We Can Help You Grow Your Family Together Through Adoption
No matter why you are interested in adoption, it is always a big step for you and your family. Adding a new child or adopting your stepchildren is a significant legal endeavor, but one that is undoubtedly worth doing.
The adoption process can be complex for people who are not familiar with it, however, at the O'Neill Law Firm in La Crosse, we have helped many clients and families with adoption. Our founder, Sean O’Neill, has over 25 years of experience in helping families and other clients with their legal needs, and he can help you navigate the bureaucracies and hurdles to get your adoption finalized. He is a highly regarded attorney who has earned his reputation by putting his clients first.
We Are Equipped To Help You With Any Type Of Adoption You Are Considering
The process for obtaining an adoption in Wisconsin varies, depending on which of they five methods you are pursuing.
The first option is public adoption, through which you can apply to adopt a child that is currently in the care of the state’s foster care system. Such adoptions will require that you are at least 21 years of age, are financially capable of caring of the child, can provide a safe home, complete a course of training for adoptive parents and are in good health. If you are married, it must have been for longer than one year, and the average length of this process can vary significantly.
The remaining options are all private adoptions that are normally either between families or between a family and an adoption agency. One of the most popular options that we help families with are stepparent adoptions, where the stepparent wishes to become the legal parent of the child. Thankfully, this process can be more straightforward than others, and it essentially involves petitioning a court to terminate the parental rights of the birth parent and then petitioning to adopt the child as your own. This will provide an adopted child the same legal rights as a biological child.
In some other cases, some people are already taking care of a child for a family member and they wish to make the relationship permanent, or the child may have been removed by the state but they wish to have them adopted by another family member instead. This usually applies to noncustodial parents, grandparents, older siblings, cousins, aunts or uncles. The process is to petition for a termination of parental rights and then immediately petition for the adoption following that.
Through a private domestic adoption, the mother of the child will have a great deal of control on who adopts the adoptive family will be. She will create an adoption plan and will have the final decision on the family she selects. They will work with a child placing agency to help find the right family who is looking to adopt and help make all of the arrangements for the child. This method has the same placement requirements as a public adoption for age, income, home safety and other categories listed above.
The last method of adoption available is an international adoption. These are the most complex adoptions, requiring the help of an attorney and adoption agency in order for a child to be placed with you. The requirements for such a process vary greatly depending on where you are looking to adopt from, so it is most important that you get the best team on your side to help you throughout the journey.
Let Us Help You With Your Adoption
As you may learn as you approach adoption, it is not a simple process in most cases and in order to go through it you will need an attorney to help you with the court filings and other stages, depending on the type of adoption you are pursuing. Let our compassionate team help you walk this path and be your advocates throughout your legal journey.
Call us at 608-519-4816 so we can help you get started on your way with a free consultation. You may also send us a message online with information about your needs if you would prefer. At O'Neill Law Firm, we put the client first.