Family Law Attorneys
Some individuals or couples are not able to conceive a child on their own, and they want to choose the route of adoption. But how do you do it? In order to be able to adopt, the person adopting must be over the age of 18. If that person is unmarried, no other person may join the petition. But, if they are married, the spouse must join the petition.
Most people are probably worried about the actual process of adopting, and rightfully so as it is a big decision in your life and the adoptee’s life as well. First, it would help to know the different types of adoption available to you. There is agency adoption, independent adoption, relative adoption, foreign adoption, stepparent adoption, and adult adoption. An adoption requires the filing of a “special proceeding.” A special proceeding is a court case decided by the clerk of superior court or an assistant clerk of superior court.
An adoption case begins when a petition for adoption is filed in the county where the petitioner or adoptee lives. If the adoption is an agency adoption, the petition may be filed in the county where the agency has an office. In certain types of adoptions, a pre-placement assessment must be filed with the clerk of superior court.
A pre-placement assessment, sometimes referred to as a home study, is an evaluation of the person or persons seeking to adopt to determine whether the individual or individuals are suitable adoptive parents. A pre-placement assessment is prepared by a county department of social services or a licensed child placing agency. Pre-placement assessments are not prepared in adult adoptions.
An attorney is not required to initiate or finalize an adoption. A person who represents himself or herself will be held to the same standard as a licensed attorney. But adoption proceedings can be complicated, so seeking legal counsel can be beneficial so your process of adopting will not be as stressful as doing it on your own.
Our friends at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law, understand the nuances of adoption, the steps to take and what you need to do to assist your family. They have family law attorneys who work hard to help families who are hoping to add an additional person to their household.