Navigating The Complex Waters Of The Adoption Process
Regardless of the type of adoption you are seeking or how qualified you are as parents, the waters of the adoption process can be choppy. You will face difficulties and storms along the way. There is no better way to navigate these waters successfully than working with an experienced lawyer who not only understands the laws and processes involved with all types of adoptions but also understands the challenges you are dealing with.
At Shawn P. Hammond and Associates, attorney Shawn Hammond can help you. With more than 25 years of experience serving clients in adoption matters in Augusta and throughout the state of Georgia, he has a thorough understanding of the law and the processes involved in adoption. Do not try to navigate them on your own. There is too much at stake. He will represent your interests with compassion, dedication and professionalism.
One of the primary issues that we help clients through in adoption is home studies. While the specific details are different for each type of adoption, a home study is basically what its name suggests. A home study is an investigation of your family to protect both you and the child in the adoption process. A home study often involves multiple meetings with an evaluator, sometimes in the agency office and sometimes in your own home.
The home study evaluation process will use interviews, actual visits to your home and various documentation to determine your fitness as parents. They will look into your financial and work histories, family histories, criminal records, recommendations, reasons for wanting to adopt and a variety of other matters critical to the evaluation process.
Open adoptions are more rare than agency adoptions, but they remain an important part of the overall adoption landscape. In an open adoption, the biological parents and the adoptive parents communicate directly with each other. In the process of an open adoption, the biological parents terminate their rights as parents, and the adoptive parents adopt the child, but both sets of parents often remain in contact with each other.
There are some important advantages to an open adoption, but there are also some unique challenges to this approach. Shawn Hammond can help you with these decisions.
Opening Adoption Records
Adopted children seeking the identity of their birth parents can present a number of issues. While many of these cases result in happy reunions, others are less favorable. Also, there are numerous legal complications and challenges for everyone involved.
An adopted child under age 21 is not legally entitled to obtain identifying information about their parents. However, information that does not identify the parent can be given before the child reaches 21 years of age.
Consent is one of the most important factors involved. Although the child can seek out their birth parents’ identifying information at age 21, this information still might not be available. Georgia requires consent from the parents before adoption records are opened to the child. In some cases, the parents were not given the opportunity to consent or refuse to consent at all, so a confidential search is required to request consent from the parents.