FAQ about Open Adoptions

FAQ about Open Adoptions

As Salt Lake City Adoption Attorneys, we are often asked questions about adoption. Here are the questions most frequently asked about open adoptions that is an adoption where there is some contact between the birth parents, the adoptive parents and sometimes the adopted child.

What are open adoptions?

Open adoptions are adoptions where this is some contact between the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and sometimes the adoptive child. Open adoptions generally come about when the adoptive parents meet and get to know the birth parents of the child. The adoption agreement generally allows for the child to spend most of the time with the adoptive parents, but gives some right for the birth parents to visit and spend time with the child. Generally speaking, open adoptions are formed when the birth parents and the adoptive parents agree that forming a relationship is in the best interests of the child.

Are there advantages of open adoptions?

Open adoptions have many advantages, such as reducing stress of both the adoptive and birth parents. For the adoptive parents, they can get to know and trust the birth parents, and for the birth parents, they can regularly check on the child. In addition, open adoptions are sometimes beneficial for the child who can grow up knowing more about his or her history than having unanswered questions.

Are there disadvantages of open adoptions?

One of the main disadvantages of open adoption is for the birth parents that wish to remain in contact with their biological child. If a relationship between a set of birth parents and adoptive parents sours after the adoption has taken place, the adoptive parents may decide to eliminate any visits from the biological parents that were agreed upon beforehand. Even though these visitation agreements normally find their way into the legal adoption papers, the biological parents have little to no legal recourse to continue their visits to the child.

How can I get an open adoption?

There are generally two ways to get an open adoption.

  • The first is to use an agency that has procedures set up for open adoption. If you have found an adoption agency that allows open adoptions, be sure to read and inquire about their procedures for open adoptions. However, there are many agencies that only allow closed or semi-open adoptions. Indeed, many agencies prohibit the adoptive parents from knowing the identity of the birth parents, and also prohibit the birth parents from finding out which family the child is going to.
  • The second way to get an open adoption is to opt to take part in an independent adoption. However, setting up an independent adoption can be expensive on the front end as you will have to advertise when looking for birth parents that are willing to enter into an open adoption. If you have found birth parents willing to enter into an open, independent adoption, you should hire an attorney that can assist you with all the paperwork and filings you will need to make in order to have your adoption finalized.

One thing to keep in mind is that both the adoptive parents as well as the birth parents should enter into counseling before deciding on an open adoption. Open adoption can have many emotional impacts on both families. It is important to know about the emotions that you may encounter with an open adoption that may not be present in a traditional closed or semi-closed adoption. If you want your open adoption to succeed, counseling is a key step that you should take.

Free Consultation with Adoption Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about an adoption or if you need a lawyer in Utah, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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West Jordan Utah Adoption Lawyer

West Jordan Utah Adoption Lawyer

Whether you’re a step parent already helping to raise a child or a couple hoping for a new family member, the Utah adoption attorneys can help. We take the time to get to know each client and their situation personally, and will work with determination to get your adoption approved.

In Utah, adoption cases go through family court, which also handles divorces, custody issues and more. In most situations, the case begins with filing the correct documents. Then, a hearing is scheduled and a judge asks the adopting parent questions. Next, adoption documents are signed by the new parents and the judge signs an adoption decree. Finally, a new birth certificate will be issued by the Office of Vital Records and Statistics.

EXPERIENCED UTAH ADOPTION ATTORNEYS

Lawyers have extensive experience helping families adopt and arrange custody agreements for all kinds of married couples, including same-sex spouses and people in traditional marriages. We can help you navigate the ins and outs of Utah’s complicated adoption system, and we get to know you personally to help the process go smoothly for you and your family.

