Being a parent is one of the greatest gifts in life, and we help countless families experience the happiness of parenthood through adoption. The experts at Bezler Law Firm know the intricacies of adoption law and we can help you through this exciting, yet complicated process. By allowing our adoption lawyer to help simplify your adoption as much as possible, you can save money, time and energy in the long run. The standard for any type of adoption is “the best interest of the child.” We can help you determine what is in the child’s best interest as well as your own whether you are the natural parent, stepparent, or prospective adoptive parent.
Types of Adoptions to consider:
Private Adoption Agency
With a private adoption agency, the birth parents relinquish their parental rights and transfer custody of the child to the adoption agency in order to work with agency professionals who will place their child in a loving, nurturing home. Sometimes birth parents want to choose the adoptive parents and they may even want to interview them before their child is placed. This process can take months or even years to finalize and complete. The benefit of a private agency adoption is that the agency will help find prospective adoptive parents and work them and the natural parents throughout the entire process. Private adoption agencies typically set predictable fees. The risk with a private agency is that birth parents may have the right to change their minds about placing their child for adoption.
In a private adoption, the prospective adoptive parents use a counselor or adoption attorney to find birth parents through a variety of networking opportunities, which can enlist obstetricians or even involve setting up web pages to seek mothers who are in need of adoptive parents. The birth and adoptive parents arrange for the adoption, and the adoptive parent often financially assists the birth mother through the birth of the child. The benefit to doing a private adoption is that the adoptive parents can have more input prior to the birth of the child. The wait time for private adoptions can be short, and you can control the search for a birth mother and structure the openness of the process. The risk to doing a private adoption is that the cost can be unpredictable, helping the mother with support through the pregnancy can be expensive and emotional, and the birth parents can change their minds prior to the final adoption.
A stepparent adoption is just what it says; the stepparent would like to become the legal parent of their spouse’s biological children. The benefit to stepparent adoption is that the stepparent gains parental rights and is able to help with important decisions in the child’s life such as education, safety, and health issues.
Public Agency or Foster Care Adoption
A public agency adoption is overseen by a government agency involving a child in foster care. Nearly 130,000 children in U.S. foster care are waiting for a permanent home, and about 2,000 of them are children living in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division manages adoptions of foster children who may have been neglected or abused. Adoptive parents can apply directly to adopt a foster child, or may first become foster parents and then adopt after the birth parents’ rights have been terminated. The benefit of a foster care adoption is that they are usually less costly than other types of adoptions. Also, a unique benefit is the satisfaction of providing a caring, loving home to an older child who may never have experienced such stability and the opportunity to live with the child prior to adopting. The risk is that foster children may present significant physical, mental or emotional challenges due to their history of being abused and/or neglected.
Missouri parents may want to adopt a child from another country through an agency or attorney. The country where the child is born may use a governmental organization, private orphanage or other social institution such as an adoption agency. Each country has its own regulations. Most countries require that the adoptive parents obtain a visa and travel to bring the child back to the United States. The benefit of international adoption is that the adoptive parents usually are not chosen by the birth parents, which helps to remove uncertainty from the process, but the fees and waiting period are somewhat unpredictable. The risks of an international adoption can be great. For example, the adoptive parents may never know the health record of the child, and a new country can be traumatic for a child.
Every Adoption story is unique. At Bezler Law Firm, we offer expert guidance on adoption law. Our adoption attorney helps you through this exciting experience to help ensure as smooth an adoption process as possible.