What You Need To Know About Adoption
Adopting a child can be a complicated and frustrating process on your own. John Anthony Ward, LLC in Kenosha, WI, has worked in the family law arena for over three decades. He understands the intricacies involved in adoption and will work to make sure your rights are protected throughout. Call an adoption attorney who can answer your questions and help you determine the best approach for your family.
What a Parent Needs To Adopt
Almost anyone can adopt a child. Potential parents must:
- Be a US citizen
- Be at least 25 years old, if unmarried
- Adopt jointly, if married
Otherwise, the possibilities are wide open. You do not need to be married, own a home, earn a minimum amount of income, or be in a heterosexual relationship. Furthermore, you are not required to have other children in your home or to even have raised other children in the past.
Types of Adoption
There are several types of adoption. Any one of the following may meet your needs:
- Agency: Many parents elect to coordinate adoption through a public or private agency.
- Private: In a private adoption, you can work out an arrangement with a child's biological parents through a family law attorney. This process may either be open or closed. In other words, you and your child can maintain contact with their biological parents or not.
- Relative: A stepparent, grandparent, or other relative can adopt a child, provided the biological parent gives consent and is willing to let the court terminate their parental rights.
- International: In the US, it is possible to adopt a child from another country. In addition to obtaining documents from American immigration authorities, you may also need to meet other requirements from the adoptive child's country’s rules and regulations. If you are looking to adopt from another country, it is critical to involve an attorney from the outset and minimize the risk of errors.
Every family faces unique circumstances. During your initial consultation, we can help you find the type of adoption that works for your situation.
Many parents elect to coordinate adoption through a public or private agency.
What to Expect
If you are considering adoption, you will need to:
- Complete a Home Study: To make sure you are prepared to house and care for a child, a social worker will conduct a home study. In addition to asking you for documents like birth certificates and personal references, this social worker will also conduct a series of interviews and visit your home. Through this, they will determine whether you and your family are ready to have a child in your home.
- Find a Child: If the social worker determines that you are prepared to take care of a child and you do not already have a specific child in mind, you can begin the search for a child, teen, or sibling group to adopt. This is usually done through an agency or attorney. You will have the opportunity to review information about children who may be a match for you, then decide which child to adopt.
- Meet the Child: If the child's worker believes that you may be a good fit and you are officially selected, you can finally meet with the child. Ideally, you will have the opportunity to meet with them several times over the course of several weeks or months as you complete relevant paperwork.
- Placing the Child: On the placement date, the child will officially come to live in your home. Your agency or attorney will visit regularly for the next few months to check-in. At this time, you can file your legal intent to adopt petition.
- Finalizing the Adoption: The child will become a legal part of your family during a court session. After finalizing the adoption, the judge will provide you with an amended birth certificate that names you as parents, as well as a certificate of adoption.
Whatever your need, we know how to help.
John Ward can guide you through the often complicated process of adoption. If you are looking into adoption, contact us online or by calling (262) 654-8868. We offer a free initial consultation so that you can make an educated decision about which option is best for your family.
"Mr. Ward and his professional team proceeded tenaciously to build a strong case in my favor. His in-depth knowledge of the law resulted in my twelve year old felony becoming just a misdemeanor. Mr. Ward is the third attorney to work on my case, but the only one who achieved positive results."Emily Rogers