Families today come in a mosaic of traditional, blended, biological and single-parent structures with the core ideology of a caring, supportive family unit. Beyond marriage and birth certificates, a traditional nuclear family requires little legal intervention to form.  However, today sometimes families form through adoptions that require significant legal action to partake in all the rights and standing that the traditional nuclear family has.

Common types of adoptions

  • Intercountry Adoptions: Governed by U.S. federal law, the laws of the child’s country of residence, and the laws of your U.S. state of residence.
  • Adopting from Foster Care: Adoption of a child in foster care who cannot return to their biological family, with and without fostering first.
  • Second-Parent Adoptions: adoption by a second parent in the home who is not married to the legal parent of the child and allows a second parent to adopt a child without the “first parent” losing any parental rights.
  • Stepparent Adoptions: legal adoption of a child by the spouse of the child’s birth parent.
  • Single-Parent Adoptions: adoption of a child by a single person.
  • Grandparent/Familial Adoptions: adoption of a biologically related child by an extended family member.

There are also unique situations where adoption defines legal relationships such as the adoption of an adult child. McMurdie Law Office helped a fully-grown man to be adopted by his step mother of several decades as a showing of love for her on Mother’s Day.

Whether you may be expanding your family, or perhaps merging a blended family, defining the parental rights of same-sex spouses or adopting through foster care, legal technicalities can have long-lasting consequences.

If you’re looking at adoption to grow or define your family, finding the right adoption lawyer can help you navigate the complex legalities of adoption. Online resources, such as this article from Child Welfare Information Gateway, can help point you in the right direction. We highly recommend you have a consultation with a family lawyer experienced in adoption to make your best choices and understand how adoption apply to of your unique situation.