If you are considering adoption, there are many options ranging from adopting a family member to adopting someone who has no relationship to you. There are several ways to adopt a child including independent or private adoptions, which involve biological parents and prospective adoptive parents reaching an agreement to adopt a child. Public adoptions occur when prospective parents adopt children who are under state or foster care. Working with an experienced adoption attorney can help guide you through the adoption process.
Adopting a child in Wisconsin takes anywhere from six months to two years, but really depends on the unique circumstances of the case. The adoption process includes a home study and may also include a trial period of placement. To streamline the process, it is important to work with an adoption attorney who can provide crucial information and facilitate the adoption process.
Adoption Versus Legal Guardianship of a Family Member
Most adoptions involve a family member becoming an adoptive parent to another family member. This typically occurs when the biological parent/s can no longer parent a child. A child might be adopted by a family member if they are removed from his or her biological parents due to abuse or neglect, or if a parent is incarcerated for a long period of time. A family member may also adopt a child if the biological parents are deceased. Other situations may include a step parent adoption when one parent terminates parental rights or is deceased. Each situation is unique and it is important to discuss your case with an experienced adoption attorney.
Sometimes family members have questions regarding how legal guardianship differs from adoption. Legal guardianship is a temporary legal relationship where a trusted adult provides care for a child while the parent maintains a degree of parental rights. Adoption, on the other hand, terminates a parent’s rights and obligations to the child, severing all ties unless there is a special agreement to continue visitation between the parties. There are situations where a family member or good friend will provide care for a child on an extended basis where a legal guardianship is appropriate; if parental rights are terminated, family members may consider adoption.
Contact Our Waukesha Family Law Attorneys for Help
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a legal guardian to a child and want to know how to get started, contact the experienced family attorneys at Probst Law Offices S.C. for answers to your questions regarding Wisconsin adoption and legal guardianship today.