If a member of your family is pregnant and does not plan on parenting the baby or if the courts have determined that it is no longer safe for a child to be raised by one of your family members and you are interested in raising the child for the rest of his or her life, it is important to become familiar with the intricacies of a kinship adoption. Although the laws about kinship adoptions vary from one state to another, there are numerous details that are often quite similar throughout the United States. Therefore, it is a good idea to consider the following information if you think that the best and most appropriate option for the child in crisis is to be raised as your own child through a kinship adoption.
#1-Both Birth Parents Need To Agree With The Adoption
There are very specific laws that govern the need for both birth parents to agree to the dissolution of their parental rights. That is frequently true even if the birth father is not on the birth certificate or has never seen the child. As a result, you should speak with your family law attorney about the steps that you will need to take to establish a reasonable effort at locating that parent.
The definitions of reasonable effort can include ads in newspapers, contacting his family members and similar actions. If you have taken those steps and still have not found the birth father, the attorney can help you determine how you can proceed with the adoption.
#2-The Opinions And Wishes Of The Birth Parents Often Have A Significant Impact On The Success Of The Adoption
In many areas, the wishes of the birth parents play a big role on how the adoption proceeds. Ideally, those wishes would be stated to the courts in person or in writing, like a will or a formal, written agreement between both of the birth parents and yourself. Failing that, it is possible that witnesses to that preference or intent for you to raise the child can testify to their knowledge. When permitted and assuming that the third party is deemed by the courts to be a reliable source of information, it may be sufficient to initiate the first steps of a kinship adoption.
#3-Kinship Adoptions Often Start With Temporary Placements
It is important to note that since kinship adoptions often begin with one or more minor children being temporarily sent to live with a responsible family member, this type of adoption is frequently a multi-step process. It may begin with you being given temporary custody of the children, eventually obtaining guardianship and legal custody, then ending in an application for adoption.
For some or all of that time, there is the possibility of financial aid to help with the expenses associated with raising the child. It will be useful to remember that some states also provide assistance with the adoption costs in some situations, so you should speak with your attorney about that financial aid if you cannot afford the expenses on your own.
In conclusion, kinship adoptions are often an ideal solution when, for any reason, someone in your family is unable or unwilling to parent their existing or unborn child. If you believe that you are ready to adopt the child in question and become the parent to that young person for the rest of their lives, it is time to speak with a family law attorney about the possibly of initiating a kinship adoption. Contact a law firm like Topalian & Associates for more information.