Adopting a child can be the most wonderful experience of a person’s life, but it is also a highly complex legal event with many possible pitfalls.
If you are thinking of adopting a child, working with a Monmouth County adoption attorney who is an expert in adoption law is essential to ensuring that the process proceeds successfully.
As in many areas of family law, the crucial issue is the best interests of the child. Prospective adoptive parents must be prepared to demonstrate that they can provide a supportive home for the child – financially, emotionally and in every other way. This process can be spearheaded by consulting with a family attorney in Monmouth County.Knowing the Law
State law governs most aspects of adoptions, although federal law may come into play in certain cases. If the birth mother and adoptive parents live in different states, the attorney must thoroughly research all aspects of the relevant family law in both states.
Additionally, many adoptions are now occurring that involve children born in Asia, Africa or Latin America. A Monmouth County adoption attorney can help to determine what legal rules in these other countries could affect the adoption, of if the country changes its policies while the adoption is pending.
One very important issue is the rights of the biological parents, if any. This is an area that has changed a great deal in recent decades.Openness in Adoption
The standard nowadays is to have considerable openness between birth and adopting families.
Even if a birth mother signs documents relinquishing all her rights, an issue could be raised down the road about whether she gave up those rights of her own free will.
It is important for the birth mother to have her own separate Monmouth County adoption lawyer, so that a court, either now or in the future, can be sure that everything was done in compliance with all relevant law.
Some statutes allow her to relinquish rights immediately after the baby is born, while others require a waiting period. Depending on the state, her relinquishment may be irrevocable upon signing or after a limited waiting period, usually an exact number of days ranging from two to 30 but sometimes continuing several months until the adoption is finalized in court.
There are different levels of openness in adoption. Effective Monmouth County adoption attorneys will help their clients in long–term planning, which can involve exchanges of letters or pictures (directly or through an intermediary such as an adoption agency), and sometimes even visits with birth parents.Rights of All Parties
If the biological father is married to the birth mother or has otherwise officially taken responsibility for the child, then his rights must be considered as well.
Even a non-married father can sometimes come out of the woodwork and assert rights with respect to the child. Advances in DNA technology have made it easier for men to demonstrate paternity.
Counseling by a social worker or other mental health professional may be useful to the parties in navigating these emotionally fraught waters. Some states require that birth mothers receive counseling before the adoption is final.
These are just some of the many complicated legal and psychological issues that can arise during the adoption process. If adoption is in your future, it is very important to talk to an adoption lawyer in Monmouth County who has experience in this area of law.