If you are looking to start your family through the adoption process, the best way to do that is to consult with an experienced adoption attorney at the beginning of the process.
Role of an adoption attorney
An adoption attorney will advise you on how adoption works. They can direct you to proper adoption agencies or assist you in selecting the right birth parents if you choose a private placement adoption. Your attorney will navigate the complex legal system, keeping your best interests, and the child’s, in mind. Some issues that they may handle for you include notifying the birth father, handling payment of medical expenses, adding your new child to your health insurance, and processing the new birth certificate showing the adoptive parents as the child’s parents.
Because adoption is a legal process, an adoption attorney must represent you in court. An attorney will file all the necessary adoption paperwork, taking care that all the proper documentation is complete.
Types of adoption
There are several types of adoption that you can consider. Private placement adoption is where the birth parents choose the family to place their child with, using the services of an adoption attorney. Identities may be kept confidential if desired, but the child has access to family health records. Having an adoption attorney to assist you in communicating with the biological parents and obtaining their medical history and prenatal records for review by your doctor is critical to successful adoption.
Approximately 60 to 70 percent of all domestic newborns adopted in the United States are placed through the independent adoption process, not through an adoption agency. Bearing in mind these adoptions are often interstate, having an attorney guiding you will make the process smooth and cost-effective.
An agency adoption is where the biological parents surrender their parental rights, and the adoption agency chooses the adoptive family from those registered with their agency. The child usually has access to family health records.
A semi-open adoption allows the birth parents to keep in contact, through an adoption agency, with the adoptive parents. The child has access to family health records.
In a closed adoption, the biological parents do not have any information about adoptive parents, and the child does not have access to family health records.
Termination of parental rights
In many cases, it is necessary to seek the termination of parental rights from both the birth mother as well as the birth father. The federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) legislates the conditions for determining the termination of parental rights. This is a crucial step for adoption. It may be necessary for an adoption attorney to track down a birth parent so they can waive their parental rights.
A dedicated adoption attorney will navigate the legal system to assist you with bringing a child into your safe, loving home. They will help establish that you and your partner are emotionally, financially, and legally ready and able to adopt the child.