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Adoption Legal Services
Adoption is a legal process that gives parenting rights and responsibilities to another person. Adoption can involve a family who wants to adopt a child because they can’t have children of their own. However, adoption can involve anyone who wants to care for a child, including stepparent adoption of a stepchild, adoption by family members, grandparent adoption, single adopters, or same-sex adoption.
Adoption law varies by state and is generally handled through family law courts. Adoption lawyers can help people through the state law process of establishing a legal parent-child relationship and transferring parental rights to the new parents. Adoption attorneys can also help if there are any disputes or complications in the adoption case.
What Are Different Types of Adoption?
There are a lot of options for individuals, couples, or families who want to adopt a child. Adoptions can generally be categorized as private adoption or adoption through the state foster care program. Private adoption can involve working with an adoption agency or an independent adoption working directly with the birth parent.
Adoption through the state may require the prospective adoptive parents to go through the foster care program and get foster care approval before adopting. One of the benefits of state agency adoption is that it can be less expensive than a private adoption.
What Is Private Adoption ?
In a private adoption, the adoptive parents work with a private agency. Private adoption can be more expensive but it may provide more adoption options, including parents who want to adopt a baby or young child. Private adoption can also include costs for legal fees and agency fees.
Can You Adopt a Child in Another Country?
International adoption is another option for parents-to-be. International adoptions can be more complicated because the adoptive parents have to comply with foreign adoption legal issues and their home state’s adoption process. International adoption also requires going through U.S. immigration procedures.
Open Adoption or Closed Adoption
In an open adoption, the adoptive parents and the child’s biological parents have contact with each other after the child is born. There are different levels of how much contact the parents have with each other and the child. In a closed adoption, the adopted child generally does not have contact with their birth parents.
What Is the Adoption Process?
The adoption process can take a lot of time. The process may be different if the parent is going through the state foster care agency, a private adoption agency, or through an independent adoption. For example, in a private adoption, the process can include:
- Submit an adoption application
- Meet with an adoption agency representative for a pre-placement assessment
- Determine which child or children the adoptive parents want to care for
- Complete a home study
- Visit with the child
- Bring the child home for any supervisory period
- Take care of legal matters to establish parenting rights
- Complete any follow-up visits
How Much Does Adoption Cost?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the average cost of adoption from a private agency ranges from $30,000 to $60,000. There may be several fees when going through the adoption process, including home study fees, court documentation fees, and legal fees.
To offset the costs of adoption, there are federal tax credits available for adoption and a family law attorney can offer legal advice about adoption fees and tax credits.