Representing clients during adoptions is among Freed Marcroft’s most fulfilling work. Our lawyers have helped families across Connecticut finalize adoptions, including stepparents and same-sex parents. Freed Marcroft helps clients emotionally and legally as they formally complete their family unit. Once the adoption is finalized, the child becomes the adoptive parent’s legal child without exception. Whether you are the non-biological parent of a child conceived using assisted reproductive technology, want to become the parent of your spouse’s child, or something else, reach out for legal help. Freed Marcroft will explain the process to you and help you move closer to growing your family and strengthening your legal rights.
Reasons to Adopt
Clients come to Freed Marcroft to start the adoption process for a myriad of reasons. Most commonly, people choose adoption to:
- Protect their legal rights when a child is conceived via assisted reproductive technology.
- Protect the legal rights of a same-sex parent.
- Get the right to make decisions for the child.
- Provide security for the child.
- Strengthen the family unit.
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SECOND-PARENT & STEPPARENT ADOPTIONS
Stepparent and second-parent adoptions occur when one member of the couple has a biological child that the other person legally adopts. Once the adoption is finalized, the child has two legal parents. Second-parent adoptions sometimes happen when a parent passes away or is uninvolved in the child’s life. When the child’s primary parent remarries or enters into a long-term committed relationship, often the new spouse or partner will adopt the child.
People also choose second-parent and stepparent adoption when a child is born via assisted reproductive technology. When couples use this technology, only one of them is the biological parent. The other is presumed to be the parent, however, that presumption is not recognized everywhere outside of Connecticut (and can be challenged), even in Connecticut. A second-parent adoption ensures that both parents have full legal rights to and responsibilities for their children.
When a child is born to married same-sex spouses, there is a marital presumption that both spouses are the child’s legal parents. This is true even when one parent is not biologically related to the child. However, that presumption is not recognized everywhere outside of Connecticut and could be challenged in Connecticut. A stepparent adoption ensures that both spouses have full legal rights to and responsibilities for their children. If you have a known donor, you want to make sure that his or rights are also permanently terminated. Freed Marcroft’s lawyers can represent you in the termination of parental rights, which can frequently be accomplished simultaneously with the adoption.
When a child is born to unmarried couples, there is no marital presumption that the non-biological parent is a legal parent. A second-parent adoption fixes this problem. Without it, in the event of a problem, the non-biological parent may have to seek custody or visitation rights, just as any third party who has a substantial relationship with the child would.
INTERNATIONAL & DOMESTIC ADOPTION
In Connecticut, all adoptions where neither prospective parent is biologically related to a child must be done through an adoption agency. The only time an adoption agency is not required in Connecticut is in the case of a stepparent or second-parent adoption in Connecticut.
Freed Marcroft’s adoption lawyers represent clients during their international and domestic adoptions, working hand in glove with their adoption agency and advising them regarding any Department of Children and Families (DCF) involvement.
IS A HOME STUDY REQUIRED?
Connecticut law generally requires a home study before granting an adoption. This is when the Department of Children and Families or a licensed agency submits a report that indicates the child’s mental and physical status and additional facts relevant for adoption proceedings.
The only time that a home study is not required is in a stepparent or second-parent adoption. The court will grant the adoptive parents motion to waive the home study “unless good cause is shown.” Freed Marcroft’s adoption attorneys advise clients on home study waivers.