The decision to adopt a new family member is a big choice, so parents will want to ensure they are going about the steps correctly. Many adoptive parents will turn to a family lawyer who has experience in adoption during this time so they have confidence as they go through the process. If you are wondering whether you need to hire a legal professional and have other questions that need answering, consider talking with a reputable lawyer in your area. For now, here are the answers to some of the most common questions parents ask:
What would an adoption lawyer do?
A lawyer who offers assistance with adoption can help parents gain guardianship of a child that wasn’t brought into their family biologically. A lawyer can help parents complete paperwork, locate a reliable agency in the area, and represent them in court if needed. A lawyer will also always have the parents’ best interests in mind, guiding them along the way towards adoption.
What if I don’t know where to begin?
For those who are just beginning their journey to adoption, meeting with a lawyer is a good place to start. The laws for adoption may vary by state, and your lawyer will have the information you need so you understand how these laws may impact your adoption process. Your lawyer can provide guidance based on your situation and your preference for adoption, whether that be foster care, independent adoption, open, closed, public agency, private agency, or international.
What is the difference between independent and agency adoption?
Independent adoption is when there isn’t an agency or social services department who is part of the adoption process. In such instances, if both parents (existing and adoptive) agree, then they can pursue the legal adoption themselves with assistance from a lawyer. There are licensed adoption agencies who can provide adoption services, depending on the adoptive parent’s situation and preferences.
How long will the adoption process take?
From the start of your adoption filing to when a child becomes a legal member of your family, it may take up to five years including periods of waiting. However, it may take less time if your lawyer knows who to talk to, what paperwork to fill out, and how to avoid legal complications. If you are interested in adopting as soon as possible, then hire a lawyer who may be able to expedite the process.
What are the common reasons that people adopt?
There are many reasons why a single or partnered couple would want to adopt a child that isn’t biologically theirs. Perhaps they struggle with infertility but still want a baby, so adoption is their next resource. Others want to create a life and family where they are making a difference on a more global scale, particularly when they adopt internationally. All in all, every adoptive parent must be coming from a genuine place where they truly want to open their hearts and home to a child who doesn’t have that support.