ADOPTION AND STEP-PARENT ADOPTION
Representing Adoptive Families
The attorneys at Hoover Kacyon, say with great pride that there is no better area of the law to practice than adoptions. In fact, we are honored when clients choose us to assist them in this most important task of expanding their family.
Most adoptive parent clients begin their adoption journey by deciding, for whatever reason, to grow their families through adoption. Sometimes clients choose this path because they have struggled with heart break such as infant loss, miscarriage or infertility. Other times, families choose adoption because they wish to grow their family without a traditional pregnancy. Still others have no other reason other than just feeling the pull of their heart strings and the feeling that this is what’s meant to be for them. For whatever the reason you may choose adoption, we want to help make that dream become your reality.
Adoption work is by far our most rewarding, but it can also often times be an area of law with great legal complexities, and great worry to our clients as they navigate through the often times, lengthy process. The attorneys at Hoover Kacyon, LLC understand that the tasks of choosing both adoption lawyers, and adoption agencies, is of utmost importance to our clients. We don’t take that lightly and are prepared to assist our clients through every step of this process, wherever our clients may need us.
Representing Birth Parents
We at Hoover Kacyon, LLC also regularly represent birth parents looking to place their child for adoption with another. Often times, we are contacted by a birth parent who is looking to place their child for adoption with a family or person they already know. Other times, we are contacted by a birth parent for assistance in finding a family to adopt their child, because they don’t know where else to turn.
The attorneys at Hoover Kacyon, LLC want our birth parent clients to know this: We value you. We don’t take lightly the choice you have made and we don’t judge you. Instead, we think you are some of the most beautiful and selfless people in our world. In the event you are a birth parent wanting to place your child for adoption, we are also honored to help and assist you in that decision, and strive to connect you with other persons, agencies, resources, and community help that will best serve you and your individual circumstances as you navigate these uncertain times.
The attorneys at Hoover Kacyon, LLC find that in representing birth parents, our primary focus is to help you accomplish your goal, as quickly as feasible, and with the most encouragement and compassion possible. We understand the process is difficult, both physically and emotionally, and we are ready to be there with you as your legal advisor and counselor.
The Adoption Process
The adoption process can begin when a woman finds herself pregnant and first begins considering adoption. The earlier a woman identifies that she would like to make an adoption plan, the more services can be put in place to assist her with her pregnancy, including things like living expenses and medical expenses during the pregnancy. Most importantly, a birth mother considering adoption should be properly counseled in the adoption process, the legal and practical effects of adoption, and alternatives to adoption. This counseling can occur through services of an adoption agency, or through a private adoption arrangement, by the engagement of private or individual therapists and/or adoption attorneys.
A birth mother may also wish to personally choose an adoptive family for her child, either through the services of adoption agencies, through contact with an adoption attorney or adoption facilitators, or through private advertisements or other direct inquiries.
Mostly importantly, a birth mother’s role is to carry the pregnancy to term, focusing on her health and the health of the unborn child, and also ensuring that she is making the right decision for herself and her child. A birth mother is not bound by an adoption plan she may make, and can change her mind at any time prior to permanently surrendering her parental rights. This is why it’s crucial for a birth mother to be well advised throughout her pregnancy, so she can ensure she’s thinking of all options and making the best choice for her.
After delivery, a birth mother can place her child for adoption in a few different ways. If a birth mother wishes to relinquish a child to the custody of an adoption agency, for the purposes of an adoption, the birth mother can sign the permanent surrender agreement 72 hours after the birth of the child. If a birth mother wishes to do this, it is absolutely crucial that she be represented by counsel before signing this document. Reputable adoption agencies will insist a birth mom be represented prior to signing a permanent surrender. An adoption agency that does not require birth mother representation should be approached with caution, as the legal uncertainties that can result from this approach can jeopardize an adoption being finalized for years to come.
A birth mother may also wish to surrender her child to another person or family without immediately signing off on all of her parental rights, or, alternatively, may wish to place her child for adoption but with bypassing the use of an adoption agency. There are different legal mechanisms to accomplish these goals. Sometimes, a birth mother may wish to sign a consent to adoption document, which is filed with the court expressing the birth mother’s agreement with the adoption, but which does not terminate her rights as a birth mother until the adoption is finalized in court. Other times, a birth mother may wish to give up legal custody of her child to someone else, with the intent to complete an adoption proceeding at some point in the future. In these situations, it is not mandatory for a birth mother to be represented by counsel at all steps in this process, but it is highly advisable for a birth mother to seek the advice of counsel as soon as possible, to ensure her rights are protected as she makes plans for her child.
The most important thing for a birth mother to know is this: you should be represented by a competent and experienced adoption attorney to explain to you all your available legal options before you make a decision to place your child for adoption. Almost as equally important is to know that you do not have to pay for your legal fees yourself, but your legal fees for an adoption can be charged to the adoptive family of your child. Because of this, the attorneys at Hoover Kacyon, LLC advise any birth mothers exploring adoption to contact us right away, at the time you first begin considering adoption for your child.