Adoption

The Best Thing That Ever Happens in a Courtroom

The happiest court appearances we have are for adoptions. Adoption allows a child to be grafted into a family as if the child were the natural child of a husband and wife.

Our adoption practice encompasses both agency and private placement adoptions. We are not an adoption agency, and we do not find children for adopting couples. On your behalf we petition a New York court to legally establish a parent to child relationship were previously there was none.

In New York adoptions can be done in either family court or surrogate’s court. Onondaga County where we have our offices requires that the family court be used for adoptions. Most of the nearby counties in our practice area require that adoptions be done in surrogate’s court. While adoption law is established by state statute and is thus theoretically uniform across the state, each county in upstate New York has different local requirements for adoptions. Your adoption lawyer should know this, and should be experienced with working in the different local adoption courts.

There are so many different aspects to adoption law, that it is difficult to cover it in this short space. Interstate and international adoptions must comply with a statute known as the interstate compact on adoptions. The lawyers in these cases must pay careful attention to the laws of the other state as well as New York law. Some states, unlike New York, do not allow private placement adoption. Your lawyer must be careful not to run afoul of their statutes while obeying the New York private placement adoption laws.

Sometimes we represent adopting parents. Sometimes we represent the birth mothers who are signing a consent for others to adopt their child. Some of our cases involve one or more adoption agencies, but most of our cases are private placement adoptions where there is usually no agency involved.

If you are thinking of a private placement adoption, you should know that you must be pre-certified by the adoption court before you can receive the child. Since a social work investigation must be done, fingerprint cards must be submitted, a search of the child abuse records must be done, and a judge must grant a court order, be sure not to wait till the last minute on a pre-certification case.

If you have an adoption situation on the horizon, give us a call. We have done it many times in many courts under all sorts of situations. We can help you navigate the maze of adoption.