Adding a new member to your family can be one of the most joyous moments imaginable. Adoption is one option individuals have for growing their family. Prior to consulting with an adoption agency, it’s suggested that individuals looking to adopt first consult with a family law attorney. Legal adoption requires that a child’s biological parents terminate their parental rights. The potential adoptive parents can then pursue taking the child in as one of their own.
An attorney’s guidance assures that all legally binding contracts and/or state laws regarding the adoption process are followed. Adoption can be pursued through any of the following:
Legal guardianship is also another subfield of family law. A legal guardian is usually given the same responsibilities as a biological parent. Guardianship, however, differs significantly. It does not permanently sever a child’s ties with his/her parents. Rather, the child’s custody rests on someone else other than the parent(s). These guardians can also be identified in a will.
For various reasons and motivations, many families choose to bring a child into their lives through the process of adoption. There are various forms of adoption, from entirely open adoptions where the adopting family has considerable contact with the birth parents, to closed processes where the adoption is private and/or anonymous.
Before you decide to proceed with pursuing an adoption, it would be best to consult with a legal professional who has experience in this matter. That way, he or she can address any legal concerns you may have and can help make sure you avoid common pitfalls that adoptive parents may encounter. If you and your spouse would like to speak with an attorney today, contact the San Diego adoption lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211.
Factors to Consider
The following factors should be considered before engaging in the adoption process:
- Financial stability
- Strength of marriage
- Age of prospective parents (some agencies have maximum age limits)
- Health of you and your spouse
- Type of adoption (open vs. closed)
- International vs. domestic adoption
- Birth parent criteria
- Preferred agency
Adopting a child is truly a life-changing decision and one that should not be taken lightly. To ensure that you have all of the information you need, make sure to speak with a lawyer at your soonest convenience. That way, you can focus on life with your new child and leave the complicated legal processes to the professionals.
For more information regarding adoption or other family law subject matters, call the San Diego adoption attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211 today.
Identifying Birth Parent Scams
Though most adoption agencies and birth parent couples are honest, it is important to recognize that there are scam artists in these arenas who may be looking to take advantage of a couple that is vulnerable and possibly desperate for a child. The use of the Internet can exacerbate this problem, since individuals are able to create long-distance connections with very little face-to-face interaction.
If you are considering adoption, it would behoove you to seek the help of an experienced legal professional. That way, you can help avoid these criminals (or engage in legal action if you encounter one) and ensure your adoption is complete and legitimate in the eyes of the law. To learn more about adoption laws and procedures, contact the San Diego adoption lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211 today.
Common Adoption Scams
Adoption scams can exist in the following forms:
- The birth parent is not actually pregnant
- The birth parents promises their child to more than one couple at a time
- The birth parent is pregnant but never intends to actually give up her child for adoption
In order to make sure you only engage in legal interactions, be wary of a birth parent who tries to contact you via newspaper advertisements or through an Internet site. To protect yourself from this dangerous and emotionally devastating event, you should seek the help of an experienced adoption attorney. That way, you can leave the process in the hands of a professional and avoid the scam artists who may threaten your family.
If you and your spouse are considering adoption, contact the San Diego adoption attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211 for the legal help you need.
Avoiding the Dangers of Adoption
Adoption is the process by which an expectant mother gives up parental rights of her newborn child and places those rights with another individual or couple for the remainder of that child’s life. This process is quite common in the United States and it is estimated that about one million children in the country live with an adoptive family. Recent reports state that between 2 and 4 percent of American families include an adopted child. Though this process is usually a very loving one that can have great benefits for both families, there are certain dangers and complications that one should be aware of before engaging in this process.
Adoption is a legal procedure and one that you should not try to navigate alone. If you or someone you love is considering adoption, you should contact an experienced attorney to help with your case. To learn more about adoption laws and procedures in your area, contact the San Diego family lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP today at 858-935-6211.
Recognizing Adoption Risks
Individuals or couples considering adoption should be aware of the following potential risks and issues:
- Birthparent scams
- Disruptions in the adoption process
- Failed adoption
- Agency closing/financial loss
- Undisclosed health/psychological/medical challenges
- Extremely long wait times causing undue emotional stress
No matter which side of the adoption process you are on, it is important to hire a credible, experienced attorney to help ensure that things go smoothly. By working with someone who has had years of experience in family law, you may be able to avoid common pitfalls or rookie mistakes that others may fall victim to.
If you are considering adopting a child, contact the San Diego family attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP today at 858-935-6211.
Considerations in Step-Parent Adoption
People have many reasons for requesting to formally adopt their step-children. It can be the best way to clear up legal complications regarding parental rights or child support. It can also be a way for blended families to bond or feel more “complete.” Adopting a step-child is a very personal choice that each family must make for themselves; no one else can tell you if it is the right thing to do.
If you are considering a step-parent adoption, either as a biological parent or step-parent, there are many legal challenges you may face. For helpful legal advice and efficient assistance with every step of the process, call the San Diego step-parent adoption lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211.
