Adoption, the legal process of becoming a child’s parent (or parents), can be complicated and stressful for everyone involved. However, many people in Wisconsin choose to work with adoption lawyers to smooth out the process.
Types of Adoption Processes
There are several different types of adoption processes based on individual situations. The most common terms you’ll hear if you’re considering adoption include:
- Agency. Agency adoption involves working through a state-recognized agency to make a child a legal member of your family.
- Blood relative. Blood relative adoption – sometimes called kinship adoption – is usually an option when children can’t remain with their natural parents; this type of adoption can include even distant family members.
- Closed. A closed adoption results in no direct contact between a child’s biological parents and the adoptive family.
- Domestic. A domestic adoption is one that occurs between a child and adoptive parents who live in the U.S.
- Independent. When birth parents and adoptive parents find each other without using an adoption agency, it’s considered an independent adoption.
- International. An international adoption is one that occurs between a child who was born (and often lives) outside the U.S. when the adoptive parents live in the U.S.
- Open. Open adoption is a form of adoption in which the biological and adoptive families have the option to contact each other, and in which the child may know both sets of parents.
- Private placement. Independent voluntary placement or private adoption occurs when a birth parent voluntarily places a child for adoption directly with a specific family.
- Public adoption. Public adoption occurs when the Department of Social Services takes custody of a child and places it for adoption without the birth parents’ input.
- Stepparent. When two people are married and only one is the biological parent of a child, the stepparent can legally adopt the child.
- Surrogacy-related. Surrogacy-related adoption occurs when a woman becomes pregnant through in vitro fertilization using the egg and sperm of two parents, and the two parents get legal guardianship of the resulting child.
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What Can Adoption Lawyers Do for You?
Adoptions require a significant amount of paperwork, whether you’re going through an agency, you’re working on a private placement or you’re a stepparent adopting your spouse’s child. Generally, when you adopt, you’ll be subject to a home study (a visit from a licensed social worker who determines whether you’re prepared to adopt a child) before you can begin filing the necessary legal paperwork.
If you’re not sure how to start the adoption process, talking to adoption lawyers is a good first step. Your attorney can help you throughout the entire legal guardianship process. He or she can even help you find an agency if you haven’t found one yet, as well as represent you in court if it becomes necessary. Your attorney will understand Wisconsin-specific laws that govern the process, be able to draft documents and help you prepare for court hearings if they become necessary.
How Long Does Adoption Take in Wisconsin?
Every case is different, but adoptions can happen in a matter of months or a matter of years. Your attorney can give you guidance based on your situation so you know what to expect.
Do You Need to Talk to an Adoption Lawyer?
Working with an adoption attorney in Wisconsin can help you sort through the sometimes-complicated process of establishing legal guardianship of a child. If you need to talk to a lawyer about your situation, we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Just call us at 414-383-6700 today.