Many people adopt, and if you are considering it, it’s critical that it is done correctly so the finality of the adoption can never be challenged later. People adopt for a variety of reasons: they may not be able to have children, they are adopting their spouse’s child, they personally know a child who lost their parents, or they just want to expand their family. But whatever your reasons for adopting, if you are adopting in the Bronx, the legal requirements of the state of New York must be fulfilled. Of course, you could adopt a child from outside the state or even seek a foreign adoption. But whatever you choose, there is probably no area of your life that will have greater impact; it is vitally important that you have an experienced Bronx adoption lawyer represent you for the entire adoption process.Eligibility to Adopt in the State of New York
Most adults in New York may adopt, but there ae some requirements.
- Single people may adopt.
- Both opposite sex and same sex couples may adopt.
- If a couple of any gender combination is married, it is impossible for just one of the people to adopt the child.
- You can adopt if you are legally separated or if you have been living apart from your estranged spouse for at least three years.
- Both married and unmarried couples who live together may adopt.
- You must generally be at least 18 years of age, though your Bronx adoption lawyer can explain there are some cases where you must be 21.
- A minor may adopt their spouse’s child.
If you are adopting in the state of New York, you must live in the state for three months before adopting. However, you can begin the adoption process sooner. It may be possible for a judge to waive the residency requirement; your adoption attorney in the Bronx can inform you of the possibilities.A Child’s Eligibility for Adoption
There is a stereotype of someone who is being adopted as being an orphan child. In fact, they need not be an orphan or even be a child. It is possible to adopt an adult, but we will not focus on that here. Though a child need not be an orphan to be adopted, the child’s parents must have lost their parental rights before a child can be adopted. This could happen because the parents voluntarily gave up their parental rights and put their child up for adoption, or a court ordered their parental rights terminated in the best interests of the child for various reasons such as abuse or neglect.
In the case of voluntarily giving a child up for adoption, if the biological parents are married, or even if they are not married but the noncustodial parent has been involved with the child on a regular basis, both parents must consent. Even if the noncustodial parent has not been involved with the child, a judge may still expect that they be informed according to legal procedures.
If a child is 14 years of age or over, they must consent to the adoption themselves for it to move forward.Methods of Adoption
Let’s assume that you would like to adopt a child here in the Bronx or elsewhere in New York. You can adopt privately or you can adopt through an adoption agency. A private adoption means you have made an arrangement with the biological parents yourself rather than finding a child through an agency. You may know the child’s family or you may have found the child in some other way. In this case, your attorney will likely need to start the process of obtaining the consent of the biological parents. When adopting through an agency, the agency itself has legal custody of the child; the parents’ rights have already been terminated. Whichever way you decide to adopt, you must make very sure that all processes are followed to the letter of the law, which means you need a good andLaw Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
For the best interests of all concerned, and particularly for the best interests of the child, it is important that adoptions are done correctly and go as smoothly as possible. That means you need an experienced Bronx adoption lawyer whether you are adopting privately or through an agency. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience with successfully representing clients who are seeking to adopt children, who have custody issues and who have other family law matters. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.