Essential Advice for First Time Adoptive Parents

Adopting allows you to offer stability to a child in need while helping your own family grow. Regardless of the type of adoption (step parent, grandparent, or through an agency), the process can be an extremely rewarding experience. While the process for legally finalizing any type of adoption can be stressful and time consuming, as well, there are a few pieces of advice that are helpful to all parents. Following this essential advice for first time adoptive parents can make navigating through the process easier for everyone involved.

Make a Realistic Plan for Financing

Adoption is not always cheap, and funding may become difficult at an unexpected moment.  Prior to fully engrossing yourself in the process, make sure you are prepared to finance it.  Contact adoption foundations in your area, explore adoption grants, and even talk to people in your personal or professional circles. Doing all of this in addition to seeking loans and relying on savings will give you a good idea of how much money you actually have available to complete your adoption. It is best to research sources of funds that are not guaranteed first instead of assuming the money will be available after you exhaust the funds you already have.

Discuss Adoption with an Attorney

No matter what type of adoption you are considering, an attorney will be necessary to finalize the process and protect your best interests. Even if you know the birth parents, are a family member, or feel as though the process is a formality, talking to an attorney ensures that you are completely informed of everything that is a vital part of the adoption. An attorney can explain what documentation is needed, if psychological exams will be required, and what post-adoption resources you might benefit from utilizing.

Be Prepared to Talk to Your New Child About His or Her Previous Life

If you are adopting an older child who remembers what his or her life was like prior to being adopted, do not be afraid to discuss that past together. Even if you are a stepparent or a grandparent, there may be some aspects of a child’s previous life of which you are unaware.  Offering even minor consistencies in his or her daily routine from before the adoption may aid your child if he or she is having difficulty adjusting to the new life or your role as legal adoptive parent. Also, your willingness to talk to your child about life before you entered the picture may increase his or her overall comfort while reminding the child not to feel bad about any aspect of that former life.

Contact Us for Legal Advice

Deciding to adopt a child is something that is often done after a lot of soul searching and carefully conducted research. Once you are sure of your decision and ready to initiate the first step in the process, contacting a qualified adoption attorney is the best way to begin. The attorneys at Lawrence Law Office are ready to answer your questions and help you with all of your adoption needs. Contact us today to schedule a private consultation at our Columbus location.

Adopted Children and Ability to Inherit

Children are adopted for a variety of reasons, whether it is due to a couple’s inability to have children, a general disposition towards adopting, or by a family member when someone dies. Many people who are adopted view themselves as the children of their adopted parents, while some continue to communicate with their biological parents. What happens legally when the biological parent dies and a biological child seeks to inherit under his or her will, or the adopting parent dies without leaving a will for the adopted children?

Biological Parents

Once adopted, a child is viewed as the legitimate child of the adoptive parents and not the biological parents any longer. Unless stated in the will, the adopted child has no right to inherit from the biological parents upon their deaths. If the biological parents seek to leave their child any sort of inheritance, it would have to be expressly stated in the will. There are special circumstances, discussed below, for those children adopted by a stepparent.

Adoptive Parents

Upon adoption papers being signed, the adopted child is viewed in the eyes of the court as a legal child of the adoptive parents, which ends the relationship between the biological parents and the child. In some states, adoption decrees outline a continuation of inheritance rights for the child from the biological parents, while others allow birth parents to inherit from their biological child, even if adopted by another family, if the child dies before them. In about one third of the states, if the child is adopted by a stepparent after the parent dies, the adopted child can still inherit from their birth parent or other relative, keeping intact inheritance rights. Even if the adopted parent does have a will made prior to the adoption of the child, it is assumed that the adopted child is included in the class of gift made to children, unless specifically stated otherwise.

Concerned About Your Inheritance Rights?

Adoption changes the lives of many people, but it should not change your life again when you experience difficulties in estate planning. If you or someone you know is having the legal status as a child of their adoptive family challenged, call the experienced legal team at Lawrence Law Office today at (614) 228 – 3664 for a consultation or email us using our website or lawrence@lawrencelawoffice.com. We will help you get the results you deserve.

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