Can I adopt?

The short answer is ‘maybe’.

There are different types of adoption. You can adopt a baby, using an adoption agency or through a private placement. You can adopt an older child, again through an adoption agency or through a private placement. Some times, that private placement might be from a family member or a friend. Or you can adopt your step-child. This is the ultimate in private placement.  There are some situations where you can even adopt an adult.

Generally, any adoption will mean that you are subject to a visit by social services to evaluate your home and family dynamics. This is not meant as a mere hindrance to you, this is for the protection of the child. Remember that the best interests of the child come first!

Even though a step-parent adoption may seem easier, it still entails the biological parent giving up his or her rights to the child. This can sometimes be a very emotional time for parents. Even a father who has never set eyes on his child, and has never shown any interest in paying support or being a part of the child’s life may balk at giving up his parental rights.

Do you need an attorney? I don’t know of any law that requires someone to use an attorney. However, anyone who decides to proceed ‘pro se’ (which is a confusing term to mean that you do it yourself), will still be held to the same standard as an attorney. So it is often even cheaper to get an attorney at the beginning and do it right the first time.

And one very important thing to remember is that children are not for sale! This means that you must be very careful about what payments you make on behalf of the biological parents, or payments made directly to the biological parents.

My suggestion is that if you are considering an adoption of any kind, call your attorney and at least get some initial background information before you proceed. It can save you a bundle in the end!

You can contact Beavers Law, P.C. by calling our office at 757-234-4650 or by visiting us on the web at www.BeaversLaw.com

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