CHILD ADOPTION OPTIONS IN UTAH

There are numerous situations that lead couples to seek adoption in Utah, and the reasons range from wanting to share insurance benefits with the whole family to wanting to raise a child of your own when you and your partner are unable to conceive. Each kind of adoption comes with special rules and procedures, so we urge you to contact us at the beginning of the process. That way, you can avoid the missteps and confusion that can make adoption so difficult for some people. The types of adoption are:

  • Step-parent adoption: In this situation, notice must be given to the noncustodial parent and he or she must consent, as must the married partner of the adopting parent and, in some cases, a legal guardian. Furthermore, the child must have been living with the adoptive parent for at least one year and must be at least 10 years younger than the adoptive parent. If the adoptee is 12 years old or older, he or she must consent to the adoption.
  • Infant adoption: In these cases, the biological parents are entitled to receive counseling sessions and must be made aware of this right before adoption can occur. Often, these adoptions go through child placement agencies. The biological mother and, if he can be located, the biological father have to sign papers relinquishing parental rights.
  • Out of state adoption: This is for a child 6 months old or younger, and it can occur only after the birth mother has properly notified the biological father. She must not have lived in Utah for at least 90 days.
  • Foster child adoption: For either adoption or placement of a child in state custody, the new parents must be fingerprinted by the FBI and undergo a background check by the Dept. of Human Services for any history of child abuse or neglect, unless the child is being placed with a noncustodial parent or relative. For an adoption decree to go through, the court must find that adoption is in the best interest of the child.
  • Immigrant adoption: Also known as alien child adoption, this is when a family wants to adopt a child aged 16 or younger who is not a naturalized citizen. The adoptive parents must have permanent residence in the United States and must provide evidence from the federal Immigration and Naturalization Service approving the process. The process for birth parents who live here but are not legal residents requires working with the FBI as well.
  • International adoption: In these cases, a document from the foreign country is treated as if it were an adoption decree rendered by the Utah courts. The adoptive parents must register with the state and file for a new birth certificate.
  • Adult adoption: This occurs for people who are 65 years of age or older or people aged 18 or older who have mental or physical impairments.

Free Initial Consultation with an Adoption Lawyer in West Jordan Utah

We love adoption cases. They are our favorite. When you need help with an adoption, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Independent Adoption

Independent Adoption

One of the many selling points of independent adoption is that it allows both the adoptive parents as well as the birth parents to keep control over the entire adoption process, says mand Salt Lake City Adoption Attorneys. However, despite this advantage, there are disadvantages and risks that are associated with independent adoptions that do not occur in agency adoption. In addition, independent adoption often requires more work on the part of the adoptive parents.

Advantages of Independent Adoption

Perhaps the biggest advantage to independent adoption is the comfort and security that can come with a close personal relationship. In independent adoptions, it is not uncommon for the adoptive parents to form a relationship with the birth parents of the child that is to be adopted.

Many adoptive parents that form good relationships with the birth parents feel more secure in the notion that the adoption will go through and not fall apart at the last minute. Unlike agency adoptions, the two sets of parents in an independent adoption are free to meet and talk about the prospective adoption and whether or not to go through with it.

Additionally, independent adoptions often occur much more quickly than going through the waiting lists and wait times associated with agency adoption. In most situations, and independent adoption will finish within a year.

Lastly, independent adoptions can be much less expensive than agency adoptions (which can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $40,000 for a private agency). However, in some situations, the adoptive parents in an independent adoption will still need to pay the medical expenses for the birth mother.

Disadvantages of Independent Adoption

One of the main disadvantages of an independent adoption is that many states place heavy restrictions on them. As an example, there are some states that prohibit prospective adoptive parents from advertising when looking for a birth mother. Other states limit the amount of money that adoptive parents can provide to the birth mother for her prenatal care and medical expenses.

Additionally, unlike agency adoptions, birth mothers and adoptive parents generally do not get adequate (if any) counseling during the adoption process. Some states have laws that require how much counseling is required for birth parents to receive before they make the decision of whether to go through with the adoption. If the birth parents of your prospective adoptive child do not get the required amount of counseling before the adoption takes place, the adoption may become vulnerable.

Other states extend the period of time in which birth parents can negate an adoption after an independent adoption has gone through. This not only puts your adoption at risk, but it can also mean that you have wasted lots of time and money without any way of getting it back.

