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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