A single adult, a married couple or two adult intimate, even unmarried, partners together may adopt according to the New York Domestic Relations law. Adoptions can be done through an authorized agency or by private placement including step parent, adult and foster parent adoptions. Anyone that needs more information on the topic should consult with a New York or Long Island Family Law attorney to learn about their rights. My office happens to handle such cases.
Petitions for adoptions can be filed in the Surrogates Court or a New York Family Court. The petition should include the names, addresses, age, marital status, religious faith (if applicable), and occupations of the proposed adoptive parents. Similar background information about the adoptive child needs to be submitted, as well as the health and medical history of the child at birth and thereafter. Known hereditary illnesses or conditions including any drugs or prescriptions taken by the biological mother while she was pregnant with the child should be disclosed. Care should be taken to include any supplemental information that might have bearing on the child’s well-being including any special skills, hobbies or interests of the parents. This kind of information can help make a court feel more comfortable about the adoption. In the final analysis, a court needs to feel that the adoption is in the child’s best interests.
The birth certificate of the subject child should be attached to the application. The petitioning parents will need to set forth when and how it is that the child came to be with the adoptive parent(s). Information about the other members of the household in which the child will be living needs to be disclosed. Anyone having legal custody of the child should be stated in the petition including their addresses. If possible, a consent form from the birth or legal parents should be included with the application, however, consent is not always required under Domestic Relations Law Section 111 in situations such as when a parent has surrendered their child to an appropriate agency or a parent that has indicated an intent to forego their parental rights. The consent of a child over fourteen years of age is usually necessary for the adoption. The court reviewing the adoption application can determine whether consent is necessary for each specific case. Continue reading ›