Arlington Family Lawyer
Along with helping families work out child support and child custody issues, family lawyers can also help parents and guardians with adoptions. Adopting a child can be a very fulfilling and rewarding decision, but it’s definitely something you’ll want to think about carefully. For more specific information about adoptions, remember that you can always contact an Arlington family lawyer for information as it relates to your situation.
Types of Adoptions
- Adoptions through an agency: Many public and private agencies facilitate adoptions in cases where birth parents are expecting a child, or have already given birth to a child, and wish to find adoptive parents to raise the child. These agencies typically operate under strict regulations to ensure that the best interests of the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the child are taken into consideration.
- Independent adoptions: It’s also possible to adopt a child without going through an agency at all. This can occur when the birth parents have a relationship with someone who wishes to adopt the child, or when a third-party facilitator (such as a lawyer or clergy member) arranges the agreement. States regulate these adoptions very closely and many parents speak with a family lawyer for counsel throughout the process.
- International adoptions: Many parents also choose to adopt children from other countries. This process can be even more complex than domestic adoptions because the parents must meet adoption requirements of both the U.S. and the child’s country before anything can take place. It’s possible to have an international independent adoption, but because the legal requirements are so complex, most individuals work through an agency.
- Stepparent adoptions: If you’re the stepparent of an older child, you might want to become the legal guardian of this child through an adoption process. This is one of the simpler types of adoption, particularly if one or both birth parents consent to the adoption and if it’s in the best interest of the child. There are many legal reasons why stepparents might want to adopt their partner’s child, but the symbolic reasons behind adopting a stepchild can be reason enough to do this.
Who can adopt a child?
Adoptions are highly regulated through federal and state legislation. In theory, any adult who is “fit to be a parent” can apply to adopt a child. However, there are certain circumstantial factors that might affect someone’s eligibility through the court system or through an agency.
Single adults, for example, may find it harder to adopt a child than married couples would. Homosexual couples in certain states might also find it harder to adopt a child compared to heterosexual couples. Some foreign countries have strict rules against allowing homosexual couples to adopt children.
The courts also consider factors such as the race and ethnicity of the prospective adoptive parent, the parent’s educational background, their employment status, and their overall physical/mental wellbeing. Both the court system and adoption agencies tend to focus on the child’s best interest when arranging an adoption.
To learn more about the adoption process, contact an Arlington family lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. today.