When you are thinking of growing your family, one of the many ways to achieve this would be through adoption. Adoption is a beautiful opportunity to achieve your own dreams while fulfilling those of children in need of parents. Bringing a child home and legally establishing parentage by the adoptive parents is one of the most joyous times, but can also be an emotionally draining and stressful process. The process can seem like it takes an eternity. We are here to assist you with all of your adoption needs and make sure that the legal work is done as promptly and smoothly as possible.There are many different types of adoption and Sapp Law Office can help you solidify your legal relationship with a child you wish to adopt.
Adoption Law Services:
- Readoptions (Domesticating Foreign Decrees)
- Domestic Adoptions & International Adoptions
- Adoption Disruptions
- Second Parent Adoptions
- Stepparent Adoptions
- Orphan Visa (R-3 and R-4) Appeals (I-600 Notice of Intent to Deny)
- International Family Law, Divorce, Custody Issues
- International Abductions (Abduction Prevention)
Types of Adoption
It is important to understand the different types of adoption available if you are considering adoption. Whether you are a birth parent or a prospective parent, working with an adoption attorney can help you determine the course of adoption that best suits your needs. If you are interested in placing your child up for adoption or are interested in adopting a child, we can discuss the different options available to you and determine the best course of action to achieve your goals. Sapp Law Office will represent your best interests inside and outside of the court room. The list below, although not comprehensive, will give you a basic information regarding the options available when exploring adoption.
Domestic adoptions involve placements of United States children with U.S. families. There are many types of domestic adoption, and the laws vary greatly from state to state.
Adoptions through a state licensed agency will match you with a child that is located domestically in the United States or internationally (depending on the type of agency) and provide a broad range of adoption-related services, such as matching, homestudies, counseling, placement, and post-placement supervision and reporting. There are two types of agencies: public and private. A public agency would be an agency that places children that are wards of the state. Private agencies are generally used when a parent voluntarily decides to relinquish parental rights in the child pre- or post-birth. Because agencies are licensed they must maintain certain minimum professional standards, expertise, training, as well as maintaining insurance.
Independent Adoptions- Open and Closed
If you choose not to use an agency and will be doing an independent adoption, then there will likely be a direct arrangement between the birth mother and adoptive parents, or a third-party coordinator such as an attorney, physician, or church, that has/will assist in facilitating the adoption arrangement. These arrangements may be private or open.
A private adoption does not allow for certain information to be released to the birth mother or adoptive parents, and generally do not have any future contact after the birth of the child. Oftentimes, the birth mother will choose the adoptive parents and will be provided with living expenses and medical expenses paid for by the adoptive parents. Private cases require the parties to implement the many steps needed to complete an adoption, such as determination of the course that will achieve the clients' goals; preparing, negotiating and explaining adoption documents; advocating clients' wishes to third parties such as hospital and prenatal providers; securing medical assistance and public benefits; and pursuing approval of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) offices in the sending and receiving states.
An open adoption allows for more contact and information to be disclosed during the pregnancy and the adoptive parents, child, and birth mother maintain a relationship after the birth through photos, communication, or even in-person visitation. Regardless of the type of adoption that you choose, an experienced attorney will be required to assist in legally establishing your parental relationship with the court or terminating the birth mother's parental relationship to her genetic child. It is also imperative that you know whether or not your state allows for an independent adoption.
Same-sex families may face unique challenges to securing equal and full parental rights to their adoptive children as a result of the varying state laws. Luckily, Indiana is extremely favorable for same-sex couples, allowing the same-sex partner to adopt the other partners child. Both same-sex partners names would be placed on the birth certificate, whether they are legally married or not. We will guide you through this process by answering questions and offering support in order to eliminate unnecessary stress. We believe that every individual should be entitled to equal rights, especially when building families. Sexual orientation, marital status, and gender identity should not create a barrier to your dreams of having a child. Every family has different needs and Sapp Law Office will take the time to understand your unique situation and individual desires. We strive to make your journey to parenthood one that will be easy, joyous, and cherished for a lifetime. We will work together to ensure that your children have all of the rights available in any two-parent family to which they are entitled.
Stepparent, Second Parent, and Relative Adoptions
In a world where multiple marriages is common, many individuals find themselves raising, loving, and parenting children that are not biologically related to them and are a result of their partners prior relationship. With this type of care comes a desire to match their legal status with their efforts, role, and value of their relationship to the child(ren). If you are a stepparent considering adopting your spouses child from his/her other biological parent, consent from the other biological parent is required. This type of adoption is a relatively smooth process unless the other biological parent does not consent to the stepparent adoption, or they are unable to be located. Establishing a stepparent relationship legally will aid in the child's emotional, legal, and financial security.
A relative adoption occurs when a family member steps up to adopt a child from another family member for various reasons, including that the child's parent(s) is in jail, involved in drugs, or has died.
In rare cases, an interested individual may object to termination of rights or adoption by third parties. Even in the face of established state guidelines and deadlines for any interested individual, litigation may occur and cause stress and uncertainty to your family's future. In these situations, Sapp Law Office can provide you with trusted legal representation.
We work with all situations involving egg donors, sperm donors, surrogates, embryo donation, adoption, and estate planning.
If you would like to discuss an issue involving infertility, assisted reproduction, adoption, or estate planning please feel free to contact us.