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When an adoption happens at the courthouse, it is a time that everyone involved celebrates. For family lawyers, it is a special opportunity to help new parents reach such a joyous occasion. Our lawyers stand ready to advise you about the process and help with your adoption case.
What Is an Adoption?
In its simplest terms, an adoption is the creation of a legal relationship between a parent and a child. This relationship is the same as if the child was naturally born to the adoptive parents. This creates all the rights and responsibilities of any other parent: to support, love, discipline, and have possession of the child to the exclusion of all others.
Adoption can occur in different situations. It can be a stepparent adoption. It can be an adoption by a same-sex spouse where the child was born through assisted reproduction. [*assisted reproduction]. Adoption can also arise when the parents are unwilling or unable to provide for the child’s needs, so the adoptive parents step in to help.
Our lawyers are here to talk about your situation, whether you wish to adopt a child or are considering your options as the child’s parent.
Arriving at Adoption
How the parties arrive at adoption will depend on whether all parties involved agree to the adoption. For instance, a stepfather may wish to adopt his spouse’s child. The child’s natural father can agree to voluntarily relinquish his rights so that the adoption can occur. Or, a young couple may agree to relinquish their parental rights in favor of relatives if they are not ready to be parents.
On the other hand, an adoption may arise from more serious circumstances. Child Protective Services may become involved and remove the child from his or her parents due to abuse or neglect. A parent always has the right to contest the termination of their parental rights. The adoption cannot go forward until the legal system decides whether the parents will retain their rights.
The decision of a parent to relinquish rights is an understandably heavy decision. Our lawyers are here to guide you through this process, whether you are the party seeking to adopt a child or are considering terminating your rights.
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