Branford Adoption Lawyer
Individuals or couples that are considering adoption have a plethora of decisions to make and arrangements to consider prior to finalizing the adoption. For some, the exciting choices are whether the adopted child is a son or daughter, newborn or older child, or single child or siblings.
In addition to those choices, another significant decision is where the child is adopted from, which impacts the laws involved. Adding a child to your family through surrogacy or adoption can be time-consuming and complicated, but you are not required to handle it all on your own.
If you are considering adopting a child in Branford, contact an experienced local Branford adoption lawyer for assistance and guidance through the often stressful process. Compassionate family attorneys can assist in preparing you for what to expect.
Terminating Parental Rights
Adoption is a two-step legal process that transfers the rights and responsibilities of a child to a non-biological parent or parents via court action. The first step in the process requires that the parental rights of the biological parent be severed or terminated.
Terminating parental rights involuntarily is not a simple process, solely because a child has been removed from the parent’s custody. In a statutory adoption, the petitioner, which is the person requesting that the parent’s rights be terminated, has to prove to the court using the clear and convincing evidence standard, that the termination is in the child’s best interests.
One or more of the below-listed conditions must be met:
- The biological parent abandoned the child, which may be established when the parent failed to maintain a reasonable degree of interest, concern, or responsibility for the child
- The child has been denied by the parent, which is established by an act or omission, including, but not limited to sexual molestation and exploitation, severe physical abuse, and/or an absence of guidance or control necessary for the child’s physical, education, moral, or emotional well-being
- There is no ongoing parent-child relationship
- The child has been deemed neglected or uncared for in Superior Court or Probate Court in a prior or instant hearing and has been in state custody for 15 months without the parent achieving a degree of personal rehabilitation that would suggest that they could assume a responsibility for the child
- The child is under the age of seven and the parent has failed to achieve a degree of personal rehabilitation that would suggest that they could assume a responsible position in the child’s life
- The parent deliberately killed or conspired to kill another biological child, or deliberately assaulted a biological child, causing serious bodily injury
- The parent was convicted of sexual assault resulting in the conception of a child (in most cases)
- The parent consents to the termination
Establishing Parental Rights
The second step in the adoption process in Branford is establishing the legal relationship between the child and the adoptive parent(s). Following the termination of the biological parent’s rights, the court determines whether the proposed adoption is in the best interest of child.
That determination is made after considering multiple factors, one of which is the child’s consent, if they are 12 years old or older.
Once the adoption is approved, the adoptive parents have the same legal rights that a birth parent would have. Similarly, the adopted child has the same rights and benefits that they would have they were the adoptive parent’s birth child.
How a Branford Adoption Attorney Can Help
If you and a loved one are thinking about possibly adopting a child, then do not hesitate to speak with Branford adoption lawyers who can help guide you through this sometimes complex and frustrating process and stand by you every step of the way.