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Adoption law falls under Family Law and is mainly governed by the states in which the parent and child live. Adoption law requires adoption lawyers to establish a process by which a legal parent-child relationship is created between individuals who are not biologically parent and child. The biological parent gives up all parental rights and obligations, and these rights and obligations are assumed by the adoptive parents.
These days there are a lot more options available to adoption lawyers for the adoption process. Adoptive families can adopt a child much easier than ever before. For example, as an adoptive parent, you can choose a closed adoption where the parents remain anonymous, or opt for the increasingly common open adoption where you actually meet and can maintain contact with the birth parents.
Your adoption lawyer can help you adopt a child from another country (international adoption) or one of a different race or ethnic background. You can even adopt a "special needs" child who may have physical, mental or behavioral disabilities. Some children are also considered "special needs children" because of their age or minority group status.
Ways Your Adoption Lawyer can Help You Adopt a Child:
- Agency Identified Adoption - an adoption through a public or private agency.
- Domestic Partner Adoption - In many states a same-sex partner can adopt his/her partner's child under stepparent adoption procedures as long as the partners are registered with the state as domestic partners.
- Identified Adoption - a new and innovative way of adopting an infant. An identified adoption is created when adoptive parents and birth parents connect with each other directly or through an intermediary.
- Independent Adoption - where the birth mother personally selects the adoptive parents through personal knowledge of them.
- International Adoption - an adoption in which the adoptive child is a citizen of another country. Relative (Kinship) Adoption - an adoption in which the adoptive parent is related to the child (e.g., grandparents adopting grandchildren if parents die or are otherwise unable to care for the children).
- Stepparent Adoption - a parent's new spouse adopts child that the parent had with a previous spouse.
There are several other different tupes of adoption. Read LawInfo's adoption legal resources here.
Should I Hire an Adoption Lawyer?
The formal legal adoption process differs significantly from state to state. An adoption lawyer specializing in adoptions knows the particular procedures and laws of the state in which you live. With the assistance and representation of a qualified adoption lawyer, you can be better assured that all the procedures are properly followed to ensure your adoption is legal and binding.
Click to learn about Adoption Law on LawInfo.