severed.  Other than the traditional private party or foster care adoptions, there are several types of adoptions for which someone may need representation to help navigate the process:

Step-Parent Adoptions

Many times a step-parent has such a significant relationship with a child that they would like to adopt that child.  To do this, you either need the consent of the non-custodial parent, or you need to petition the court to terminate that parent’s legal relationship with the child.

Adult Adoptions.  Adoption is the same legal process whether the individual is a child or an adult. The most common reason to adopt an adult is for inheritance purposes. In this case, adult adoption allows someone to leave property or financial assets to the adopted individual more easily. Another reason is to formalize an existing parent/child relationship. For example, parents can adopt a now adult foster child or stepchild.

Home study

Most adoptions require a home study.  The home study is a written document a caseworker or social worker writes about your family and includes basic information drawn from interviews with your family and information provided by third parties. Generally, a home study includes:

  • Family background, statements, and references
  • Education and employment
  • Relationships and social life
  • Daily life routines
  • Parenting experiences
  • Details about your home and neighborhood
  • Readiness and reasons about your wanting to adopt

The home study process can take between three to six months to complete. How extensive it is depends on the type of adoption.  An adult adoption does not require a home study, and a step-parent adoption requires a less extensive home study.