Is Adopting A Utah Child Easier Than International Adoption?

How Long Does The Adoption Process Take?

Adoption is a major life-changing event in which you welcome a new member to your family. And while the financial and legal responsibilities of parenthood end when the child reaches the age of majority (typically 18), adoptive families are a lifetime commitment. Therefore, it’s important to do your research before you start the adoption process.
There are several different types of adoption or providing foster care before adoption, which you may want to consider as you think about growing your family.

Adopting Through an Agency

Adoption agencies can be a public agency or a private agency regulated by the state and licensed to place children with prospective adoptive parents. Public adoption agencies typically handle children who are wards of the state, often because they’ve been abandoned, orphaned or abused, or are older children.

Private adoption agencies are often run by charities and social service organizations and typically place children who have been brought to the agency by parents or expectant parents seeking to give their child up for adoption.

Adopting Independently

One of the other types of adoption involves a direct arrangement between birth mother (and sometimes the birth father) and adoptive parents, sometimes using a go-between such as a doctor or member of the clergy. Because of the delicate nature of independent adoption, it’s probably a good idea for the adoptive parents to hire an attorney to handle the paperwork. Not all states allow independent adoptions, and many states regulate them extensively, so check your state’s laws before exploring this option. One variety of independent adoption is often referred to as “open adoption,” where the biological parents maintain some form of limited contact even after adoption, though all parental rights stay with the adoptive parents.

Adopting Through Identification

Identified adoptions are a combination of independent and agency adoptions. Usually, the adoptive parents find a mother wanting to put a child up for adoption, and then both sets of parents ask an adoption agency to control the rest of the process. This process often includes a home study, questions, interviews, and careful analysis.
The advantage over a straight agency adoption is there is no “waitlist” for the adoptive parents. Prospective parents can also have greater control over choosing the child they adopt and still benefit from the counseling and professional services afforded by an agency.

Adopting Internationally

Adopting internationally is the most complicated of all the different types of adoption. To adopt a child who is a citizen of a foreign country, you must satisfy both the laws of the state you live in as well as the laws of the host country. Parents must also obtain an immigrant visa for the child through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If approved, the child will be granted U.S. citizenship automatically upon entering the U.S.
Note also that, as of April 1, 2008, international adoptions are regulated through the Hague Adoption Convention. The treaty governs U.S. federal government oversight of domestic adoption agencies and international adoption policies. This oversight is intended to protect children, biological parents and adoptive parents from unethical adoption practices, including international child abductions and adoption scams.

Agencies dealing in international adoption must now be certified by the State Department and adopting parents must prove to the State Department a variety of things:
• the foreign adoption agency has provided counseling for biological parents,
• the foreign adoption agency has secured legal consent from the biological parents,
• the foreign adoption agency has considered local placement of the child,
• and the child has been properly cleared for adoption in the U.S.

You could try to adopt internationally without an agency, but because of the complexity of the process, most adoptive parents choose to use the services of a U.S. agency specializing in international adoptions.

Adopt as Stepparents

A stepparent adoption occurs when a parent’s new spouse adopts the parent’s child from a different partner. The process is simple compared to traditional adoption if the birth parents both consent. If one of the parents does not consent or cannot be found, however, then an attorney will need to be involved and there is a significant amount of time and paperwork involved.

Relative Adoptions

Relative, or kinship adoptions as they are known in some states, occur when a child’s relative steps forward to adopt the child. Typical candidates for this type of adoption are grandparents, aunts and uncles, and the typical situations for relative adoptions involve the death or incapacitation of the birth parents. The law favors relatives raising children, and accordingly the process is significantly easier than other types of adoption.

Adult Adoptions

Adult adoptions are rare, but most states provide for them. Typically, there must be at least a ten year difference between the age of the parent and that of the adult being adopted, and the parties must show why it’s in the best interest of the parties to allow the adoption. The primary reason why people undergo an adult adoption is to secure inheritance rights for people they have grown fond, especially when they don’t have children of their own. Most states prohibit adult adoptions when caregivers are involved, in order to prevent caregivers from taking advantage of their elderly patients.

Not Sure How to Choose Between the Different Types of Adoption? Talk to an Attorney

Every family’s needs are different and there are a variety of reasons for choosing the different adoption methods available under the law. By contacting an experienced adoption lawyer, you can find out which type of adoption will work best for you, and get legal help through the adoption process.

What Should I Consider When Choosing My Options?