Lastly, keep in mind that even when independent adoptions are successful (and many are very successful), they are a lot of work. Many prospective adoptive parents spend countless hours and funds in finding the right birth parents to work with. In addition, you will most likely have to hire an attorney to take care of all the paperwork for the adoption, which also adds to the costs.

States That Disallow Independent Adoption

Out of the fifty U.S. states, four states do not allow independent adoption. If you live in any one of these states, you cannot enter into an independent adoption. However, if you have already identified prospective birth parents in these states, you can enter into an agency-directed adoption.

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Massachusetts or
  • North Dakota

Independent Adoption Costs

Every independent adoption is unique. However, there are some costs that you should expect to pay if you plan on adopting independently. First, in most situations, the adoptive parents will need to expend money in order to find birth parents that are willing to give up their child for adoption. In addition, your costs could include the costs for the mother’s parental and medical care as well as the costs for the legal documents that need to be drawn up. When taken together, these costs can realistically add up to over $10,000 for an independent adoption.

Every state has laws that allow adoptive parents to pay “reasonable” costs that are related to the adoption process. These laws define what types of expenses can be paid in this way (in either an agency or independent adoption). If you are going down the path of an independent adoption, you must be sure that any money that you pay to the birth parents falls under these laws. If you do not, it may appear that you are buying a baby, which is illegal in all states. Most state laws allow adoptive parents to pay medical expenses, counseling costs and fees for legal work related to the adoption. Some states also allow costs to cover the mother’s living expenses — food, housing and transportation — during the pregnancy.

You should also keep track of all of the money that you spend during the adoption process. In order for an independent adoption to be finalized by a judge, some states require that the adoptive parents provide an itemized account of all money given to or paid on behalf of the birth mother. You need to be very aware of what is allowed by your state’s laws or else you may jeopardize the entire adoption process and could even face criminal charges if it is thought that you are buying the baby.

Open Adoptions

Much like an independent adoption, open adoptions generally come about when the adoptive parents meet and get to know the birth parents of the child. The adoption agreement generally allows for the child to spend most of the time with the adoptive parents, but gives some legal right for the birth parents to visit and spend time with the child.

There is no standard way for an open adoption to be organized; it is really up to both sets of parents to come to an agreeable solution. Some adoptive parents like to only meet with the birth parents once before the child arrives, while others like to spend time with the birth parents, even showing up for doctor’s visits to see the sonograms. Additionally, some open adoption agreements allow for the birth parents to visit every weekend for a few hours while others only allow contact on holidays and birthdays. It is important to keep in mind that although these visitation agreements will often wind up in the legal adoption papers, the birth parents do not have much recourse of the adoptive parents disallow agreed upon visitation.

Open adoptions have many advantages, such as reducing stress of both the adoptive and birth parents. For the adoptive parents, they can get to know and trust the birth parents, and for the birth parents, they can regularly check on the child. In addition, open adoptions are sometimes beneficial for the child who can grow up knowing more about his or her history than having unanswered questions.

Free Consultation with Adoption Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about a stepchild adoption or if you need a lawyer in Utah, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number

The following questions and answers will provide information to taxpayers who need a taxpayer identification number for a child who has been placed in their home pending final adoption.

Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number

Q: What is an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number?

A: An Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) is issued by the Internal Revenue Service as a temporary taxpayer identification number for the child in a domestic adoption where the adopting taxpayers do not have and/or are unable to obtain the child’s Social Security Number (SSN). The ATIN is to be used by the adopting taxpayers on their Federal Income Tax return to identify the child while final domestic adoption is pending.

Q: Who needs an ATIN?

A: If you are in the process of adopting a child and are able to claim the child as your dependent or are able to claim a child care credit, you may need an ATIN for your adoptive child.

Q: Why do I need an ATIN?

A: Recent tax law changes require that when you list a person’s name on your federal income tax return, you must provide a valid identifying number for that person. During the adoption process, you may not have been able to obtain an existing or a new Social Security Number (SSN) for the child who may already have been placed in your home. If you are eligible to claim the child as your dependent, and you don’t have the child’s SSN, then you will need to request an ATIN in order to claim the child as a dependent and ( if eligible) to claim the child care credit.

