are complex matters that often require an attorney, even if you are
attempting an agency adoption. Your relationship
to the child will determine what adoption process you will be undergoing.
For example, if you are not related to the child in any way, you
will likely be filing for an independent adoption. If the child is
your step-child, you will be filing for a stepparent adoption. For
more information on Stepparent Adoptions, click here.
Before the hearing, anyone who is required to consent to the adoption
must receive notice. Usually this includes the biological parents,
the adoption agency, the child's legal representative (if a court
has appointed one) and also the child if he or she is 12 years of
age or older.
At the hearing, if the court determines that the adoption is in the
child's best interest, the judge will issue an order approving and
finalizing the adoption. This order, often called a final decree
of adoption, legalizes the new parent-child relationship, and usually
changes the child's name to the name the adoptive parents have chosen.
To begin the process of adoption, you must first file a Petition
for Adoption. The standard adoption petition will require the following
- the names, ages and address of the adoptive
- the relationship between the adoptive parents
and the child to be adopted;
- the legal reason that the birthparents' rights
are being terminated (the reason usually being that they consented
to the termination);
- a statement that the adoptive parents are the appropriate
people to adopt the child; and
- a statement that the adoption is in the child's
Typically, the written consent of the birthparents
or a court order terminating their parental rights is also
with the petition. Adoptive
parents also often include a request for an official name change
for the child.
Adopting a child is one of the most life changing
experiences you will make. The Law Offices of Mary
is dedicated to providing
care and expertise to help you make the right choices while reducing
the stress associated with complex legal procedures which often
in this joyful endeavor.
Step-Parent adoptions are
much easier to complete than a non-relative adoption. . The procedure
is generally the same as for any adoption, but specific steps
are sometimes waived or streamlined. more information...