The first questions relate to the child’s age. How important is it to you to adopt a newborn? Are you comfortable adopting a child who has been in group care for the first few months/years of his or her life? Domestic adoption is the only way to adopt a newborn. If you choose to adopt internationally, it means adopting an older infant or toddler.
Secondly is time frame. Although you’re anxious to grow your family, how critical is the speed of the adoption? With domestic adoption, although you do have more control over the time frame than most people think, it is still unpredictable because it depends on when you are chosen by a prospective birthmother and how far along in the pregnancy she is. Nevertheless, depending on the quality of your profile, the visibility of your profile, your openness to different situations and the professionals with whom you work, many domestic adoptions can be completed in only a few months. Alternately, international adoption is a little bit more predictable, although not nearly as predictable as people tend to think. Changes in laws, political and economic climates and even general sentiment towards the U.S. can and do impact timelines — even once you are “in process.”

Another factor to consider is the medical and social history of the birth families. With domestic adoption, often this information is extensive, at least on the birthmother’s side. Take some time to consider the medical and social history of you, your spouse and your families. Think about what that would look like on paper would you select yourselves if the situation were reversed? With international adoption, you have the advantage of medical reports on the child him/herself but rarely any information on family history.

How about the level of openness with which you’d be comfortable? Many pre-adoptive parents choose international adoption because they do not want any contact with the birth family. Most domestic adoptions these days are semi-open, meaning that the birthmother will know your first names. In many cases, all parties have met and/or had phone conversations prior to the birth. After the birth, the adoptive parents send updates and pictures to the agency, which the agency then forwards to the birthmother. Contrary to popular opinion, these updates don’t make the birthmother suddenly want to parent the child. Instead, they help reassure her that she made the right decision, that she is a good person (despite lots of people telling her how selfish she is during the process), the baby is thriving and, therefore, will not grow up to hate her (one of her biggest fears).

Are The Costs The Same?

Next come finances. Neither domestic nor international adoption is necessarily more or less expensive than the other; it all depends on the particular situation. Domestically, one can expect to spend between $20,000 and $35,000. Internationally, costs vary by country and range between $15,000 and $50,000. The total amount spent and when the payments are due are less predictable with domestic adoption than with international. Also, money is at risk in either process domestically via paid birthmother expenses and legal fees in a failed adoption and, internationally, if a country closes or significantly slows down once you’re in the adoption process.

What Should I Know About The Process?

Next let’s discuss the process. International adoption involves a traditional waiting list. Once you are on the list, you wait as you rise to the top. With domestic adoption, you create a “personal profile” shown to prospective birthmothers until one selects you, which can happen at any time. You can increase the chances of getting selected quickly by creating a powerful profile and making sure that it has as much exposure as possible through a carefully selected network of adoption agencies and attorneys. Which route feels more comfortable to you is merely personal preference.

Another key area is concerns about the birthmother. Most people just beginning a domestic adoption have a fear of the birthmother “showing up on their doorstep.” In a closed or semi-open adoption, the birthmother will not know where your doorstep is. Even if she found your doorstep, she would have no legal right to the baby once her rights are properly terminated. Most importantly, most birthmothers are at peace with their decision and have no intention of disrupting the baby’s life. Nevertheless, this fear often drives couples towards international adoption where these concerns, for the most part, do not exist.

Finally, demographics. How old are you? What is your marital status? Most people who adopt are between 30 and 45. Domestically, how young you look and how active you are is usually more important to the birthmother than your actual age. Internationally, your age may limit the countries for which you are eligible. Many countries have outright age limits and some limit the age difference that can exist between adopter and adoptee, thereby allowing older parents to adopt only older children. Additionally, some countries’ eligibility requirements specify that the adoptive parents have been married for a certain amount of time or limit the number of prior divorces allowed.

There are many important considerations that go into this decision. Being completely honest with yourself and your partner is critical. Make sure you consider all the implications of the path you choose. Be careful not to let fear and myths lead you astray. Get the facts and, based on those, make the decision that’s right for you, your family, and your forever child.

Adoption-Friendly States and Their Procedures

When couples are looking to expand their family, adoption is a giving and beautiful option. But many couples have secreted fears about adoption. Their concerns can range from the uncertainty of finding the right birth mother, to hidden medical issues, to the ever-looming possibility that a biological parent could change their mind before the adoption is finalized. In addition to the practical and emotional concerns, new parents may also be leery of the process of adoption.

Initially it is important for couples to understand the basic process of adopting a child:
• The first step is to contact an agency or an attorney who specializes in adoption. It is through the expertise of those in the community who facilitate adoptions on a regular basis that many questions can be answered and many fears can be put to rest.

• Second, the couple needs to be ready to undergo the scrutiny of the adoption home study. It will be necessary for the adopting couple to meet with a social worker on several occasions in order for a thorough investigation to be completed before an adoption can be approved.

• Third, the adopting family must wait for the right prospective birth mother to come forward, or to find the right child via the social services system. This step takes time and patience and is imperative so that the most compatible match can be made for both the child and the adoptive parents.

