Foster Parent Adoptions

Foster parent adoption can be a complex process that requires following strict administrative and legal processes while still giving your child the best care possible. We can help you make a way through the system and adopt your child as quickly as possible. Call Law Offices of Rick D. Banks today at (559) 222-4891 for help with your case.


How Is Foster Children Adoption Different Than Traditional Adoption?


Adopting a foster child is handled by a state adoption agency instead of a private organization, as many traditional adoptions are processed. It is usually cheaper to adopt a foster child, and there may be financial help for you before, during, and after a foster child adoption.


Foster parents are often given preference when finding adoptive parents for a child. This provides stability in a child’s life.


Legal Responsibility for a Foster Child


The state child welfare agency is legally responsible for a foster child. They are in control of making decisions about their education, medical care, and more.


However, in the process of foster parent adoption, that legal responsibility would transfer to the parents. All parental rights would be awarded to the parents. Once the adoption is final, the adoptive parents would have all the same rights as biological parents.


Foster Parent Adoption Process


The foster parent adoption process is initiated when you are licensed as a foster parent and a child is placed in your care. If you are a family member, this step may not be necessary.


The child services agency then evaluates the child’s dependency case. If the child is deemed dependent upon the state, then they may become legally free for adoption. This requires parental rights to be terminated from their biological parents.


If you want to adopt the child, you will be required to undergo a thorough investigation from the child services agency, which will include background checks and home visits. If you have been a foster parent for a long amount of time, this process may not take very long.


You will have to attend court hearings throughout the process that will review your situation. The last one will be a finalization hearing to establish yourself as an adoptive parent to your child.


Do I Need an Adoption Attorney?


You should hire an adoption attorney to make sure the process goes smoothly. You will have to deal with state agencies, such as child services, and court processes. The government may ask you to submit to background checks that cause issues to arise and you will need an attorney to help you refocus on what is important – adopting your child.


Your attorney can answer questions from government agencies and attend court hearings on your behalf. You may have to deal with those entities as well, but overall the process will be much less stressful with an attorney by your side.


Call Law Offices of Rick D. Banks Today


We have managed foster parent adoption for many people throughout the years, and we can help you too. Call us at (559) 222-4891 for more information.

Adoption By a Family Member

Adopting a family member is common when birth parents are not able to care for their children or when a step parent steps up to take on a legal parental role. In fact, the court will often seek out family members to serve as foster and adoptive parents as an alternative to putting children into the home of someone they do not know.


If you need legal advice regarding an adoption, you should work with an attorney who is familiar with the court process. Call Law Offices of Rick D. Banks today at (559) 222-4891.


Who May Adopt a Family Member?


Family member adoptions are often called “kinship adoption.” They occur when a child is adopted by someone with a biological relationship to them, such as grandparents, siblings, or aunts and uncles.


Step parents may also adopt children in certain situations where one or both biological parents are no longer able to care for the children.


Some jurisdictions also recognize “fictive kin” relationships for adoptive purposes. This includes family friends and other people with a close, non-biological relationship to the family.


Family Adoptions are Preferred


The state is often required to give family members preference over non-family members in adoption cases. In fact, when biological parents are no longer able to care for children, the state will look to families for caregivers first.


Kinship Adoption Process


The process of adopting a family member is similar to that of adopting a child who is not a family member. The state or adoption agency will do a home study, background checks on all household members, and other screening processes to ensure the child is going to a safe home.


Consent is often sought from biological parents for kinship adoption as well as step parent adoption, as their parental rights will be terminated if the adoption is completed.


Step Parent Adoption


The most common type of family member adoption is step parent adoption. This typically requires fewer screening processes and one of the biological parents is usually still in the picture.


In the case of step parent adoption, one parent may no longer be in the life of the child, leading to termination of their parental rights for abandonment. The step parent may step in and assume those parental rights.


Conditions for termination of parental rights are strict, and the child may be required to give consent if they are over a certain age.


Grandparent Adoption


Grandparent adoption is different from grandparent guardianship or custody. In guardianship and custody situations, the parents retain parental rights. However, with grandparent adoption, the parental rights are terminated and transferred to the grandparents.


Are Family Adoptions Open or Closed?


Most family adoptions are open because the parents are known within the family and still have some contact with the child. However, in some situations, family adoptions may be closed, especially if contact with the parents would be detrimental to the child.


Contact a Family Adoption Attorney Today


Adopting a family member can be a daunting process. You may have to deal with a plethora of paperwork and the legal process. Let us handle it for you. Call Law Offices of Rick D. Banks today at (559) 222-4891.