Ready to Adopt? Find an Attorney to Walk You Through the Process
Begin the Adoption Process with Bailey Legal Services, PLLC
A common theme you may notice when researching adoption is that there is no right answer. Every article you read or friend you talk to will tell you that it is completely your decision and to do what best suits your family. Getting started, however, can be confusing, expensive, and frustrating when it feels that nothing is going right. There are many, many factors that play into an adoption, including international adoption or domestic, open or closed, stepparent adoption, and many more that we will soon discuss. To begin the adoption process in West Virginia, there is general criteria that you must meet:
- Be over the age of 21
- Pass a criminal and abuse background check
- Have a secure source of income
- Have consent of the appropriate parties
If you go through an adoption agency, there may be additional criteria, including home visits, marriage status, and other factors. Bailey Legal Services, PLLC, can help you navigate your way through an adoption in Barboursville, WV. Talk to our knowledgeable attorney today to learn more about your options.
Choosing Between an Open Adoption or a Closed Adoption
An open or closed adoption is an important thing to consider when looking into adoption. An open adoption allows the child’s birth parents to have some type of contact with you and the child, whether it be visiting, calling, or other various means of communicating. A closed adoption is the exact opposite – the court seals all records and releases no identifying information to either family.
So, are there benefits to both? Absolutely. In some cases, the biological parents may not want any contact after birth. A closed adoption will protect all identities and can help you in the long run. As for open adoptions, a family may want to know their child, but understand that they cannot provide adequate care. This type of adoption can give your adopted child the benefit of an extended family and knowing any existing biological siblings, grandparents, and other members. It also allows you and your child to know of any possible medical problems that run in their biological family, or will help them to understand their own cultures.
With the benefits come the disadvantages of both open and closed adoptions. As with any adoption, you may worry that the child will choose their birth family. There are different laws and possible hiccups that can get in the way of this, but that is always something to consider. As with closed adoptions, you risk not knowing valuable information, such as medical history and worthwhile information about the child’s family. Ultimately, the decision may not be your call, but it is best to know your rights and options before choosing the adoption type.
How do you choose? Well, in some cases, it may not be that simple. Different states and countries have different laws surrounding adoptions that can limit what you can do. The best way to understand your options is to speak with an experienced family law attorney in your state who knows the possible issues and rewards that adoptions can provide your family.
Preparing for an International or Domestic Adoption
Another topic for consideration is whether you want to adopt inside the U.S. or not. International adoptions usually have more strict requirements than their domestic counterparts, but that does not mean that they are not worth the fight. Some things to consider while making your choice includes:
- Cost differences
- Travel time and expenses
- Marriage requirements
- Lack of access to medical information or family history
- Possible wait time
There is no “easy way out” for adoption. You may fall in love with a child across the world, and will do anything it takes to have them in your family. Or, you may meet someone living down the road that is looking for the perfect family to take their unborn child. No matter which way you choose, there is always the possibility of it being a stressful and expensive journey. However, with the right legal support, you can take a lot of the stress off your shoulders. Talk to attorney Michael S. Bailey about getting started with either international adoption or domestic adoption.
Understanding Grandparent or Biological Family Rights
Unfortunately, there are not many laws that protect the rights of grandparents or extended family after an adoption, divorce, or other family strife. Parents, biological and adoptive, have the say in who can and can’t spend time with their child. While there are ways to approach gaining visitation rights, talking with an experienced family law attorney may benefit your situation. Prepare to prove that your being in the child’s life will have benefit for them, and that you can provide proper care.
As for adoptive parents, there is no clear-cut reason as to why a grandparent or other biological family member can or cannot have visitation rights. Your choice to put your child’s best interest first is the most important part of the battle. If you are unsure how to proceed, speak with attorney Michael S. Bailey to learn more about your options.
When researching grandparent adoption options, there are also limited resources regarding this, as well. It is best to do your research before making claims that you need to adopt a grandchild, and to gather the appropriate evidence to support these claims. Parents in stable minds trump any grandparent or extended family member’s wish of sole custody.
Stepparent Adoption Rights
Adoption does not always have to be under heartbreaking, traumatic circumstances. When your new spouse has a child and you are looking into adoption, there are various requirements that you must adhere to. Of course, both birth parents must agree to the adoption, as it entails that the other parent gives up their rights. Children over the age of 12 also have to give their consent.
Before proceeding with a stepparent adoption, be sure that you understand that you are now the child’s legal parent. This includes even if the marriage ends in divorce. In West Virginia, there may be an obligation to pay child support and continue care of the child in the event of a divorce.
Are you ready to move forward with the adoption process? Call Bailey Legal Services, PLLC, at (304) 736-0801. We work with clients across West Virginia to help complete their family. For updates on this and other subjects that may affect your life, “like” our Facebook page and check out our site.