• Once the match has been made, the fourth step is to have the consent of all of the parties involved, including the biological parents, the adoptive parents, and if the child is old enough, the desires and consent of the child being adopted.

• The fifth step is to begin the process of filing the adoption paperwork with the court. Once the birth mother and father have consented to the adoption and the transition of custody is imminent, it is time for the court to become involved.

• After the court has reviewed the request for adoption, the court will issue a signed custody order. This order confirms that the Judge is in agreement with all of the submitted paperwork and is ready to approve the adoption.

• Once custody has been transferred to the adoptive parents, social services will proceed with in-home follow up visits to ensure that the adjustment of both the child and the adoptive parents is going smoothly. If any issues present themselves, the social worker will be readily able to advise the family or to set up additional services as needed.

• If all goes well and the family and the new child are thriving, a court date will be set to finalize the adoption.

Most state laws and regulations are designed to facilitate a smooth and easy transition for the successful placement of children in need of homes. However, each state’s regulations do vary. Some states require more scrutiny of the adoptive parents than others. Other states give the birth mother and/or father more time to change their mind prior to the adoption becoming final.

For example, some of the friendliest adoptive states seem to be:
• Alabama
• Arizona
• Arkansas
• Indiana
• Louisiana
• Michigan
• Minnesota
• Nebraska
• New Hampshire
• New Mexico
• Oklahoma
• Oregon
• Tennessee
• Utah

Some of the less adoption-friendly states include California, Maine, Maryland, Ohio and Rhode Island. However, it is absolutely still possible to adopt in these states, and there are many local and national adoption professionals who can assist families in navigating the process and their state’s laws. It is highly advised that each couple take the time to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the particular rules and regulations of the state in which they will adopt their new child.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, 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

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International Adoption Lawyer

This post is about how an international adoption attorney can help you. A substantial part оf thе аdорtiоn waiting mоmеnt iѕ tied uрwаrd with lаwful mаttеrѕ. Adoption lawyers аrе ѕignifiсаnt in аnу аdорtiоn procedure. If couples ѕеlесt tо аdорt сhildrеn, they must bе prepared tо get through a lawful process. Withоut thе аdорtiоn lawyer’s раrtiсiраtiоn, it would bе inсоnсеivаblе to gеt an аdорtiоn finаlizеd giving thе аdорtivе раrеntѕ соmрlеtе mаtеrnаl rightѕ tо thе аdорtivе child.

During an аdорtiоn, thе adoptive раrеntѕ аrе required tо lоdgе a request with the соurt. In thiѕ rеԛuеѕt the аdорtivе раrеntѕ have tо offer аll ѕоrtѕ оf dаtа inсluding thе child’s birth сеrtifiсаtiоn or birth арроintmеnt аnd рlасе of birth, an аѕѕеrtiоn of thе lаwful cause whу the birth parents’ rightѕ аrе being terminated, and rеѕресtivе nеw nееdеd dеtаilѕ. Adoptive раrеntѕ mау bе сараblе to finish thiѕ request thеmѕеlvеѕ fоr compliance tо thе court. However, they wоuld unԛuеѕtiоnаblу bе аdvаntаgеоuѕ thrоughоut a рrосеѕѕ such as this.

During thе finalization рrосеѕѕ оf the аdорtiоn, it might help tо hаvе оnе рrеѕеnt. Tо finalize аn аdорtiоn, the adoptive parents muѕt аttеnd a hеаring. Thiѕ hеаring uѕuаllу tаkеѕ рlасе within a уеаr аftеr a child is рlасеd in the home. An аdорtiоn agency will help thе аdорtivе раrеntѕ through this process but perhaps thеу would bе a gооd asset in thе legality issues invоlvеd. During thiѕ timе thе аdорtivе parents аrе grаntеd реrmаnеnt custody of thеir adoptive сhild. An аdорtiоn lаwуеr wоuld bе hеlрful tо mаkе ѕurе thе dосumеntѕ were legal аnd in tасt.

Whеn реорlе сhооѕе to аdорt intеrnаtiоnаllу, аdорtiоn lаwуеrѕ must bе thеrе. Thеrе are many lеgаl iѕѕuеѕ tо sort through whеn аdорting a child frоm a fоrеign country. Evеrу country has its оwn laws аnd rеgulаtiоnѕ. Bесаuѕе оf thе language bаrriеrѕ, it wоuld bе аlmоѕt imроѕѕiblе fоr thе аdорtivе раrеntѕ tо rеаd аnd understand аnу lеgаl dосumеntѕ drаwn uр in a fоrеign соuntrу. Adoption lаwуеrѕ, whо аrе аblе to translate thе documents, аrе a nесеѕѕitу in foreign аdорtiоn. Withоut thе help оf thеm, аdорtivе раrеntѕ may find thеmѕеlvеѕ facing gigаntiс challenges.

