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ADOPTION


Adoptions can occur within families – such as a Family or Step-Parent Adoptions, or privately through an adoption agency. In either instance, the process includes an adoption study, the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem and the termination of at least one of the child’s biological parent’s rights.

In situations where all parties involved are working together, the entire process of adopting a child can be relatively quick and easy with very little time spent in court. In instances where one or both of the biological parents do not agree with his/her/their parental rights being terminated, the process can be more lengthy and can include extensive time in court, including evidentiary hearings that span several days.

Adoption results in termination of a/the biological parent(s) rights to his/her/their child and also terminates any rights the child had to his/her parents (such as the right to inherit from him/her). The adoptive parent, or parents, become the child’s parents and are listed as such on the child’s birth certificate.

Courts will typically not allow one or both of the biological parents’ rights to be terminated unless and until there is someone lined-up to adopt the child. In cases where a Step-Parent adopts a child, the Step-Parent assumes the same legal rights as the other parent and would have independent rights to the child’s custody and placement, as well as an ability to collect or receive child support, should the parties divorce.