Adoption is a wonderful way to build a loving, stable and happy family. At the James Turner Law Firm, LLC, in Milton and Pensacola, we guide clients through the intricacies adoption process. To learn more about adoption, please look over the general information below. You can also see more about specific types of adoption by clicking on the navigation menu bar above.
Adoption is the process of substituting one set of parents for another through the court system. After an adoption is complete, the new parents are the only parents recognized by the law and have the same rights and responsibilities as any other parents who bore their children biologically. If you are interested in creating a family or building your family through adoption, contact the James Turner Law Firm, LLC in Milton and Pensacola, FL. We can guide you through the process and let you know what options are available to you through our offices.
Types of Adoptions We Handle
There are many types of adoption. The most common types include:
- Domestic adoption: Adoptions that take place in the United States.
- Stepparent adoption: The most common type of adoption in which an adult married to the biological or adoptive parent of the child adopts the child to create a legal parent-child relationship.
- Open adoption: An adoption in which the parties agree to some level of contact with birth parents after an adoption is completed. In some states, like Virginia, it is not possible to make any agreement for such post adoption contact legally enforceable.
- Closed adoption: Traditional form of adoption in which the adoptive parents do not meet with the birth parent(s) and no identifying or other contact information is exchanged, although medical histories may be made available.
- Adult adoption: The adoption of an adult 18 years or older. More common in a foster family relationship where the child may not have been available to adopt until after his or her 18th birthday. Adult adoptions are easier procedurally to complete than child adoptions, with shorter waiting periods and less state requirements (such as home studies). The biological parents are not required to consent to the adoption.
- Adoption through DCF: Every state has its own agency for adopting children. These children are usually older and have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. They also may have spent time in the foster care system. This type includes foster parents who wish to adopt children already in their care.
- Independent adoption/direct placement: More newborns are placed through independent adoption than any other kind. This type of adoption provides birth parents with control over whom adopts their child and allows them varying degrees of involvement in the process. Independent adoptions also provide adoptive parents with more options, as they are not limited by the criteria imposed by agencies. Not all states permit independent adoptions.
Who May Adopt
Generally, anyone over 18 years of age who is capable of supporting a child is eligible to adopt. This includes single, divorced and married people; people from various economic, religious and cultural backgrounds; and people who already have children.
Most states require that a social worker prepare a "home study" prior to approving an adoption. The social worker will investigate criminal history, ask the parents to complete medical examinations, visit the home to make sure it is equipped for a new child, require adoptive parent training and counseling and review the parents' finances to make sure they can financially support a new member of the family. Adoptive families are responsible for the costs of a home study.
If you decide to use an adoption agency as well, your attorney can review the agency contract for validity and fairness. In short, the attorney will advocate for you at every stage in the adoption process, from initial inquiries to post-placement. Contact the James Turner Law Firm, LLC in Milton and Pensacola, FL, today to discuss your options for adoption with experienced adoption attorneys, James Turner and Patricia Wright. Call (850) 983-0725 now!