Things to Consider Before a Private Adoption - Melvin A. Cook
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Things to Consider Before a Private Adoption

by Melvin Cook

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Deciding to adopt is a major decision for all parties involved. The birth parents are giving up a child and the adoptive parents are taking on the responsibility of welcoming a new child into their home. It can be an emotional time for everyone involved, especially if the child is older. The process involves a lot of legal paperwork that is best explained by an Salt Lake City adoption attorney who can ensure everyone’s best interests are met.

Biological Parents

There are situations where the adoption proceedings begin before the child is born. The adoptive parents will need to find the birth mother either through a licensed agency or word of mouth. When a birth mother has been found it is imperative that the pregnancy is verified and everything discussed is legally documented through the attorney. This could include any expenses to be paid by the adoptive parents for prenatal care, housing and clothing. The biological father will need to be part of the adoption process. Adoptive parents will need to exercise caution when the birth parents are unwed and the birth father has not been disclosed. A Salt Lake adoption attorney will need to be consulted if this situation arises before continuing with the adoption process.

Adoption Openness

There are different levels of adoption openness including open, closed and semi-closed. A closed adoption is when the adoptive parents and biological parents do not exchange any information. The biological parent information is kept sealed and the birth father is sometimes kept off the original birth certificate. An open adoption allows both the adoptive and biological parents access to each other at their discretion. A semi-open adoption allows both sets of parents limited access to personal information and is usually done completely through an agency.

Counseling and Support Groups

Utah requires adoptive parents to provide three 55 minute sessions for the birth parents during a private adoption. The birth parents have the option to refuse counseling. Relinquishment documents cannot be signed, through an adoption attorney, until the counseling sessions have been offered to the biological parents. Adoption is a life changing decision and adoptive parents also have the option to seek out counseling or attend a support group. Support groups are comprised of other adoptive parents and provides information to new adoptive parents.

Relinquishments and Finalization

It is important to have an adoption lawyer to help with the adoption process because there are several procedures through the court and at the hospital that many future parents are not aware of. The birth mother will need to sign the relinquishment documents 24 hours after the birth of the child. The birth father can sign relinquishment documents at any time even before the birth. The adoption becomes final when there is a finalization hearing usually taking place after six months of placement. Hiring an experienced adoption attorney is crucial to ensuring a smooth adoption process.

Contact a Salt Lake City Attorney Committed to Protecting Your Rights

When it comes the family law and social security disability, each client and case is different. It is also important to select an attorney with the experience, skills and professionalism required to address your legal issues. To learn more, contact the Salt Lake City law offices of Melvin A. Cook and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.

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