Under different family situations, there are different ways to proceed with an adoption. At the Hulse Law Firm PC, we assist with step-parent adoptions, kinship adoptions, and adult adoptions. To schedule a free consultation, please call 720-773-2900.
STEP-PARENT AND KINSHIP ADOPTIONS
Often, a step-parent or grandparents (or Aunts/Uncles) have a desire to adopt a child based on the fact that they care for that child like a parent. The process to adopt can be a somewhat complex process.
Before any paperwork can be filled out, a federal background, state background, and TRAILS background checks must be obtained. It can take more than 10 weeks to obtain these background checks, so it is important to begin this step sooner rather than later if you want to proceed with an adoption. If you have a criminal background, you should consult with an attorney before you begin the process to determine the implications of different parts of your record. Depending on the background check, in the case of a kinship adoption, the court may require that a home study take place.
With step-parent and kinship adoptions, there is a requirement to obtain written consent from the biological parent terminating his or her rights. If the individual adopting cannot get the other parent to sign this consent form, it must be proved that he or she has either failed to pay child support (or provide financial support) for a year or that he or she has not had any contact with the child for a period of at least a year. If you believe that the biological parent will not consent to the adoption, it may make sense to schedule a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.
Once you have obtained the criminal background checks and have determined whether the biological parent will sign a consent form, then it is time to file the petition for adoption and other related paperwork. If you cannot find the biological parent, you will need to provide notice to that parent through a publication.
If the biological parent contests the adoption, a termination hearing must take place before the adoption hearing. In some jurisdictions, the hearing would take place the day before the adoption hearing.
Finally, after the background checks are completed, all the paperwork is completed, proper notice is given to the biological parent, and a termination hearing is completed if necessary, the adoption can take place. Adoptions can be an exciting moment in a child’s life, and the family adopting the child as well.
Sometimes, even though a person is already an adult, they want to be adopted by another adult so that this person is formally recognized as a parent in his or her life. Maybe you were raised by a stepparent, but there was never an official adoption to formalize this; an adult adoption may be the way to proceed.
An adult adoption is much easier to obtain than other types of adoptions. There must be consent by the individual being adopted. Other than that, there are a few additional forms that need to be completed in order to file for the adoption. Often, the court will not even require a final hearing to formalize the adoption.
If you would like to obtain more information on adoptions, please call the Hulse Law Firm, PC at 720-773-2900 for a free consultation.