Q: How do I know if I should apply for an ATIN?

A: You should apply for an ATIN only if you are in the process of adopting a child and you meet all of the following qualifications:

  1. The adoption is a domestic adoption.
  2. The child is legally placed in your home for adoption by a authorized adoption agency/agent.
  3. The adoption is not yet final, and you are unable to obtain the child’s existing SSN or you are unable to apply for a new SSN for the child pending the finalization of the adoption.
  4. You qualify to claim the child as a dependent.

Q: Can I get an ATIN if I am adopting a child from another country?

A: No. You should apply through the Social Security Administration (SSA) for a valid SSN. When you are adopting a foreign child, upon the child’s entry into the United States you should receive enough documentation from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to satisfy the Social Security Administration’s requirements for a SSN.

Q: I meet the requirements to apply for an ATIN. What form do I use to apply?

A: The Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending Adoptions, is used by qualifying taxpayers to obtain an ATIN. To get Form W-7A, you may go to any IRS walk-in site or call 1-800-829-3676. You may also download the form from the IRS website in Adobe PDF format.

Q: How long is the ATIN valid?

A: As soon as the adoption becomes final, the adopting parents should obtain an SSN for the child and notify the IRS of the new SSN. When the IRS is notified of a new SSN for the adopted child, it will deactivate the ATIN. If the adopting parents do not notify the IRS within two years, the ATIN will be automatically deactivated.

Free Consultation with Adoption Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about a stepchild adoption or if you need a lawyer in Utah, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Adoption Legal Help

Adoption Legal Help

Although adoption connects prospective parents with children in need of good homes, and is thus a worthy and vital service, there are often many legal hurdles to overcome before an adoption can take place. For example, prospective parents must prove their fitness for being parents and may have to ask friends and family for letters of recommendation. Additionally, adoption requires certain legal filings and procedures. Some, but not all, of these steps in the adoption process may require the help of an attorney or other legal professional. The following information and tools to help you locate, hire, and work with an attorney for assistance with an adoption matter.

Are you Eligible to Adopt?

One of the useful tools available here is a questionnaire intended to help determine your eligibility to adopt. Laws relating to adoption vary from state to state and this document will not establish with total certainty that you will be found eligible to adopt, but it does touch upon common issues that apply to guidelines generally applicable. It can be viewed as a way to detect potential issues early in the process.

In addition to asking questions that relate to general criteria to adopt there is discussion of the reason for the question being asked and some general principals relating to the issue at hand. By understanding the issues presented here you can better prepare yourself to address potential problems before they interfere with an adoption. If you determine that there is a potential issue there are links to articles relating to eligibility for adoption that can help you learn more about restrictions and how they can be overcome.

It is worth noting that this questionnaire relates to legal eligibility, but agencies, countries, or birth parents may require information about religion, fertility status, educational background, and other aspects of your life and use your responses to determine whether they are willing to permit or participate in an adoption.

Documents you Need

When you are meeting with an attorney to discuss the possibility of adoption there are certain documents that you should bring to your appointment to help the attorney begin to understand the advantages and challenges they may face representing you.

Some documents that are commonly helpful in this situation include certified copies or originals of the adoptive parent(s) birth certificate, marriage and divorce certificates (if applicable), a doctor’s examination and statement from the health insurance company that will cover the adopted child, criminal background check release forms and reports, local police department letters of good standing, passports, and any relevant immigration documentation. Other important items may include letters of reference or a home study.

Adoption Questionnaire

Among the information and materials presented here to help you prepare for an adoption there is a form intended to facilitate the establishment of a relationship with your attorney. The form asks for most of the basic information needed by an attorney to help determine your intentions and eligibility.

Preparing this information in an orderly and concise fashion in advance of your meeting will help you and the attorney maximize your benefit from a consultation or initial meeting. Less time looking for information or filling out paperwork means more time asking and answering important questions that help establish the basis of your working relationship.

Free Consultation with Adoption Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about an adoption or if you need a lawyer in Utah, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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