Cheshire Adoption Lawyer

Adding to your family by adopting a child can be a difficult but immensely rewarding endeavor. Unfortunately, with all the legal requirements, forms, and waiting lists inherent to the process, adoptions can take a very long time and, in some cases, become prohibitively expensive. There are several different types of adoption depending your circumstances.

If you are considering adoption, a Cheshire adoption lawyer can be of great help to you as you navigate this complex and emotional process. Get in touch with an experienced family law attorney right away. En Español.

Adoption Scenarios

Depending on someone’s circumstances and wishes, there are a few different adoption scenarios they may encounter that require slightly different approaches and legal procedures.

First, there are nonrelated adoptions, which occur when parents adopt a child that they are not at all related to. This type of adoption usually proceeds through an adoption or foster care agency.

The next adoption scenario is adoption by stepparents, which allows a stepparent to step in and formally adopt a child who lacks one or both parental figures in their life at the time of adoption.

Lastly, there is adoption by a blood relative, which is usually a private adoption between family members. An aunt and uncle adopting their niece’s child would be one example of this type of adoption.

Legal Requirements for Adoption

There are two major steps to every adoption. First, there must be a mutual agreement between two parties to give up and receive a child for adoption, respectively. Then, a probate court has to approve the agreement.

An important part of the probate court’s responsibility is officially terminating the parental rights of the biological parents. Usually, this is through the parents requesting and agreeing to the termination of their rights.

However, in other cases, parents may have their rights terminated involuntarily due to negligence or abuse. If both parents are deceased, there is no requirement for the court to terminate rights.

Conditions of Adoption

The primary focus of an adoption placement agency is generally to know what the child to be adopted needs and help determine whether the adoptive family can meet these needs. Usually, this process involves submitting to a home study conducted by the State Commissioner of Children and Families.

If the adoption is through foster care, the parent or parents have most likely already submitted to a home study and been cleared as a foster parent(s).

If someone has adopted internationally, they will need to have their adoption validated. The court will have 45 days to respond to their validation request. Placing a child with an adoptive family requires there is no bias in nationality, gender, or race on the part of the adopting parent or parents. Individuals and families can learn more this process by contacting a Cheshire adoption lawyer.

Adopting a Stepchild

Adoption procedures vary slightly when adopting a stepchild.  The home study requirement may be waived if the stepparent is already effectively responsible for the child at the time of adoption. The biological parent’s rights must still be terminated first before an adoption can proceed, though.

As usual, the court must also determine if the adoption is in the best interest of the child. If the stepchild is twelve years of age or older, then they must agree to the adoption themselves as well before it can go through.

Not Consenting to Adoption

In some cases, a parent may not be willing to consent to an adoption. This can happen if, for example, a father does not want to place their child up for adoption but the mother does. In this situation, a father would need to declare paternity as soon as possible so they can obtain full paternal rights, including the right to refuse adoption.

Alternatively, if someone is concerned about their parental rights being terminated so that a stepparent can adopt, an adoption attorney in Cheshire can help them defend against this attack on their rights.

Contact a Cheshire Adoption Attorney Today

When adopting a child, it pays to have knowledge of and experience with the law on your side. Speak to a Cheshire adoption lawyer today, so they can help you get started on the next chapter in your life.