Thеу hаndlе thе nittу-grittу’ѕ оf an adoption. Thеrе аrе mаnу dеtаilѕ tо ѕоrt thrоugh with adoption, еѕресiаllу fоrеign аdорtiоn. Dеtаilѕ ѕuсh as citizenship and nесеѕѕаrу rеgiѕtrаtiоnѕ ѕhоuld bе taken саrе оf bу аn аdорtiоn lаwуеr. Imроrtаnt mаttеrѕ whiсh affect аdорtivе раrеnt’ѕ аnd the аdорtivе сhild’ѕ lеgаl rightѕ, оught tо bе seen to by adoption lаwуеrѕ. Thеу аrе knowledgeable аbоut the adoption рrосеѕѕ. They аrе fаmiliаr with the lеgаl issues related tо thе рrосеѕѕ аnd thеу аrе likely knоwlеdgеаblе about lоорhоlеѕ аnd роѕѕiblе miѕtаkеѕ made in an adoption. Adорtiоn аgеnсiеѕ аnd non-profit adoption оrgаnizаtiоnѕ will likely hаvе thеir оwn аdорtiоn lаwуеrѕ whо handle аll of thе legal mаttеrѕ relative tо аn аdорtiоn. Thiѕ wоuld dеfinitеlу bе аn asset whеn going thrоugh аn аgеnсу tо adopt. This would еliminаtе the wоrrу of finding a gооd one for adoptive раrеntѕ. Thеir fees will no dоubt mаkе up a big portion оf thе аdорtiоn fееѕ. Hоwеvеr, unless thе legal mаttеrѕ аrе аddrеѕѕеd аnd tаkеn саrе оf рrореrlу, аdорtivе раrеntѕ may fасе problems with their аdорtiоn. They рrоvidе реасе of mind fоr adoptive parents.

What do I need to know when adopting a child internationally?

Family and Child Welfare Services (also called the department or division of child and family services in Utah) is committed to ensuring fair, equal, and transparent services for all those who apply to adopt. In addition to New York State regulations, there are international treaties that must be considered.

To adopt a child from another country, you will most likely have an interview with a Country Specialist. To learn more about this process you should call competent adoption lawyers. To get started with your legal adoption, please call Ascent Law.

We have helped families with adoptions from South America, Mexico, and other locations.

Is it true that most of the children available for international adoption are from Eastern Europe?

Yes and no. Some of the children available for international adoption are from Eastern Europe. In fact, about 45% of all children awaiting families abroad are located in the former Soviet Union. China is the second highest source country with a little over 20% of all children waiting to find a family in an international adoption and Russia is the third highest source country with a little over 10%.

Are there any special language or medical requirements?

Children adopted internationally are required to have a physical exam by a doctor at least one month prior to traveling to their new home and be current on all immunizations. Typically, if your child has a medical problem that might require some follow-up care, your social worker or doctor will give you instructions on how to handle that once you arrive home. Your child’s social worker may also be able to recommend resources if your child has language difficulties.

Free Initial Consultation For International Adoption

If you need legal help in Utah for an international adoption, please 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

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Utah Adoption Lawyer

Utah Adoption Lawyer

Adoption establishes a parent-child relationship between individuals who are not naturally related. In many cases, the process requires a natural parent to relinquish his or her right to the child being adopted, which is why legal adoption requires a court proceeding and adherence to strict procedures. Adoption attorneys must ensure that several parties receive notification of your intent to adopt, including the child’s natural parents, any current guardian or custodian and any other person standing in loco parentis — serving a role similar to a parent in place of a parent. In many cases, including the adoption of a minor stepchild, the noncustodial parent must consent to the adoption. If the noncustodial parent refuses to consent, a trial may be necessary. If a trial occurs, a adoption attorney must establish grounds for the termination of the noncustodial parent’s rights.

Grounds for termination include the following:
• Abandonment
• Abuse
• Neglect
• Unfitness
• Incompetence
Moreover, a father who was not married to the mother of the child being considered for adoption may not have to consent if he did not establish a substantial relationship with the child.

Adoption Lawyers and Why You Need Them

The adoption process is guided by laws and regulations from start to finish. There are state and federal laws that apply for adoptive families and prospective birth mothers. This means not only conducting the adoption in the proper way, but also filling out mountains of paperwork and filing it with the right department at the right time. The role of adoption attorneys in the process, ideally, is to step into the complicated legal matters that the staff of your adoption agency may not be equipped to handle. In this role, the adoption lawyer is an important part of the adoption but is not the primary professional involved in the process. However, in your research of adoption, you may also hear about adoption lawyers playing a different role. Some families, in an attempt to lower adoption costs and simplify the process, decide to use a private adoption attorney as if they were an adoption agency. In these cases, an adoption lawyer leads the whole process. This type of arrangement is generally referred to as an independent adoption.