Questions to Ask
Before your family reaches a final decision about step-parent adoption, there are some complex issues that need to be carefully considered. A few basic topics to be discussed include:
- How do the children feel about this? In California, children aged 12 or older must give their consent to being adopted by their step-parents. Even if your child is under 12, it is important to consider his or her thoughts on the new arrangement. Forcing a step-parent adoptions on children can make them feel like their biological parents are being forgotten or replaced.
- Do you have the absent biological parent’s consent? California requires the consent of both biological parents before a step-parent adoption can proceed. The only exception is in the event of children who have been abandoned – i.e., the absent parent has not contacted them or paid child support in a year.
- Can you find the absent biological parent? Even if you do not know where the other biological parent is living, or even who he or she is, you will need to locate him or her and obtain his or her consent. If you cannot find him or her, you will need to show the court documentation of every attempt you made, so it is important to make a real effort.
- How will this affect everyone in the family? The adopting step-parent will be taking on many legal responsibilities that he or she did not have before. The adopted child may have mixed feelings or fears about the future. The biological parent may also have concerns about making this kind of commitment or receiving child support from the absent parent.
A qualified San Diego step-parent adoption attorney can provide legal details to help you make this complicated choice.
The San Diego adoption lawyers at Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP have been helping families through times of transition for years. Contact us at 858-935-6211 with any questions or concerns you may have.
The process of adoption is quite common in the United States. This practice allows the natural parents of a child to give up all parental responsibilities and rights to another parent or set of parents. Adoption can also happen when the child’s birth parents are deceased. This transfer of custody is considered to be permanent.
Even though an adopting mother or father will never become an adopted child’s blood parent, he or she will still assume the position of the child’s legal guardian. This means that, once the adoption is complete, the child will become the new parent’s dependent and heir. At this time, the child’s blood parents also cede all rights as the natural guardian. Essentially, the title and responsibilities as a parent are wholly transferred from the natural to the adopting parents.
Open vs. Closed Adoption
In general, there are two main types of adoptions that you can complete – open or closed adoption. While some jurisdictions only allow one of these options, most allow both. In decades past, closed adoption was the only option available to those wishing to adopt. Nowadays, however, both choices are typically available.
In an open adoption, the birth parents are allowed to choose the adoptive parents. Not only that, but there will exist an open relationship between them. Many times, the two sets of parents will stay in communication with each other and the birth parents will be present in the child’s life as he or she grows up.
During a closed adoption, however, the child is given to an intermediary agency that will select the adoptive parents. No personal information on the natural parents is given to the adoptive parents, so the child cannot find, meet, or communicate with his or her natural family. Sometimes, under closed adoptions, the child will never know that he or she was born to a different set of parents.
If you are considering adopting a child, then the help of an experienced family attorney can be invaluable. Contact the San Diego family lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP today at 858-935-6211 to speak with us about your situation.
Custody, Adoption, and Divorce
Divorce is never a clear procedure. There are so many things involved in dividing two people from the one life they used to live. Whether deciding who the house belongs to or who should pay the debt, things can get ugly and distorted.
One of the most important issues in divorce is the children. Many families that get divorced have children, or adopted children. There is no question how divorce affects children. It usually isn’t good. However, to add more stress to the situation is that the law can sometimes be unclear about adopted children.
In many situations, the adopted child has already gone through some intense emotional strain, and the fact that their new family splitting apart is not going to help. Legally speaking, you and your spouse are responsible for the child and must decide who will be their guardian. While it is encouraged that both parents remain in their co-parenting roles, it often falls to come parent to be the full custody holder.
It is extremely important to help your adopted child readjust to the new situation, and assure them that it is not their fault. Most doctors recommend children be sent to therapists, just to make sure the have someone to talk to during this painful time.
Speak with a San Diego Divorce Lawyer
If you or a loved on is involved in a divorce case and needs legal representation, Fischer & Van Thiel can help. Contact the San Diego divorce attorneys of at 858-935-6211 today to get legal advice and professional help.
For couples who wish to expand their family but don’t necessarily want to wait for an American adoption agency to complete the process, an international adoption is an excellent option. International adoptions have been in the news lately and have increased in popularity in recent years.
One of the most significant advantages of an international adoption is that the adoption is finalized before even leaving the country. Once the baby or child leaves the country, he or she is yours. International adoptions are finalized in the country of origin which takes a lot of the paperwork of the United States out of the picture.
As in any adoption, there are questions of age, race, and gender to consider. Another issue to consider is the cost of getting to the country of origin for your new family member. Although, it must be noted, children are much more expensive than flights so that might not necessarily be the most significant item to consider. The health status of the child is necessary as a consideration as well.
While many countries allow for a very short or no waiting period for finalizing an adoption, others impose very strict rules on how long a couple must wait to finalize an adoption. Other countries have strident rules pertaining to who exactly can adopt a child from the country. Greece, for example, does not allow Greek children to be adopted into non-Greek families unless there are special circumstances. Other countries, like Russia and China, are much more open to their children be adopting by foreign citizens.
Contact a San Diego Adoption Lawyer
If you are interested in adopting a child to expand your family, contact the San Diego adoption lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel at 858-935-6211.