dreamstime s 1863231Adoption is the assumption of legal rights and duties of a parent by an adult--often a step-parent but not always--of a child, or in rarer cases, another adult.  

Adoption of a minor child requires termination of the child’s birth parent's (or parents') parental rights by a court, after notice and a hearing, unless the parent has predeceased the child.  Parental rights may be terminated voluntarily (that is, by consent) or involuntarily under certain very specific circumstances established by law. 

If the child is older, the child's consent to the adoption will be required.  Similarly, adoption of an adult requires consent of both the adopting party and the adoptee.

Parties desiring to adopt a child should be prepared to give fingerprints, obtain a criminal record check and a child abuse clearance.  The parties will be required to attend at least one hearing in the process and often two.  Such hearings are held before a judge at the county court house.

Granting adoptions is within the discretion of the judge presiding over the case and is not automatic.  The best interest of the child will weigh heavily in the court's decision.  Judges tend to grant adoption petitions when the child will benefit from the adoption in emotional and financial ways.

DORSETT LAW FIRM has litigated termination of parental rights and adoptions by step-parents, unmarried parties, same-sex couples, adult-adult adoptions and special needs adoptions in over 25 years of practice.  

To learn more details of the process, costs, and the likelihood of success, please call us at 717-267-2921 or email us here.

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