Technically, you can complete many legal processes yourself. Much of the necessary paperwork is available to the public. If you can pay attention to all the details, file all the forms correctly and promptly, and pay all the fees, you can accomplish much.
This, of course, is not recommended. Most people do not have time to keep meticulous track of every detail in a legal transaction. The smallest mistake can send the whole process crashing, forcing you to start over or abandon the process entirely.
Mistakes like these can have a devastating effect on your family. If you are ready to adopt, you must make sure you accomplish every step correctly.
Here are a few reasons why you should include an attorney in the adoption process.
Adoption Bureaucracy Is Complicated
Extending your family involves much paperwork, and it’s easy to lose an important step or document in the shuffle. This is especially true when it comes to adoption. You are legally declaring lifelong parental rights over a child. The state takes this action seriously, and it will force you to do everything perfectly before allowing the adoption to go through.
A lawyer can help you keep everything organized. They can assemble all your required documentation. When necessary, they can also help you build a case for adoption, as the state wants to make sure you are fit for parenthood.
You May Need Protection While You Wait
Adoption can be a long process. It requires much waiting on various offices and approvals. After receiving approval in one area, you must move to the next step, and so on.
While you wait, complications may occur. The child’s birth parents could, for instance, suddenly appear and demand reinstatement of their parental rights. Even if they have no grounds for this request, their arrival alone can complicate matters and slow everything down.
An attorney can help keep outsiders at bay. They can provide legal protection for your family while your adoption goes through. A lawyer can also help make sure that the adoption process moves along smoothly despite anyone’s attempts to disrupt it.
There Could Be a Sudden Change in Your Relationship
Imagine that you married someone with a young child. The child has no other legal parent, and they’ve always known you as their mother or father. They call you “Dad” or “Mom,” and there’s no question that you are family.
Despite your closeness, you are still only a stepparent by law. If your relationship with the child’s legal parent deteriorates, this can put a strain on your relationship with your child. During a divorce, you can plead for visitation rights, but you may lose many of your parental rights. Your spouse could even work against you, attempting to block access to your child.
An attorney can help protect you against anyone who attempts to block your adoption. Courts generally act in a child’s best interests. If remaining their parent is best for the child, a lawyer can help you make this argument. They can gather documentation, explain the timeline of your relationship with the child, gather witness testimony, and so on.
Our firm is here to help you with your adoption. For a free consultation, call us today at (801) 901-7046 or contact us online.