What Are Some of the Legal Issues Involved in the Adoption Process?
Whether you are unable to have a child of your own due to fertility issues, you are a single parent and you want to start a family, or you are part of a same-sex couple who are ready to become parents, there are a number of reasons why people pursue adoption. Once you have made the decision to adopt a child, it is important that you understand some of the legal challenges associated with the adoption process and that you are prepared to manage some of the common obstacles that often arise. A child custody lawyer will be able to walk you through every step of the adoption process, address all of your questions and concerns, and help you reach the best possible outcome.
What Challenges Should I Be Aware of Before Pursuing Adoption?
Adoption can be just as rewarding and fulfilling as having your own biological child. Expanding one’s family by providing a loving home to a child who, for whatever reason, has been given up by their own parents, is a reward in itself. However, there are a range of legal logistical challenges that often arise during the adoption process that you should be aware of, including the following:
- You must qualify to adopt. In order to adopt a child in the United States, you must meet a series of requirements before the state or private agency will consider you eligible to adopt. Prospective adoptive parents must be over the age of 18, have a stable income, and pass a criminal background check.
- The adoption process can be complicated. Once the state or the private agency deems that you are eligible to adopt, you will need to begin the application process, which will involve a home visit to ensure that you are able to provide a safe and loving home. If you are adopting a child from another country, you will need to comply with that county’s adoption laws and regulations.
- The birth parents may still have rights. Until the adoption has been finalized, the birth parents will continue to have certain rights. For example, they can object to the adoption at any point in the process. In addition, they may ask to maintain some degree of contact with the child after the adoption has been finalized. If a birth mother has given her child up for adoption, the birth father may still have a legal right to claim the child, which can complicate the adoption process.
- There are different types of adoptions. There are two main types of adoptions, including open adoptions and closed adoptions. The main difference between the two is that open adoptions allow the birth parents to have some degree of contact with the child after the adoption has been finalized, whereas a closed adoption severs all ties between the birth parents and the child. While open adoptions are becoming more common, they can cause complications between the birth parents and the adoptive parents down the road.
- Be prepared for a home study. A social worker assigned to your case will visit your home, interview all family members who live in the household and conduct a thorough investigation into your home and family life to ensure that you are prepared to adopt a child. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process, but it is a crucial step towards finalizing the adoption.
- Adoption can be expensive. The cost of your adoption will depend on a number of factors, including the agency you choose to conduct the adoption, whether it is a private or public adoption agency, if you have agreed to pay for the birth mother’s medical bills, and if you are adopting a child from another country. For example, if the child is a foreign national, the adoption will be more expensive.
Somerville Child Custody Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Assist Clients with All Aspects of the Adoption Process
If you are considering adopting a child, contact the Somerville child custody lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. at your earliest convenience. We will discuss the legal issues that may arise and help you navigate every step of the adoption process. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online. Located in Somerville, Morristown, and Freehold, we serve clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.