Adding to your family is exciting. You get to have a child you always wanted or one who you already care for like your own. It's a major step in your life, and you want it to go as smoothly as possible. Fortunately, adoption is usually straightforward when you work with an attorney. There are many ways that it could go wrong or that you could fail to meet legal requirements, but your attorney can help make sure you don't make mistakes that could add time to your wait to grow your family.
1. Alaskan law allows some adoptions with single-parent consent
Under Alaska law, a parent who has abandoned a child for six months, or a parent has failed to provide for a child or "meaningfully communicate" with a child for one year does not have to consent to an adoption. It's important that your attorney helps you through this process to make sure it's done by the book. Missing any step could invalidate an adoption.
2. You want to adopt a step-child
Adopting a stepchild is a good way to become a permanent fixture in his or her life even if something happens between you and his or her other parent. To adopt a stepchild, the other parent, either the mother or father, depending on the role you want to take, must have his or her parental rights terminated.
Your attorney can help you work through and serve the correct documents to gain consent for the adoption, if consent is legally required. In the case that the other parent will not give up his or her rights, there may be methods to terminate the parents' rights without their consent based on their past behaviors.
3. You want to adopt internationally
International laws and private adoptions are complicated, and it would be difficult to know exactly what to expect if you only ever worked in the United States. An attorney can make sure you take all the proper legal steps to adopt internationally. This includes making visits, making payments or putting funds in escrow, learning more about your adopted child's country's laws and other important aspects of adoption.
The right help makes a difference. Know that you're doing all it takes to adopt your child the right way.