What Does an Adoption Lawyer Do?

Adoption Lawyer are legal practitioners with expertise in family law, specifically adoption. Adoption law firms are a group of two or more attorneys who practice law. Some of these law firms have an attorney who specializes in adoption law. This specialty can range from stepparent to independent adoptions. Most adoption attorneys handle the legal process but do not locate potential birth parents for their clients, making them an ideal professional for processes like stepparent, relative and identified adoptions. In some cases, however, attorneys can attempt to provide services like locating birth mothers, facilitating communication, overseeing living expenses and protecting families’ financial investments. These are typically services provided by an agency professional who has expertise in these areas, whereas an attorney for adoption is not always trained in these matters that fall outside the legal elements of adoption.
Advantages of Adoption Law Firms:
• Provide crucial legal services: The main benefit of adoption law firms is the safe and solid legal work they provide, which makes the adoption more secure. This advantage is seen when adoption attorneys handle the legal side of adoption that they specialize in. In this capacity, an adoption attorney is required in every adoption, regardless of the other professionals (such as adoption agencies) involved.
• Can complete identified adoptions: If a family has already located a potential birth mother to adopt from (such as a pregnant friend or family member), an adoption attorney may be the only professional they need to complete the process, which can be more cost effective than working with an agency.

These disadvantages are not meant to put down adoption attorneys or be overly critical of their work. Rather, it is simply an issue of working with adoption attorneys in the proper context. They play a vital role in the adoption process. Really, it couldn’t happen without adoption lawyers. However, most are not equipped to fulfil obligations of the adoption process outside of that role. Families who decide to adopt solely through a lawyer for adoption typically run into a variety of issues that wouldn’t be present when working with a full-service adoption agency.
These are issues like:

• Lack of advertising: An important part of the adoption process is finding adoption opportunities for hopeful parents. This means reaching out to prospective birth mothers with family profiles through a process called adoption advertising. While adoption agencies typically have processes and staff members dedicated to this kind of advertising, adoption attorneys do not. Because of this, a family may feel the need to try to advertise by themselves, which is problematic. In some states, it is illegal for families to advertise on their own. When it is illegal, it can be costly and ineffective. For perspective, the largest national agencies carefully track marketing success and have major networking contacts, but still spend an average of $8,000 to $10,000 in advertising for each successful adoption. A family can expect to potentially pay more in advertising through an adoption law firm, especially if the ad is placed on your own.
• Longer wait times: On top of increased expenses and lower efficiency, this can also lead to longer wait times and less opportunity for a successful adoption placement. This is not necessarily because adoption attorneys lack skill. Rather, it is because this part of the adoption process is not something most are fully equipped to handle.
• Unpredictable costs: The total cost of adoption can fluctuate drastically with an adoption law firm. Many lawyers specializing in adoption bill hourly, meaning the adoption can become more expensive the longer it stretches out. Alternatively, some adoption agencies offer fixed fees so that the cost will not steadily increase with the length of the process.
• Less support for potential birth parents: Trained and licensed social workers are vital to successful adoptions. Sometimes, families get frustrated with adoption law firms because they lack a social service department skilled in evaluating, educating and guiding prospective birth mothers through the adoption process. As a result, families can end up in an adoption opportunity with birth mothers who aren’t strongly committed to adoption, aren’t emotionally prepared or don’t understand the process, which can result in an adoption disruption.
• Less availability: Availability with adoption lawyers and adoption law firms can be limited. This can be because most adoption attorneys are working on a handful of cases at once, but also because adoption law firms do not have the staff to answer calls or respond to questions after work hours. As any family will quickly find, the needs of an adoption don’t always come up between 9–5, and having someone who answers the phone is important.

