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Adoption Basics in Wisconsin

There is nothing more satisfying than providing a loving home for a child in need. Adopting a child is fulfilling and can be the ideal way to grow your family. There are some essential things to know about adoptions in Wisconsin before you make this important decision. The adoption process is not necessarily complicated but it does require a legal process and it can take some time to complete. It is helpful to seek guidance throughout the process from an experienced adoption attorney. Your lawyer understands adoptions and will work on your behalf to ensure that the procedure is as easy and stress-free as possible.

Types of Adoptions

There are many types of adoptions. These are the most common types of adoptions:

Agency: The two most common types of adoptions are through public agencies and private agencies. Public agencies offer adoptions of children who are in the care of the state for a variety of reasons. Private agencies include charities and other organizations that try to match available children with potential adoptive parents.

Private: A private adoption is one that you arrange with a birth parent, often through an intermediary such as an attorney, doctor, or member of the clergy. A biological parent may voluntarily give up their rights through an agreement with adoptive parents.

Open: An open adoption is an independent adoption where the birth parents maintain a right to contact with the child. The arrangement should be made through a contract between the biological parent and the adoptive parent. An attorney may be the intermediary for this type of adoption agreement.

Stepparent: A stepparent may wish to formally adopt a child who is part of the family. In order for a stepparent to adopt the stepchild, the biological parents must approve. Once the adoption is complete, the child’s other biological parent is no longer involved or responsible for the child.

Relative Adoptions: In some instances, a biological parent is unable to care for their child. In cases such as drug addiction, mental illness, incarceration, and other circumstances, a relative may request to legally adopt a child.

Rights and Responsibilities of Adoptive Parents

An adoptive parent has the same rights and responsibilities as a biological parent. Once a judge grants an adoption, the adoptive parent is now the legal parent and guardian of the child. The parent must now provide for the child in the same manner as a biological parent. The child may take the last name of the new adoptive parent if that is appropriate. The parent is allowed to make important decisions on behalf of the child such as medical, educational, and religious decisions. The biological parent signs rights away, allowing the adoptive parent to step in as the legal parent.

The adoption process is not always easy, depending on the specific circumstances. You can make the procedure easier and less stressful with guidance from an experienced adoption attorney. Your lawyer understands the process and will work on your behalf to take care of the various issues and cut through red tape in order to complete the adoption quickly and efficiently. Contact Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. to learn how we can help you with adoption.

Published April 5, 2020
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