Adoption comes in many forms. Some cases follow a predictable path, while others are more complicated.
In Wisconsin, the parental rights of the birth parents must be terminated before there can be an adoption. We strive to be sensitive to the needs of the birth parents and adoptive parents while keeping the welfare of the child as our top consideration. We are experienced in all types of adoption.
In agency adoptions, a licensed adoption agency matches the birth parents and adoptive parents, provides education, counseling, home studies, post-placement services and takes guardianship of the child until the adoption is finalized. We work with the parties through the legal process — from filing the appropriate documents to completing the hearing required for the termination of the parental rights of the birth parents. Along the way, we provide legal advice to prevent mistakes that could lead to financial and emotional loss.
In independent adoptions, the birth parents and adoptive parents locate each other. An adoption agency is still necessary to provide many of the same services as in an agency adoption, and the same termination of parental rights procedure is necessary. We can help whether the birth parents and adoptive parents have just met or have known each other for years.
Birth parents may place a child for adoption in the home of a relative. Once the relative has a completed relative home study, the adoption can be finalized immediately following the termination of parental rights.
When a parent remarries, a stepparent often assumes the emotional and financial responsibility of his or her spouse’s children. In many cases, especially when the children’s other birth parent is not involved with them, an adoption is a logical step. This ensures that the legal relationship between the stepparent and child is as secure as the emotional relationship.
When a child is adopted into or from another state, the rules of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (“ICPC”) must be followed. This means that we need to comply with the legal requirements of, and work with the ICPC offices in, both states. We are very familiar with interstate adoptions and the steps that must be followed to ensure a successful placement.
When a child is adopted from another country, we will assist with the child’s immigration to the United States, handle a termination of parental rights if necessary, finalize the adoption or re-adoption in Wisconsin, correct dates of birth, and obtain proof of the child’s citizenship from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Let us worry about the legal forms and papers that need to be filed. We will make sure that your adoption complies with international treaties and ethical standards, as well as federal and Wisconsin law. Also see our immigration webpage, as international adoptions are largely immigration cases.