Conversely, a family can choose to work with an adoption attorney in conjunction with a full-service adoption agency that has expertise, experience and resources dedicated to each aspect of the adoption process. Not only can an agency like American Adoptions meet your needs at every step of the way, we also connect families with trusted adoption attorneys for the legal aspects of adoption; that way you don’t have to go out interviewing attorneys on your own.
What Does an Adoption Lawyer Do?
An adoption lawyer can help you if you are trying to gain legal guardianship of a child that isn’t biologically yours. A lawyer can help you find an agency to adopt from if you need one, can file any necessary paperwork, and can represent you in court if necessary.
How Do I Know if I Need an Adoption Lawyer?
If you’re unsure about how to go about an adoption, an adoption lawyer is a good place to begin the process. An adoption lawyer will be knowledgeable on state- and country-specific adoption laws and provide guidance based on your situation, whether it be a private adoption, a step parent adoption, or if you’re a same sex couple wanting to adopt. A lawyer can prepare you for any hearings that may be required in the adoption process. In addition, your adoption attorney can represent you in court if there are legal complications, such as the birth parents changing their minds or trying to extort you.
How Much Does an Adoption Lawyer Cost?
Many adoption attorneys have flat fee services for simple issues like document drafting, review, and filing. For more complex issues like talking to an adoptions agency or going to court, most lawyers charge an hourly rate. Rates will vary depending on the complexity of your issue and where in the country you live, so negotiate a rate up front with your attorney to avoid costly surprises.
What Should I Expect When Working with an Adoption Lawyer?
You should expect to end the process with a child who is a legal member of your family. The entire adoption can take up to 5 years including waiting periods, but it’ll take less time depending on your case. If there are any legal complications or you don’t pass some of the qualifying examinations, the process could take longer. An adoption attorney can guide you through this and potentially expedite the process by knowing who to talk to and what paperwork to file. Adoption lawyers usually focus their practice exclusively on adoptions; however, there are some that practice other areas of the law. I would feel more comfortable working with one that practices exclusively in adoption just in case a situation was to arise that would require that expertise. However, someone who does not exclusively practice in this field wouldn’t be capable of helping you. My suggestion is to find someone with whom you feel comfortable. Adoptions can be stressful and emotional, so you will want to find someone that will bring you comfort during those times. Adoption lawyers can assist in finding an agency. Alternatively, they can assist in pursuing an independent adoption. If you are hiring an adoption attorney to pursue an independent adoption, he will help you prepare all the necessary paperwork required to have a successful adoption. He will also attend any court appearances that are necessary for your adoption. Our attorney only had to appear once for us when we adopted our son in 2014; however, some cases require more than that. Make sure the attorney you choose is familiar with your state’s requirements for adoption.

What Are The Responsibilities And Duties Of An Adoption Lawyer?

The role of an adoption attorney includes filing the appropriate paperwork to begin, continue, and finish the placement process. Another duty or responsibility of an adoption attorney is to appear with you during adoption proceedings. Your adoption attorney should also help you with completely understanding your state’s specific adoption laws. This is something you’ll want to look for when you begin your adoption attorney search– someone who knows the applicable regulations and laws and how they will apply and affect you.

How Do You Find An Adoption Lawyer?

First you call Ascent Law. There are many methods available for finding an adoption attorney that is best for your specific situation. If you know of anyone who has been in a similar situation, ask him or her for referrals and contact information for the adoption attorney he or she used. You can also contact local adoption agencies. They should have a list of adoption attorneys they’ve worked with before. Consider joining and actively participating in a support group. This is another great way to receive contact information or adoption attorney referrals. And one of the easiest ways to receive contact information is through our professional directory. Your search can be state-specific and professional type-specific. Throughout this process, remember that your adoption attorney is there to help, assist, and guide you. He or she should know of all your state’s adoption laws, rules, and regulations. Working with an adoption attorney is a great way to progress through the placement process because of the step-by-step and hands-on help that your adoption attorney should offer. Make use of the resources around you as you explore your options.

Working With an Adoption Lawyer

In almost all circumstances, it is helpful to go through the adoption process with the assistance of an attorney. Creating a family is one of the most significant events in the lives of most people seeking to adopt. You will want to be certain that the adoption you pursue complies with state and federal laws, and that nothing will disturb the relationship that you have built. If you are considering adoption, one of the first steps is to contact a knowledgeable adoption attorney. Similarly, if you are a biological parent, and you are seeking to place your child for adoption, you will also want the assistance of counsel to help you understand your rights. Typically, the adoptive parents will pay for the costs of the birth parents’ attorney because it is important that the birth parents’ rights and wishes are protected.

Contested Adoption Hearings

The examples above presume that the adoption process has received the consent of all parties. This is not always the case, however. Sometimes a court will terminate the parental rights of birth parents without their consent. In these situations, an attorney is especially important. Some states will provide an attorney free of charge to birth parents who are involved in parental right termination hearings. In other states, parents who are at risk of losing their parental rights need to pay for their own counsel. The involuntary termination of parental rights can only happen in certain circumstances. Parental rights can be terminated if the parents have been found to have abused or neglected the children and are unable or unwilling to provide a safe home for the children. Parental rights can also be terminated if a parent has abandoned the child or if they will be incarcerated for a long period of time. A skilled attorney can help you defend your parental rights if you are at risk of an involuntary termination.

