Long Island Adoption Lawyers
The Adoption Process in New York State
Adoptions can be completed privately or through an agency. All adoptions, whether interstate or international, require review and approval from the court. The adoption process includes completion of a petition, a personal interview, medical examination, police record checks, child abuse registry checks, and a home study. The Department of Social Services creates a report based on these prerequisites. The court will then use this report to determine if an adoption is in the child’s best interests.
Who Is Qualified to Adopt in New York?
In order to adopt, you must meet specific qualifications, and several parties must agree to the adoption. The child’s father must agree only if he is married to the child’s mother or had a significant relationship with the child. The child’s consent is only necessary if he / she is more than 14 years old. New York law allows adults 18 years and older to adopt, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. This includes:
- Individuals living alone who are unmarried and over 18 years old
- Married or unmarried intimate partners (sexual orientation does not change eligibility)
- The partner of the child’s birth parent, regardless of the partners’ marital status
- Married adults (can adopt separately if living apart for more than 3 years or legally separated)
What Are the Different Types of Adoption?
There are many different types of adoption, all of which have different legal procedures, fees, and requirements. These include:
- Interstate adoption
- International adoption
- Stepparent adoption
- Agency adoption
- Private placement adoption
In closed adoptions, there is no communication between the biological parents and the adoptive parents. Likewise, an open adoption indicates that the biological and adoptive parents are aware of each other’s identities. Interstate adoptions take place in a different state than where the birth parents reside, and international adoptions involve parents in different countries. An attorney can help you with a private placement adoption, in which parents can relinquish their rights to the adoptive parents without using an adoption agency.