Adoption is a long and complicated process, and we are here to help. There are several types of adoption: infant adoption, state and court ward adoption, relative adoption, step-parent adoption, and adult adoption. The steps of the adoption process vary based on what type of adoption it is, but the basic process is similar in each adoption:
• Generally, it starts with you, the person who wants to adopt (“adoptive parent”) requesting the court to allow you to adopt a child (“adoptee”). This involves a petition to the court and some other paperwork. Whoever is in charge of the child (parent, DHS, etc.) also has to consent to your request.
• Then the court will order an investigation to determine what is in the best interests of the adoptee. Sometimes while the investigation is going on, the court will let the child stay with you. The investigation involves interviews with you and other interested parties, a home visit, and gathering information about your relationships, income, etc.
• If the court is satisfied after the investigation that your home is a good fit for the child, the court will issue an order terminating the rights of the parent or whoever was in charge of the child. The child then becomes a ward of the court for 6 months or so, depending on the circumstances.
• If the court is satisfied that the adoption is in the best interest of the child after that waiting period, the court will enter an order of adoption and the process is complete. You may then order a new birth certificate for the adoptee. This process is very time-consuming, confusing, and emotional. There will be court hearings and a lot of paperwork, and making a mistake could have huge consequences. But you don’t have to go through it alone: we are here to help. We will use our expertise to guide you step-by-step through the process and deal with the mountains of paperwork.