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Helping You Expand Your Family
Expanding your family is one of the most joyful experiences in the world. While many couples decide to expand their family through traditional means, adoption has turned into an increasingly popular alternative for family across social and economic strata. Adoption is a wonderful, generous, and incredibly rewarding way to expand your family, but it can also be a trying and complex process. With non-traditional mechanisms of family expansion becoming more and more common—and more available as well—it’s important to have someone who can help guide you through the legal system and help ensure that your family expansion is airtight.
Types of Adoption and Family Expansion
Generally, clients who are interested in non-traditional family expansion are looking into two broad ways of accomplishing their goals. The first is through a typical adoption process. Perhaps the most well known is a form called “closed adoption,” in which a couple will adopt a child, gaining sole legal and physical custody of that child, without any knowledge of the biological parents of that child. In time, the adopted parents of the child may wish to provide information or details about the biological parent, but that is entirely within their pervue.
An “open adoption” is one in which the biological mother and/or father are granted visitation rights or privileges. The biological parents are not responsible for the raising or the welfare of the child, however, as these responsibilities will fall to the adoptive parents. This type of adoption is becoming more common, and is often seen in cases of compassionate adoption. Because the rights of the biological parents are often regarded quite strictly (and quite strongly) it is often a good idea to have an attorney with a great deal of experience in these matters, such as Mallie Law, guide you through both open and closed adoption processes.
Some types of adoption include:
- Private domestic adoption
- Foster home adoption
- International adoption
- Common law adoption
- Step-parent adoption
- Second-parent adoption
Every type of adoption is more secure with a strong legal basis to back it up.
Assisted Reproduction Adoptions
As technology often moves more quickly than the law, some clients have encountered difficulties with surrogacy or assisted reproduction. Those clients who have an advocate within the legal system in the form of an experienced attorney have found that their parental rights are much more rigorously defined. This can be important, as both surrogacy and assisted reproduction can be emotionally charged events, both for the adoptive and for the biological parents.
A surrogacy relationship is usually established before fertilization. A surrogate mother will agree to carry a baby to term, often because the requesting parents have had trouble conceiving in some way. Often, the egg from the mother may be fertilized by the father and then carried to term by the surrogate. This can complicate parental rights if those rights are not spelled out and agreed to before the surrogacy process begins. Understandably, emotions for these topics are often quite strong. Each parent, from mother to father to surrogate has an emotional connection to the child.
A strong legal grounding and agreement will help ensure all parties are treated fairly under the law.
Being a parent to an adoptive child can be difficult, and it comes with a full load of unique responsibilities. Problems will arise. When you have a highly-qualified legal advocate in your corner, some of those problems can be anticipated and remedied before they before far too problematic. Knowing your rights as an adoptive parent—and having all of your privileges spelled out legally—can be a huge benefit should any legal challenges develop during your tenure as an adoptive parent.
If your adoption has developed difficulties, either before or after the adoption has been officially completed, contact us at Mallie Law in order to ensure you get the best chance at a solution that is fair for all parties involved. Adoption law can be complex and confusing, and if you’re working your way through the system, an ally on your side that knows the law is invaluable.
Adoption Attorney in Brainerd
If you’re thinking about adopting, or if you’re in the midst of difficulties related to adoption, reach out to us at Mallie Law, where we specialize in adoption representation in Brainerd and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to get the process started.