The legal process of adoption is what transfers the permanent parent-child relationship from one party to another. Adoption provides the adoptive parents the rights and responsibilities of a legal parent while relinquishing the parental rights from the birth parents. It is important to note that because adoption laws differ by state, this process may look different depending on the location of birth parents and adoptive parents. However, the following questions are common amongst birth families.
What happens if my family opposes the adoption?
The only legal party that may prevent placement is the birth father, who in some circumstances, may have the legal right to do so. The birth parent’s families cannot stop an adoption from occurring and have no role in the legal process. The only exception to this rule occurs within the United States’ Native American population, where separate rules apply.
Do I need to tell my family about the adoption if I am under 18?
There is no legal requirement to inform a birth mother or birth father’s family about the adoption. However, family may offer a great deal of support, which is important for birth parents, particularly young birth parents.
Do I need to work with a lawyer or an agency?
There are many reasons it is advantageous for birth parents to work with a lawyer or an agency. The primary reason is that birth parents deserve someone who is concerned with their best interest and to insure their voices are heard and wishes are met. Both lawyers and agencies are able to provide education, resources, and support to birth parents, all of which is important during the process.
Will I have to pay for a lawyer or an agency?
Birth parents are not responsible for legal fees or agency fees. Adoptive parents are responsible for covering these costs.
If I’ve already signed the termination paperwork, can I change my mind?
The time in which legal paperwork may be revoked varies by state, and the specifics to your circumstances will be explained as your adoption plan is formed.