National Adoption Awareness Month: A Legal Roundup

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on November 08, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

November, appropriately, is National Adoption Awareness Month. When families are giving thanks for their blessings, many are thankful for their adopted sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. Families can grow and change in so many ways, with adoption just being one of them. But adoption isn't so easy as just adding a family member. Adoption can be a lengthy and complicated legal process.

Here are a few of the biggest legal considerations and questions when it comes to adoption.

1. Birth Mother Rights After Child's Adoption

One of the biggest concerns for adopting parents are the rights of the birth mother, and the worry that they will someday lose their adopted child. A legal adoption terminates the parental rights of the birth parents, though some states may vary on contact and visitation agreements.

Between refugee children and children born abroad living in poverty, many American families turn to international adoption. And while any adoption can be legally complex, an international adoption is only more so. Here we have five legal tips to aid you in an international adoption.

3. Inheritance Rights of Adopted Children

While a will or estate plan can name anyone as a beneficiary, what if parents die without a will? Will their adopted children have the same inheritance claims as natural born children?

Maybe the adoption worked out, but the marriage did not. So how will custody work out for adoptive parents following a divorce. In most ways, the same as for normal children -- courts will make custody and visitation rulings based on the best interests of the child. But there may be some other considerations as well.

5. Anti-LGBT Adoption Laws

Same-sex marriage has been legal for three years. But, sadly, some states don't recognize the same rights of same-sex couples. One of those legal battlegrounds has been adoption by same-sex, transgender, or non-binary parents. Here's what you need to know.

As we noted above, adoption can be a complicated process, both emotionally and legally. So have an experienced family law attorney on your side.

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