The Role of a Lawyer in an Adoption

While potential adoptive parents may see an adoption as a primarily emotional process that formalizes a parental bond, it is also a legal process. Since the parent/child relationship is so important, courts want to be certain that the legal procedures are followed precisely. That is why attorneys are almost always involved in the adoption process. However, the specific involvement of the adoption lawyer will depend on the type of adoption and other factors. If you are working with an adoption agency, they will likely coordinate the attorney services for you. However, if you are doing an independent adoption, you will probably be responsible for finding and hiring your own attorney. In an independent adoption, the adoption lawyer will also likely play a much larger role. In an independent adoption, the attorney will be responsible for making sure that all of the legal requirements of your state are met. This includes making sure that necessary home studies, background checks, and other screening procedures are completed properly. It also may include helping potential adoptive parents gather the documents that they need. If you are in a state that permits facilitated adoptions, often the facilitator will be an attorney. Some adoption attorneys will keep files of potential adoptive parents. When a birth parent reaches out to them, they will help them find an adoptive home for the child. As with independent adoptions, the adoption lawyer will probably be the main professional working with you. For birth parents who are voluntarily terminating their parental rights, the role of the lawyer is to safeguard the rights of the birth parents. The adoption attorney can help explain certain decisions that need to be made and act as an advocate to make sure that your wishes are carried out. They can also assist you if you change your mind and decide to parent the child. In involuntary terminations, the birth parents’ lawyer has one of the most important roles in the process. They are responsible for vigorously defending the rights of the biological parents and fighting the termination if that is what the birth parents want.

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It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, 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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Utah Adoption Court

This article is provided to you by Michael R. Anderson, Esq., Utah Adoption Lawyer.

Utah Adoption Court

Adoption can be a tricky process. There are a number of things to consider including eligibility to adopt, whether or not to use an adoption agency, and whether or not the adoption courts need to be involved in the process. Below you will find key information about frequently asked questions regarding the adoption court and where to go to get legal help. We’ve previously explained the Adoption Process in Utah here. We hope that we can answer some of your questions about adoption in this post.

Does my adoption have to be handled by an adoption court?

Yes. Regardless of whether you are working through an adoption agency or on your own, your adoption must be approved by an adoption court. This process involves filing a petition with the adoption court and then going through an adoption hearing. All of the people who have an interest in the adoption must receive notice of the hearing, prior to the hearing. These people typically include the biological parents, the adoption agency (if used), and the child, if he or she is of a certain age (12 or 14 in most states). Often times the adoption court will appoint a legal representative for the child. This representative is a disinterested third party whose job it is to look out for the child’s best interest. If the court does appoint a legal representative for the child, that representative must be given notice of the adoption hearing.

Typically, courts regarding custody of a child follow the best interest of the child standard (this is also used in divorce cases). This means that during an adoption proceeding, the prospective parents must show the adoption court judge that it is in the child’s best interest to be adopted by them. If the adoption court judge does determine that the adoption is in the child’s best interest, he or she will issue an order, called a final decree of adoption, approving the adoption. The final decree of adoption makes the new parent-child relationship legal and changes the child’s name, per the parents request.

What should my adoption petition have in it?

Your petition should include, at least:

  • the adoptive parents names, ages, and address;
  • the relationship between the adoptive parents and the child;
  • the legal purpose behind the termination of the child’s rights;
  • that the adoptive parents are the right people to adopt the child; and
  • that the adoption is in the child’s best interest.

Along with the adoption petition, you should also file the written consents of the birth parents (or the court order of the termination of their parental rights) with the adoption court. When you file your petition, you should also file your request for the child’s name change, if a name change is desired.

Does an attorney have to handle my adoption?

It is always recommended to have an adoption attorney, even if you are working with an adoption agency. If your adoption agency does not provide you with a lawyer, it is a good idea to hire one to write your adoption petition and to represent you in adoption court. Legally, you could write your petition on your own and represent yourself in adoption court. However, drafting petitions and going through court hearings can be complicated; thus, it is in your best interest to let an experienced lawyer handle it, using his or her legal expertise.

What are the legal requirements for international adoption?

To qualify to adopt a child internationally, you must meet both the requirements of the United States, as well as, the requirements of the child’s native country. You, or your lawyer or agent, may end up going to adoption court both in that country and in the United States.

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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Utah Adoption Agencies

utah adoption agencies

Utah adoption аgеnсiеѕ provides children with safe, ѕtаblе and nurturing hоmеѕ, аѕ well аѕ loving and еаgеr parents whо are thoroughly ѕсrееnеd tо ensure they аrе рrераrеd tо raise a child. As аdорtiоn hаѕ bесоmе a more widely ассерtеd and celebrated wау of becoming a family, the bеnеfitѕ fоr аdорtеd children hаvе only grown.

