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There Are Many Paths To Forming A Family Through Adoption

Adoption is a legally recognized way of forming a family. Adoptive parents accept all the challenges, rights and responsibilities of parenthood. The adoption process can be a maze of legal twists and turns. At Benske Family Law, we know what it takes to navigate the adoption process quickly and efficiently and can help you bring your new family together with minimal delay.

Adoption options include:

  • International adoption
  • Domestic adoption
  • Agency adoption
  • Independent adoption
  • Private placement adoption
  • Stepparent adoption
  • Blood relative adoption
  • Open adoption
  • Closed adoption

Adoption is a judicial proceeding that transfers all rights and responsibilities of a natural parent, if known, to an adoptive parent. The procedures as set out by law are intended to protect the best interests of the children and the rights of parents or guardians. The court will generally not grant an adoption unless the child’s parents and guardian, if there is one, consent to the adoption, but there are instances in which consent is not necessary.

What Is The Difference Between An Agency Adoption And An Independent Adoption?

Agency adoption: In an agency adoption, the prospective adoptive parents contact an adoption agency to start the process, and the agency acts as an intermediary between the adoptive parents and the birth parents, matching them up and guiding them through all of the necessary hurdles to finalization.

Independent adoption: In an independent adoption, the birth parents and adoptive parents locate each other and work together independently to accomplish the adoption without the benefit of any agency involvement, although typically a lawyer is engaged to make sure that all legal requirements are met.

Should I Work With An Adoption Agency?

Each type of adoption process has its advantages and disadvantages. Using an agency can be beneficial, for example, because agencies are in the business of locating children and matching them with parents, and they are familiar with all of the requirements, which can be overwhelming to prospective parents and birth parents alike.

In international adoptions, especially, it can be advantageous to have someone who knows the ropes intercede on the prospective parents’ behalf. Agencies can also provide counseling and other support services to the birth and adoptive families, both before and after the adoption. Some agencies, however, have selection criteria that may screen out certain prospective parents, and waiting times can be long.

Independent adoptions may allow prospective adoptive and birth parents more control over the adoption process. All parties may have a greater opportunity to get to know and “select” each other. Adoptive parents may be able to circumvent an agency’s selection criteria and shorten the waiting time by going the independent route. On the other hand, birth parents may not receive counseling in an independent adoption, which could lead to greater uncertainty and even the possibility of a change of heart. Additionally, independent adoptions are not legal in all states, so it is essential to check applicable state laws before choosing this option.

Learn More About How We Can Help You Through The Process

Our attorneys are happy to provide you with additional information and to answer all of your adoption questions. To schedule a free consultation, call our Milwaukee, Wisconsin, firm at 414-939-0468 or email us.