Family Law

What Is Adoption, Who Can Be Adopted And How Does Adoption Work?

The process of adoption can be an extremely emotional experience for all parties involved. The attorneys at Carabin Shaw can guide you in navigating this complicated process. We are not an adoption agency, but we can be your legal guide through the formal process of adoption.

The term “adoption” can specifically apply to:

  • Step-Parent adoption
  • Grandparent adoption
  • Termination of parental rights

“Adoption” is a formal decree entered by a Court stating that a parent-child relationship exists. Any adult, single or married can adopt. The common areas of adoption include:

  • Termination of parent-child relationship
  • Voluntary termination during pregnancy
  • Involuntary termination

A child can be adopted if

  • Both of the child’s natural parents have died OR
  • The parent-child relationship with both parents has been terminated OR
  • A step-parent (spouse of a natural parent) wants to adopt the child

The formal process of adoption can begin once the biological parents have had their rights terminated. The normal course of events is that the Court orders a pre-adoptive study. Then the child will be placed in the adoptive home for approximately 6 months and another study will be conducted to determine what home life will be like for the potential new family. A hearing will then take place in which a Judge determines if the adoption is in the child’s best interest. If the Judge decided that the adoption is in the child’s best interest, the formal decree of parent-child relationship will be established.

The legal terrain for adoption can be long and complicated. Call the attorneys at Carabin Shaw to be by your side and make this process as smooth as possible.