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#541 Adopting a child through an agency

mp3 #541 Adopting a Child Through an Agency (mp3 file)

Family Law matters are very complex. Many who try to handle these matters on their own quickly find themselves overwhelmed and out of favor with the courts. Often times costs are cited as the reason for self representation. However, most people with assets and retirement plans stand to lose significant amounts of money, or worse, lose custody of their children if they are not represented properly. Continue here to be referred to an experienced and insured Family Law attorney:

In an agency adoption, a child is found through a state licensed adoption agency after being placed there by one or both of the natural parents. Many times the mother is unmarried and wants the child to have a full family life which she feels she will be unable to provide.

The agency does a complete investigation of the adoptive parents and supplies them with information about the health and social background of the child to be adopted.

After the agency has assisted you in determining your own particular wants and needs and locates a child it believes is suitable for you, the child comes to live at your home. A probationary period follows, during which time you will be visited at your home and your relationship with the child will be observed. After the probationary period is satisfactorily completed, a "petition for adoption" is filed with the court.

In agency adoptions, the identity of all people involved is kept secret. When the "consent to adoption" form is signed by the natural parent or parents giving the child to the agency, the natural parent will be given non-identifying information about the placement of the child, and about the adopting parents. The adopting parents will also be given non-identifying information about the natural parents.

The consent to adoption, signed by the natural parent(s), is usually the most complicated part of any adoption and one advantage in going through an agency is that proper consent is taken care of before the adoptive parents ever receive the child into their home.

Home visits during the probationary period are made to make certain the child is receiving the proper care, and that the arrangement is working satisfactorily for parents and child. The adoption agency may, however, withdraw the child if that seems necessary.

It is generally a legal requirement that the home of the adoptive parents be suitable for the child and for its best interests. As adoptive parents, you must obtain and pass a blood test and a chest x-ray. The agency will give you all the information when you begin the process.

You must also have certain legal documents for the investigation. In most cases, your marriage certificate plus all records of previous marriages are all that is required. Once again, the agency will tell you exactly what you need.

After the investigation period has ended, you will legalize your adoption by appearing in court with your child. Generally, adoption matters are held in the judge's office, and not in open court. Upon completion of the adoption, the child gains all rights of a natural child in your own family, including the right of inheritance, and loses its rights from its natural parents. Later a new birth certificate is issued which shows you as the legal parents of the child.

An adoption agency must be licensed by the state of California. While the agency will keep you informed of each step you must take during the adoption, many people like to have their own attorney to serve as counsel and to help them with the formal requirements of the court. If you have any questions at all, it is always wise to consult an attorney to make certain your own interests are protected.

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