Adoption Proceedings and Law
Adoption law can be complicated, and this is one of the reasons why it is recommended to obtain legal counsel before proceeding with an adoption. Legal aid, such as attorneys trained in and experienced with adoption law, can not only answer your questions but also ensure that everything during the adoption process is done legally so that there are no problems later. Adoption attorneys can help you through the family court system, assist you with completing the endless necessary paperwork correctly, and enable the process to go more smoothly.
Adoption Law: Critical Aspects
The important thing to note about adoption law is that it is generally a state by state case. For this reason, it is crucial that when you think about adopting, you really understand the laws that apply in the state in which you live. This is one area where adoption attorneys can really be of assistance. Although adoption law usually is a state matter, the legal arrangements made during an adoption can have serious implications under federal law.
One aspect that adoption law governs is regulation of adoption fees. The exact amount of what is allowable in terms of fees is generally stipulated as what is “reasonable and customary.” However, there is more specific regulation of exactly what kinds of fees are allowed. Adoptive parents can cover only certain expenses of the birth parents during the adoption process. These include maternity-related medical and hospital costs, temporary living expenses during the pregnancy, legal counsel, adoption counseling, travel costs for court appearances, and temporary foster care.
Adoption law also regulates exactly who is able to legally adopt. Although there is some slight variation among states, in most states single people and married couples are allowed to adopt as long as the adoptive parent is at least eighteen years old. In some states, the legal age for adoption is twenty-one, and sometimes even twenty-five. There are additional age stipulations in some states that mandate that the adoptive parent must be at least ten years older than the person being adopted or that make exceptions for minors becoming adoptive parents under certain circumstances.