At Held Law Firm, we represent lots of people who want to adopt a child. Whether you are adopting a stepchild who you’ve been parenting for years or becoming the new parent of an infant through independent adoption, all of our clients share intense love for the adopted child. One common question we get is what does adoption really mean, legally speaking?
Legally, adoptive parents have the following rights and responsibilities:
The Right to Direct the Child’s Upbringing
Every parent makes educational, medical, and a variety of other decisions for their child. When you adopt, you get those same rights too.
The Right to Restrict Who Sees the Child and When
Legal parents have the right to decide who gets access to their children, and on what terms. Once an adoption is finalized, the adoptive parent gains these rights. Grandparents often worry about the influence a biological parent could have on their grandchild, especially if that biological parent is mentally unstable or on drugs. In other cases, grandparents want to maintain some sort of relationship between the biological parent and their adopted grandchild, even if it’s not a parent-child relationship. The great news is that adoption gives the adoptive parent all the power to decide the appropriate level of contact.
The Right to Visit the Child, even if separated or divorced from the Child’s Other Parent
Couples thinking about adoption rarely consider what might happen if they got divorced. In the event of divorce, a court will order custody just as they would with any biological family. This means that adoptive parents can rest easy knowing that their rights are protected.
The Responsibility to Pay Child Support, in the Event of Separation or Divorce from the Child’s Other Parent
Just as adoptive parents get the same visitation rights as biological parents following a divorce or separation, they are also subject to the same responsibilities, including paying child support.
In short, adoption makes it as if the adoptive parent had given birth to the adopted child. It is every bit as permanent, every bit as serious, and every bit as protected, as biological parenthood. If you are ready to accept the responsibility of adopting a child, give the attorneys at Held Law Firm a call. We can make the legal process as easy as possible so that you can get back to the important things—raising your child.