Adopting a child is an amazing experience and a tremendous commitment of love and service. There are vital steps to take, checklists to complete, and documentation required. For all adoptions, it is ever so important to get everything done, done right, and done on time, because minor mistakes early on can lead to major problems down the road.
If you are considering adopting a child, you should absolutely talk with and seek the help of an experienced adoption attorney to help you through the process. The attorneys and staff at Felt Family Law in Ogden can help you through the process, so you can focus on the love and relationship while we take care of the paperwork.
Grandparent or Family Adoptions
If you are the grandparent or other extended family member of a child who needs extra care and support that the child’s parents are not able to provide, you may be eligible for a grandparent or family member adoption. The child’s parents must agree to and sign consent forms to terminate their parental rights, unless their rights have already been terminated. You will be required to pass background checks and to make commitments to care for the child as your very own.
Talk to one of our attorneys at Felt Family Law about options how to best support and care for the child. Even if adoption is not possible, there may be other options such as guardianship or maybe simple powers of attorney that can help.
If you are a stepparent looking to adopt your stepchild, there are very important steps that you must take in order to qualify to adopt your stepchild. You must be married to the child’s parent and have been living with that parent and the child. Your spouse and the stepchild (if they are old enough) must consent to the adoption. The other parent must also consent to terminate their parental rights, unless their rights have already been terminated, or you must pursue court action to terminate their rights. You will also be required to pass background checks and make commitments to care for the child as your very own.
Parental rights are constitutional in Utah, and the burden for terminating the other parent’s rights can at time be difficult to meet. It is very important to speak with an attorney experienced in both adoptions and parents’ rights if you would like pursue stepparent adoptions. Our team at Felt Family Law can advise you on the parent rights and help guide you through the process for the stepparent adoption.
There are many fees that can arise during adoption that add up quickly. Although adoption is a wonderful way to add to your family, there are many people involved that all must be paid, such as lawyers, the adoption agency workers, government administrators, social workers, therapist, physicians, and more depending on the type of adoption. There is also travel expenses to consider, especially if the child is overseas. For the expectant parents and birth mother this may be an emotional experience, but the process itself is a legal matter which means there will be some paperwork, fees and payments, and time required to complete the adoption.
There are multiple types of adoptions and situations that can affect how long the adoption process will take. For instance, some adoptions begin before the baby is born, some arise from a foster care situation, and others are though agencies that adopt from overseas, to name only a few. Typically, the entire adoption process takes several months to a year (or longer). This is not what most people want to hear because it is a painfully long process for families and expectant parents to endure, but unfortunately this is the reality of adoption. There may be some ways that our adoption lawyers can help speed the process up since they know the legal system and what to expect.
Technically, no. However, it is not recommended to go through the adoption process without one. There could many legal obstacles that arise throughout your adoption process and having a lawyer from Felt Family Law who is experienced in adoption law representing you, providing legal advice, and planning for the difficulties that could arise will be very beneficial. Adoption is a special and emotional process for the individuals involved, but at the end of the day it is a legal process, and our lawyers know it well and can guide you through it as painlessly as possible.
It depends on the situation and type of adoption, but in general it will start with choosing the type of adoption you want to pursue, speaking with an adoption lawyer about the legal process, choosing an agency to work with, doing a home study, waiting on a placement, and finalizing the adoption. All of this, unfortunately, is a lengthy process but for many families choosing to grow their family through adoption it’s worth the time, effort, and money. Talking with our adoption attorney and getting answers to all your legal questions might be the best place to start if you are considering adoption.
Just about anyone! Although there will be some requirements to meet depending on the agency and state. Adoption agencies are open to any type of person(s) considering adoption to grow their family. With some types of adoptions, the birth mother will get to choose the family/parent(s) who will get to raise her baby and what type of family and parental situation the mother is looking for will vary greatly. There is likely a birth mother in search for nearly every type of home and parental situation.
Contact us to speak with an attorney who can help you though the adoption process.