A Family for Evеrу Child Adoption Agеnсу in Utah rесоgnizеѕ thаt “Fоrеvеr Fаmiliеѕ” come in аll ѕhареѕ аnd ѕizеѕ. Thеу are аn inсluѕivе аgеnсу that specialize in finding реrmаnеnt fаmiliеѕ fоr сhildrеn in thе fоѕtеr саrе ѕуѕtеm thаt tеnd tо bе the mоѕt diffiсult tо рlасе because of their аgе, ethnicity, sibling group, developmental, emotional оr physical diѕаbilitу. Utаh аdорtiоn аgеnсiеѕ рrоvidе adoption hоmе studies tо families interested in аdорtiоn. Thеу knоw thаt еvеrу child dеѕеrvеѕ tо bе lоvеd, аnd аll kidѕ never outgrow thе nееd fоr a “fоrеvеr fаmilу.

Tо bе entitled tо adopt a child, аn individual must mееt the ԛuаlifiсаtiоnѕ under the lаwѕ оf hiѕ оr hеr ѕtаtе, ѕinсе the ѕtаtе hаѕ ѕоlе роwеr tо determine who may become аn adoptive parent. Unlеѕѕ оthеrwiѕе рrоvidеd by ѕtаtе ѕtаtutе, U.S. citizenship iѕ nоt a рrеrеԛuiѕitе for аdорtiоn.

A сhild mау bе jointly аdорtеd by a Huѕbаnd аnd Wife. If nоt contrary tо ѕtаtutоrу рrоviѕiоn, еithеr may adopt withоut bеing jоinеd bу the оthеr. Unmаrriеd реорlе mау аdорt unless рrоhibitеd bу law.

A grоwing area оf соntrоvеrѕу by thе courts iѕ whether adoption by a сhild’ѕ grаndраrеntѕ is a viаblе аltеrnаtivе. Suсh adoption might bе соnѕidеrеd in the сhild’ѕ bеѕt intеrеѕtѕ if the nаturаl раrеntѕ diе оr if thе custodial parent iѕ fоund unfit. A lеgаl guаrdiаn may аdорt a сhild but iѕ nоt оrdinаrilу given рrеfеrеnсе in thе court рrосееdingѕ.

Utаh аdорtiоn agencies рrоvidе children with the following:

• The opportunity tо mаintаin a ореn or semi-open rеlаtiоnѕhiр with thеir birth family, whiсh mау help fill thе vоid сhildrеn оftеn experience in closed аdорtiоnѕ

• A mоrе соmрlеtе understanding of their аdорtiоn ѕtоrу аnd аnѕwеrѕ tо thеir adoption ԛuеѕtiоnѕ ѕtаrting аt a young age

• More ореnnеѕѕ аnd lеѕѕ ѕесrесу, leading to ѕtrоngеr identity dеvеlорmеnt and imрrоvеd self-esteem

• Finаnсiаl ѕесuritу аnd орроrtunitiеѕ thаt thеir birth раrеntѕ may nоt bе able to provide (like thе сhаnсе tо аttеnd соllеgе)

Not one, but twо ѕеtѕ of parents whо love thеm – the аdорtivе parents whо will raise аnd саrе for them, as wеll аѕ the birth раrеntѕ who lоvеd thеm еnоugh tо selflessly сhооѕе аdорtiоn.

At its соrе, adoption iѕ about аdultѕ – birth parents and аdорtivе раrеntѕ – соming tоgеthеr to mаkе ѕеlflеѕѕ dесiѕiоnѕ in thе bеѕt intеrеѕt оf a сhild. But аdорtееѕ аrеn’t thе only ones who bеnеfit in the рrосеѕѕ.

The bеѕt intеrеѕtѕ of the child are оf раrаmоunt importance in роliсу considerations tоwаrd аdорtiоn. Although lеgiѕlаtivе роliсу prefers ѕuсh соnditiоnѕ аѕ adoption by people оf the same rеligiоn as thе prospective adoptee, аn interfaith аdорtiоn iѕ аllоwеd whеn it does not аdvеrѕеlу аffесt the wеlfаrе оf thе dеtеrmining, whо will be suitable adoptive раrеntѕ inсludе rасе, rеligiоn, есоnоmiс status, home environment, аgе, аnd hеаlth. Mоѕt оf thеѕе criteria is taken intо соnѕidеrаtiоn in рlасеmеntѕ bу agencies or in private placements whеrе state lаw rеԛuirеѕ thаt adoptive parents bе invеѕtigаtеd.

Free Consultation with Adoption Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about adoption law or if you need to finalize a adoption in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you with any type of adoption.

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

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews

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