An adoption lawyer helps to place children with parents other than their birth parents. An adoption cuts off the birth parents' rights and responsibilities, and gives them to the adoptive parents. Once an adoption is final, the adopted child receives the same legal treatment as a biological child. Adoption is often an emotional time and an adoption lawyer can help you make the right decisions for the child.

American Adoptions accepts a limited number of families into our gender-specific program. Please contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION to learn whether we are currently accepting families into this program. With this option, families pay an additional Gender-Specific Fee to help our agency locate and work with birth mothers meeting this additional criterion. This fee is in addition to other program fees and covers additional advertising. The fee is not considered part of your adoption budget. Please note that gender specificity will likely increase your wait time significantly.
File the adoption petition. Once a child has been identified and the Home Study completed, your attorney will prepare and file the adoption petition with the court. The petition will identify you and your partner, the birth parents, consent to the adoption, and ask the court to grant the adoption. When the petition is filed, the court clerk will set it on the judge's calendar for an initial review.
Can’t you just rely on the adoption agency to get things right? No, you can’t assume that an adoption agency won’t make mistakes. Every year scores of innocent prospective adoptive parents find themselves facing felony charges for adoption fraud. The website LegalMatch.com has written an exceptional article that discusses the matter of wrongful adoption.1
If you choose an adoption attorney as your primary adoption professional, this is considered an independent adoption. In many independent adoptions, the birth parents and adoptive family find each other independently of an adoption professional’s screening and matching services. In some states, adoption lawyers are not legally allowed to perform these screening and matching services.
Offering aggressive counsel, our attorney at the Law Office of Bethel T. Zehaie represents people in family law matters such as divorce and custody. Serving clients in the Arlington, Texas, area and throughout Tarrant County, we are committed to helping people efficiently and effectively resolve their legal problems so they and their children can move forward with their lives. We know that while...

As the nation’s largest constituent group of adoption attorneys, AAAA had a dramatic impact on proposed regulations published in 2015 governing the Indian Child Welfare Act. See  Academy Responds to New Indian Child Welfare Guidelines submitted to the BIA. In response, the BIA adopted a majority of the recommendations and concerns of Academy, for instance by affirming that voluntary adoption proceeding do not require notice to the tribes, and recognizing that parents have rights to make their own adoption plans for their children. The new regulations may be found on our ICWA page.   For detailed information please go to the Academy's webpage for ICWA in our section on Children's Rights.
Common forms of adoption are domestic adoption, open adoption and closed adoption. Domestic adoptions are adoption by caretaker relatives and stepparents. A caretaker relative must be a person who is within the 5th degree of kinship to a child by blood or adoption. In adoption laws, to count a man as a child's father, he must be the legal father. A legal father is a man married to the child's mother when the child was conceived or born.
The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys recently learned of the bankruptcy filing by the Independent Adoption Center (IAC) which is licensed in California, Florida, New York, Indiana, Connecticut, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas. The announced permanent closing of all IAC offices and its programs nationwide has left many families in dire straits. Some may be in the middle of an adoption and are now left without supervision of the placement in order to complete and finalize the adoption, while others have paid substantial sums of money to participate in the IAC adoption program, which money will now likely be lost. This is a situation which should never happen.

You need to have a lawyer. You can't involuntarily reliquish. Relinquish means your are voluntarily giving up the child. Both parents have to voluntarily relinquish or have involuntary TPR done by a judge in court. The birthparents rights have to be terminated by a judge before you can begin the process to adopt. Usually an adoption agency handles the TPR signing. With an independent adoption, you have to have an attorney. First they will locate the birthmom & have her sign consent. Then they will attempt to locate the birthfather. If they don't know the whereabouts of the birthparents, they will have to make some kind of attempt to locate them. Usually it means sending a certified letter to the last known address, they can contact motor vehicles for address on a driver's license, and/or put a notice in newspapers in the areas where the birthparents might be living. If no one comes forward, the judge will usually TPR the parents based on abandonment and then you can adopt. The judge will need a homestudy since you are adopting a child who is not a relative of yours.


Statistics tell us that about half of all marriages end in divorce and between 50 and 60 percent of those people remarry. When children are involved in a divorce, getting remarried becomes much more complicated because it creates a blended family. Not all blended families work out as planned; however, some work out even better than expected. The bond between a step-parent and a child can be every bit as strong as that of a biological parent and child. In fact, sometimes it is even stronger. As a step-parent, however, a parent does not have the same legal standing as a biological parent. One way to fix that, and to solidify the bond that has formed between a step-parent and a child, is for the step-parent to adopt the child. If you have made the decision to formalize the relationship you have with your step-child through adoption, you may be wondering if you need an adoption attorney to assist you in the State of Tennessee.
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