Domestic adoptions involve parents who are U.S. citizens adopting children born in the United States. Domestic adoptions can be either private, or independent, adoptions, or agency adoptions. The trend in domestic adoptions is to create an open adoption, meaning that birth parents retain some level of involvement in the life of the child.
International adoptions are adoptions by U.S. citizens of children born in another country. International adoptions are usually closed, meaning that birth parents retain no contact with the child after the adoption is finalized. The requirements and costs of international adoption vary according to the country.
Private, or independent adoption, is an adoption that takes place without a specialized adoption agency. In a private adoption, an adoption attorney matches a birth mother with adoptive parents. The advantage of an independent adoption is that the adoptive parents can be much more involved with and selective about the adoption process.
Agency adoptions are similar to private adoptions in that the state-mandated hearings and finalization processes are similar. The difference is that an agency, rather than a private adoption lawyer, performs the match between adoptive parents and birth mother and child. Private agencies may impose health, religious, or income requirements on prospective adoptive parents.
We assist stepparents with adopting the children of their spouses. This requires the non-custodial parent to relinquish her or his parental rights and to consent to the adoption. If this consent is obtained, stepparent adoption is usually one of the most straightforward forms of adoption.
Our goal for all adoption matters is for the process to move forward smoothly. However, complications can arise during an adoption proceeding. In some cases these complications can lead to litigation in court. We have handled many adoption matters requiring litigation, including contested adoptions. In adoption litigation, as in all adoption matters, the Law Office of Sonny Phillips work hard to represent you effectively and with sensitivity to your needs.
The information presented here is a general guideline and should not be interpreted as a guarantee. Results may vary from case to case depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.