Adoption in New York is fairly straight forward. New York adoption laws govern the establishment of a parent-child relationship where no biological relationship between the two exists – usually, this involves the willful surrender of parental rights to a relative, such as a grandparent. Under the law, adoptive parents have the same rights and obligations as a birth parent. Our adoption lawyers in NYC handle various types of adoption cases; we work with parents looking to adopt a child through an agency and we also help couples where one partner is the biological parent and the other wishes to adopt the child to solidify the family unit.
Standard Adoption in New York
Though New York state laws and authorities govern the adoption process, they must abide by Federal standards and guidelines if the state government wants to establish or maintain eligibility for certain Federal funds and/or assistance. Because most states want to establish or maintain such eligibility, their state laws pertaining to adoption typically conform to Federal requirements, though they can and do vary. In general, in a New York adoption children are only eligible for adoption when at least one of the child’s parents is deceased or has had their parental rights terminated by a court order or through a voluntary “surrender” of parental rights. In the case of a voluntary surrender, most states will allow parents to revoke the surrender within a specified time-frame, but states differ on what should happen in the event of a lawful revocation. Some states will fully reinstate the parental rights of the parent and order the child returned to them. Other states will conduct an examination of the relevant facts and render a decision on the basis of the child’s “best interests”. A New York adoption lawyer will relate all of the factors involved in adoption.
Adoption is a Complex Process in New York
Adopting a child in NYC is easy with the right NY family attorney and agency. A NYC adoption process occurs within two contexts: private placement adoptions and agency adoptions. Private placement adoptions occur when a parent or their representative – usually an attorney or a medical professional – choose the adoptive parent themselves, whereas an agency adoption involves licensed adoption agencies that temporarily assume responsibility for the care and custody of the child when parents have willingly surrendered their parental rights. These agencies screen and investigate potential adoptive parents before surrendering their temporary custodial rights and obligations. A NYC adoption agencies can be privately or publicly run.
Recent trends in Federal and state adoption laws are towards improving placement rates for children, particularly older children (age nine and over) and children with “special needs” (health problems, learning disabilities, etc.). In order to encourage more such adoptions, some Federal programs have authorized financial assistance and incentives for individuals who adopt older children and children with special needs. Individuals who are interested in adopting these children should consult with their local government or inquire with the Department of Health and Human Services on how to take advantage of these programs. Another trend in adoption law has been to prevent and mitigate the abuse of children within the context of adoption. In order to accomplish this goal, the Federal government has set forth guidelines which improve communication and information sharing between the Federal and state governments and improve the investigative requirements and protocols used by state officials and adoption agencies during the adoption process. Individuals who wish to improve their chances of successfully adopting, therefore, should contact an adoption attorney New York who specializes in family law.
Our adoption attorney handles straightforward adoption cases all the time, both domestic adoptions and international. Call us today to see how we can help you become a parent.
Becoming the Parent of Your Partner’s Biological Child
The New York adoption attorneys are often asked to prepare adoption paperwork for couples who wish to adopt a child that is not theirs, but is the child of their spouse or partner. The significance of this cannot be understated. It is a beautiful moment where a family comes together in a cohesive unit, where the parent decides that he or she wishes to make a life-long commitment. It is not, however, a bond that can or is taken lightly. Becoming a parent is a permanent relationship in ways that marriage is not anymore. Regardless of the relationship with the spouse, the course will not dissolve the parent-child relationship unless there are extreme mitigating circumstances (finding out the child is not yours) and therefore this needs to be taken into consideration by both partners before they make that final leap into adoption.
Most of our adoption cases of this nature are gay and lesbian couples who are trying to create a bonded family unit, but we do also see this in other scenarios. Gays and lesbian couples generally will have a situation where one parent is biological (provided sperm or egg) and the other parent does not. Sometimes one parent will provide for one child, and the other to the next. At the end of the day, adoption is the process to level the scenario and create the same emotional, authoritative, and financial obligations between all children in the relationship. The recent changes in New York to accept gay marriage has made this process easier for the courts.
In heterosexual couples this type of adoption usually runs a little different. For example, when a child has two biological parents and one has “abandoned” the child without contact, the court will grant the new “parent” the adopted status after the original relationship is effectively terminated. This process, while long, is a worthy one.
We love adoption cases and would be more than happy to assist you in the creation of your new family. Our offices have pictures of the clients who have allowed us to be a part of their life journey and we appreciate their trust. Call a New York adoption attorney today.