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What to Do Before Adopting a Child

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What to Do Before Adopting a Child

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When you want to expand your family, adoption can be a wonderful option that allows you to give a loving home to a child who needs one. Thousands of people adopt children each year, through a variety of different channels, and many of them learn as they go along, making mistakes on the way. Adoption, although it is a meaningful and fulfilling act, can be fraught with confusion, expense, and lots of red tape.

If you are considering adopting a child, there are many things that you should know ahead of time, and things you should do to prepare. A qualified Melbourne adoption attorney will be your best resource for this information, but it’s always a good idea to research on your own, and begin making arrangements for this life-changing decision. Here are some things to have in your mind, as you start the adoption process:

  1. Know the lingo

In any legal specialty, language is paramount. If you want to navigate adoption paperwork and governmental information with ease, familiarize with some key terms, including: birth parent(s), adoption home study, open vs. closed adoption, readoption, at risk placement, visitation/search/reunion, post placement supervision, special needs and waiting children, and the Hague Convention.

  1. Start your research

There is a great deal of information available online nowadays, about adoption processes and laws. Even before you meet with an attorney, it can be helpful to do some digging on things like:

  • Rights and responsibilities of both, birth and adoptive parents
  • State and federal adoption regulations
  • What services an adoption agency can provide
  • What services an adoption lawyer can provide
  • The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC)
  • Support services during and after adoption- for both parents and children
  • The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • Approximate costs and timelines for adoption
  1. Find the right attorney

Because adoption laws can be complex, especially dealing with international and special needs adoptions, a qualified lawyer is a wise investment. They can guide you through regulations that will affect you, ensure your paperwork is filled out correctly, help you understand fees and budgets for your adoption, and advocate for your rights as prospective adoptive parents. An attorney is a valuable ally, particularly when you are navigating things like blending families, or open adoptions- you can rely on their expertise to set legal boundaries for everyone involved and ensure that all parties are protected.

If you want to learn more about the adoption process in Florida, or want to begin your adoption journey, reach out to us at Harnage Law today. Ask for your free consultation to get started.