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Adoption: A Happy Family Law Matter

By October 11, 2011July 15th, 2024Adoption, Susan Block Featured
By Susan E. Block
There are several types of adoptions. The most common one is a step-parent adoption where, for example, a custodial parent remarries and the “step-parent” has begun to fill the role of the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent must consent to this adoption and will have their parental rights terminated but will no longer have a child support obligation. If the non-custodial parent does not consent, the matter can be heard as a contested hearing. Your attorney will explain what you must prove to the court to win your case. Adoption can also occur through the Children’s Division or a licensed private agency.
Children’s Division adoptions can span the range of foster parents’ adopting, a grandparent or another relative. The most difficult adoptions are independent adoptions. Here, prospective adopting and prospective placing parents have located each other themselves. In many instances, both the birth parent(s) and the adopting parents are represented by attorneys. The danger, of course, is that the birth mother or father will change his or her mind after the delivery of the baby, and not follow through on her intention to allow her child to be adopted. Counseling often helps to mitigate this possibility and the prospective of an “open” adoption does too. Of course, there are international adoptions, where it is especially important to use an attorney or an agency with a strong track record of success, as the process involved can be quite intricate. Finally, a limited number of courts will consider a second parent adoption for gay or lesbian parents. Such adoptions are not prohibited by the law and provide support and governmental entitlements to children by the two nurturing people raising them, instead of one.

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