West Des Moines Family Law Attorneys Facilitate Adoptions
Helping prospective parents over the legal hurdles
For prospective parents, the adoption can be long and frustrating. At any time, your joyful anticipation can suffer devastating disappointment. At the Hope Law Firm, P.L.C., we assist adoptive parents with skilled legal services in a warm, supportive environment. Although most of our work is in stepparent and grandparent adoptions, we also help with domestic adoptions of all types, including private agency adoptions, foster care adoptions, and open adoptions. Our knowledge and experience help to ensure that your adoption is completely legal and can survive any challenge to your parental rights. In adoption, as in so many other family law areas, our firm is provides help when you most need it.
Stepparent adoptions give legal protection to blended families
Single parents who marry face challenges to forming a blended family. Even if the new spouse is childless, it’s hard to develop a feeling of family unity when there’s a clear distinction between the rights and responsibilities of the biological parent and the stepparent. For many families, stepparent adoption has advantages that address these issues:
- The stepparent will have the legal right to participate in decisions regarding the health and welfare of the child.
- The adopted child will have greater security and sense of belonging.
- The adopted child will have standing to inherit equal to the stepparent’s biological children.
- In the event of divorce, the stepparent will have rights to custody and/or visitation.
However, adoptive parents incur permanent responsibilities and are liable for support until the child reaches maturity.
Terminating parental rights in Iowa to facilitate adoptions
A child in Iowa can only have two legal parents. So in many cases, it is necessary to have a noncustodial parent renounce parental rights so that an adoption can go through. It is possible that a parent who does not have an emotional attachment to the child might voluntarily give up parental rights to be relieved of support obligations. In cases where the parent refuses, the custodial parent can go to court for an order terminating the noncustodial parent’s rights.
It is not enough to show that the child would be better off with a new parent(s). Before terminating parental rights, the court requires evidence that contact with that parent is detrimental to the child. Evidence that the parent has been abusive, has substance abuse problems, has abandoned the child or has failed to provide support, combined with the fact that a loving and responsible adult is ready to adopt, can sway the court to terminate parental rights in the best interest of the child.
Contact our West Des Moines attorneys for assistance with your adoption
When it’s time to add to your family or give legal protections to those you love, visit the Hope Law Firm, P.L.C. We provide thorough, professional service to help ensure that your adoption is valid and final. For an appointment to discuss your adoption issues, call us at 515-255-3559 or contact our West Des Moines office online.