Columbia, MD Adoption Attorney

Baltimore Crimianl Defense Lawyers

If you want to welcome a child into your family via adoption, it is important to know what to expect from the process.

Adopting a baby involves many steps that parents should be prepared for. First, consider the various methods of adoption available to you and your family, such as independent adoption, private agency adoption, and public agency adoption. Then, prepare the necessary information about your family, such as its income and size. Finally, prepare for scrutiny from the court to ensure you will be a fit parent. The length of the adoption process can vary drastically from case to case. For example, international adoptions typically take longer, whereas step-parents adopting a step-child can often do so faster. Once adoption is officially finalized, you will have full parental rights and your child will legally be yours.

To discuss your case with our Columbia, MD adoption attorneys, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras now at (410) 694-7291.

How to Prepare for Adoption in Columbia, MD

Adoption is a complicated process that many hopeful parents are open to undergo in the hopes of having a child to call their own. There are several kinds of adoption and many steps involved on behalf of the adoptive parents. Careful preparation is key to a smooth adoption process that ends with you bringing your child home for good.

Choose a Method of Adoption

The three main kinds of adoption are public agency adoption, independent adoption, and private agency adoption. Not all methods of adoption are viable options for all prospective parents. If you know a biological parent who is unable to raise their child, you might be able to get an independent adoption. That said, this process will not happen without involvement from the court. While independent adoptions can happen faster than other options, they can also be emotional for biological parents, which is something that adoptive parents should prepare themselves for.

Then there is private agency adoption. Private adoption agencies pair children with hopeful parents. Adoptive parents have contracts with private adoption agencies that prevent them from working with other agencies. This is the most common way for parents to adopt children in Columbia.

Finally, there is public agency adoption. This method usually involves children in the foster care system or victims of neglect on behalf of their biological parents. Because such children have been through trauma, adopting through a public agency might be a more involved process to ensure that prospective parents are prepared for the challenges that might be involved in parenting such children.

Gather Your Personal and Financial Information

When seeking adoption, you must be prepared to present personal information about yourself and your family to confirm that you will be a capable parent to your child. Our adoption attorneys can help you gather proof of your income, possible criminal history, and any other information that the court in Columbia may require. If you are adopting a biological child of your spouse, your step-child, less information may be required on your behalf. The court will also want to know if you are married, have other children, and whether you can provide a secure, safe, and loving home for your adoptive child.

Expect Scrutiny from the Court

While biological parents are not subject to such scrutiny when they have a child, adoptive parents are. Although this can seem unfair to you as an individual who yearns for a child, it is necessary to ensure that you do not adopt a baby you cannot care for. If you are called in for additional hearings after an initial hearing about your fitness as a parent, do not be discouraged. Our attorneys can prepare you for scrutiny from the court so that it does not take an unnecessary emotional toll on you and your family.

Average Length of Adoption in Columbia, MD

From the moment that you decide to adopt a baby, it might be weeks, months, or years until finalization is complete and your child is legally yours.

Adoption agency waiting lists can be several months to several years long. An adoption agency will require certain information about you and your family before approving you as a prospective parent. Once a child that fits into your family becomes available, the child may be placed with you.

Depending on the situation, your child might live with you for several weeks or months before finalization takes place. Suppose you are having an open adoption or an independent one that involves knowing the biological mother personally. In that case, you might have to wait several days after your baby’s birth before the biological mother can officially terminate her parental rights.

If you are adopting a spouse’s child, your step-child, the process will likely be much faster than when prospective parents seek adoption through a private or public agency. If you are adopting a baby from another country, additional steps and checks must take place before your child can legally become yours. The final adoption hearing, when you gain full parental rights over your child, should be relatively quick, provided all the necessary boxes are checked prior to the hearing.

Revocation Period for Adoption in Columbia, MD

Once you are your child’s legal parent, you will have full parental rights. Before that officially happens, a biological parent could legally change their mind about adoption.

Sometimes, biological parents might rethink their decisions about adoption. Even after a biological parent has terminated their parental rights, they will have a 30-day revocation period during which they can change their minds and regain their parental rights in Columbia.

If you have agreed to a closed adoption, and a biological parent wishes to have a relationship with your baby after finalization, that decision will largely be up to you as your child’s legal parent.

Call Our Columbia, MD Attorneys to Discuss Your Adoption Case

You can call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case evaluation with our adoption attorneys.