Adoptions take place when one or two people take another individual (generally a child) to be their own child. When someone chooses to legally adopt a child, they will have all of the responsibilities and rights of a natural payment, and the child will retain all of the rights they would have had they been born naturally to the new family. The adopted child will be given a new birth certificate, and their last name will be the same as yours.
According to the New York Domestic Relations law, a single adult, two intimate adults, or a married couple may be permitted to adopt. Adoptions can be conducted through private placements including adult, step parent and foster parent adoptions. Individuals in need of further information regarding the topic of adoption should speak to a Long Island or New York family law attorney about their rights.
Different Types of Adoption
There are different types of adoptions that can take place within New York, and each is regulated by the state law. There are private placement adoptions and agency adoptions. The adoption process of either type will be closely investigated and monitored before it is finally approved by an appointed judge. The first type of adoption is the “Agency adoption” which is of children that have been within the custody of the state, or cared for by private agencies with a state license. These agencies typically acquire the children either directly from their birth parent, voluntarily, or through a court order when there has been legal issues, usually involving charges of abuse or neglect.
The second option for adoption is private placement adoption, which refers to children who do not come into the care of a licensed adoption agency or the state. Usually, these types of adoption begin with private agreements between parties, and may involve family members or step parents. In the case of a private placement adoptions, the individuals who wish to adopt must get certification from the court before they are able to take the child home. If the child lives with the people who hope to adopt him or her, then they must request certification during the process of filing an adoption petition.
The law requires that notice must be given to everyone who is entitled to information regarding the proposed adoption. People entitled to receive notice may include, but not be limited to, the legal guardians, parents, a person that has filed an acknowledgement of paternity, or intent to have paternity declared, or anyone who was married to the mother within six months of the child’s birth.
Once notice has been reasonably given, and the required consents have been submitted and the application for adoption is otherwise complete, in an adoption regarding private placement, the court will require an investigation to be held. This investigation will need to be performed by an individual with adequate background and experience to offer the court the information they need to consider the propriety of the proposed adoptions. Commonly, psychologists and social workers will perform these investigations. Once the investigation has been completed, and a report has been given to the court, the court will need to decide whether the adoption is in the best interests of the child.
The Process of Adoption
Choosing to adopt a child requires a great deal of time, effort and work. Adoptions come with a lot of paperwork, and as part of the adoption process, a social worker will be required to conduct a home study. The department of probation can offer studies free of charge, but there is typically a long waiting list. Furthermore, each adult within the home in question will need to be fingerprinted as part of a standard criminal background check.
Within an agency adoption of children in foster care, all of the costs of adoption will be paid for by the government. However, in private placement adoptions, there can often be costs to the parents adopting. The judge will need to be informed of all of these costs, including the private adoption agency’s charges, expenses to cover the cost of the mother giving birth, and legal charges.
Petitions for adoption can be filed within the New York Family Court or Surrogates Court, and they should contain all of the addresses, names, religious faiths, marital status, ages and occupations of the adoptive parents in question. Similar information about the background of the child to be adopted must also be submitted, as well as their health and medical history at the time of birth and thereafter. Any known conditions or hereditary illnesses must also be disclosed. Care must be taken in including supplemental information that could have an impact on the well-being of the child, including any hobbies or interests of the parents, or special skills. This kind of information can serve to make a court feel more comfortable about the prospect of adoption.
Open adoptions in New York can work so long as the adoptive parents of the child allow the birth parents to stay in touch. However, if the adoptive parents refuse to allow the birth parents visitation after adoption, the birth parents will need to go to court to enforce the agreement.
Getting the Right Guidance
When it comes to private placement adoption in New York, it is recommended for all parents considering adoption to seek the help of a professional and experienced attorney. The laws regarding child adoption can be complex. There is a large amount of paperwork involved, and the various rules can be incredibly complicated. For the birth parents of a child, making the decision to give away a child can be very difficult, and in private placement adoptions, the birth parents of a child will also need to access the help of an attorney to ensure that all of the appropriate procedures are followed.
If you are considering a private placement adoption, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney. Anyone who may want to seek out further information or guidance can contact my office for a free consultation. It would be my pleasure to talk to you about the details of your particular situation.