accomplishments

Mr. Hammond served in Afghanistan and Iraq, where he received 9 medals including a Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He has been practicing law since 1996 with an exclusive focus on military law, criminal law, and family law.

Before You Adopt: 3 Things You Need to Know

Adoption can be a wonderful experience, but there are a few things you need to know before you start the adoption process.

Have you been thinking about adopting a child? Adoption is a wonderful way to expand your family. Whether you already have children or you'll be a first-time parent, adoption allows you to welcome a child into your home. In some cases, adoption allows you to legalize what you already feel in your heart. For example, if you are raising a stepchild as your own, adoption will enable you to legally become the child's parent. In other cases, you and your partner may want to start a family, but not have a specific child in mind just yet. No matter where you are in the adoption process, whether you're just starting out or you simply need assistance with the paperwork, an adoption lawyer can help you along your journey to expand your family. Here's what you need to know.

1. There are different types of adoptions.

When you choose to bring a child into your family, understand that there are different types of adoption. There is no right or wrong way to adopt a child; however, each family may have their own preferences regarding the type of adoption that is utilized. For example, if you would like to have regular contact with the birth family, an open adoption could be right for you. With this type of adoption, the birth parents may have visits with the child and you may choose to send them pictures and updates on your child's life. With a closed option, there will be no communication or contact between yourself and the birth family.

2. You'll need to complete a home study.

One of the first things you'll do when you decide to expand your family through adoption is to complete a home study. A home study ensures that your home is a safe environment and that it will be a nurturing place for a child to grow up. During a home study, you'll meet with social workers who will conduct interviews. Both you and your partner will be interviewed, as well as any other household members. You will need to complete paperwork and in some cases, you'll take classes to ensure you are ready to move forward with the adoption process.

3. It's important to be patient.

Adoption is a process that can take time. Typically, adoptions don't happen overnight. Even if you are planning to adopt a stepchild or a relative, it's important to understand that the process of completing paperwork, verifying parental rights, and finalizing the adoption can take time. While it may feel frustrating to have to wait for something you are working so hard towards, remember to stay focused on moving forward. Your lawyer will be able to work with you to ensure that the adoption process is as expedited as possible; however, you may still wait weeks or months for the adoption to go through.

When you're ready to expand your family through adoption, schedule an appointment with your adoption lawyer. Your attorney will be able to answer your questions about adoption and help you get the process started. Call today.