Your family matters to us. We will assist you in navigating relative and stepparent adoptions, second-parent adoptions, and adult adoptions.  This is a life changing event that can sometimes be overwhelming, with long term effects for both biological and adoptive families.  Let us help to ensure that your interests are well protected and appropriately represented.

Adopting someone into your family – whether this be a baby, a stepchild, a family member, or even an adult – is a life-changing event. Adoption is a statutory process, which means that there are very specific laws and rules that apply.  Prior to completing an adoption, the rights of the biological parents need to be terminated.  This is a complicated process that needs to be done in accordance with the strict requirements of the law.  When an adoption is complete, the court issues a new birth certificate for the adopted individual and any existing legal relationships with biological or custodial parents are severed.  Other than the traditional private party or foster care adoptions, there are several types of adoptions for which someone may need representation to help navigate the process:

Step-Parent Adoptions

Often a stepparent has such a significant relationship with a child that they would like to adopt that child.  To do this, you either need the consent of the non-custodial parent, or you need to petition the court to terminate that parent’s legal relationship with the child.

Adult Adoptions

Adoption is the same legal process whether the individual is a child or an adult. The most common reason to adopt an adult is for inheritance purposes or an emotional bond. Adult adoption creates a legal relationship just like the adoption of a minor does.  

Second Paent Adoptions

Second parent adoption is when a same sex couple would like for the non-biological parent to adopt the biological parent’s child. This is different from a stepparent adoption, because often the parties are married when the child is conceived, and the second parent may even be on the child’s birth certificate. However, in our ever changing world, the only way to ensure universal legal protections as a parent is to  formalize the relationship that already exists through the adoption process.

Home Study

Most adoptions require a home study.  The home study is a written document a caseworker or social worker writes about your family and includes basic information drawn from interviews with your family and information provided by third parties. Generally, a home study includes family background, statements, and references; education and employment; relationships and social life; parenting experiences, and readiness and reasons about your wanting to adopt

The home study process can take several months to complete. How extensive it is depends on the type of adoption.  An adult adoption does not require a home study, and a stepparent or second parent adoption requires a less extensive home study.


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