The Adoption Process
There is no one “adoption process” that covers every adoption we deal with in our office.
Adopting a stepchild or foster child, for example, is very different from adopting an infant. Where your child comes from is also very important: If your child comes from Alaska, a different set of rules must be followed than if he or she is from a different state or country.
Below Lisa outlines the stages that most adoptions go through, in very general terms. Speak to her about your own adoption to find out which steps apply to you.
Step By Step
As an adoption attorney with an extensive background working with children and families in Alaska, Lisa B. Nelson can answer all of your questions and guide you through the process, which usually includes:
- Deciding to adopt: In some cases, the decision comes after efforts to conceive a biological child have not succeeded. In other cases, clients just want to help children who can’t live with their own biological parents for one reason or another find a good home with their family. Sometimes tragedy hits a family where parents die or become so ill they cannot care for their children. Plus, there are times where biological parents are not ready to be parents, or are not able to be parents, and a home is needed for their children – either in a relative home or a friend’s home. In all of these situations, Lisa can help a relative or a friend jump through the legal hoops necessary to finalize an adoption or guardianships, so as to provide a “forever home” for children coming from these unfortunate circumstances.
- Preparations: These can involve adoption workshops, interviews with adoption agencies, applications to adopt, and putting together a portfolio for potential birth parents.
- Home study: This is a necessary part of many adoptions. It may involve examining your life to a degree that many people find intimidating, including examining your marriage, finances, home environment and work history. But you can get through this.
- Matching: If you are adopting an infant through a private adoption, at some point birth parents will choose you as adoptive parents. In most cases, you will be able to meet them, especially if you are hoping to have an open adoption in which the child remains in contact with the birth parents.
- Legal Process: Finalizing an adoption involves extensive documentation and sometimes multiple appearances in the Superior Court. Lisa is familiar with legal requirements and the Court Systems all over the State of Alaska. Lisa has appeared in the Anchorage courts thousands of times. But she also appears in Courts in Palmer, Kenai, Fairbanks, Bethel, Kotzebue, Nome, Unalaska, Dillingham, Glennallen, Kodiak, Valdez, Home and Juneau, in the 35 years she has been practicing law. She has done adoptions in 90% of these communities. Lisa knows how to work with each court system to get the job done.
Contact Lisa B. Nelson
Call Lisa at 907-771-8300 or contact her online to speak to our adoption lawyer and learn more about what will be required for your own potential adoption.