Adopting a child should be a joyous experience, but a biological parent’s change of heart or an immigration setback can turn it into a stressful ordeal. At Joseph C. Somma, PC, I am a family law attorney with substantial experience handling the complex legal procedures and often frustrating red tape of the adoption process for clients in the Birmingham area and throughout Alabama. I provide the guidance you need to navigate the process and fulfill all requirements so you can focus on welcoming your new family member.
At Joseph C. Somma, PC, I represent clients throughout Alabama in the following areas of adoption:
I understand the requirements that must be met in these situations and will advise you on what you must do to meet them. My firm provides reliable counsel throughout the process.
The fear that birth parents may challenge an adoption after it is finalized is a real one for adoptive parents. The suffering associated with a badly handled adoption affects everyone involved — the adoptive parents, the birth parents and the children who are caught in the middle. At Joseph C. Somma, PC, I ensure that both the birth and adoptive parents’ rights are respected so that the end result is a final adoption that cannot be challenged. I will substantiate that the birth parents consent to the adoption freely and voluntarily to avoid claims of fraud, duress and coercion that can be grounds for restoring a birth parent’s rights.
The biological father has the same parental rights as the biological mother, especially if he is named in the state’s putative father registry and has provided support for the child. Fathers who are active in their children’s lives are generally opposed to adoption, whereas uninterested fathers may be more willing to surrender parental rights voluntarily to be free from support obligations. When a father resists the idea of adoption, a court might terminate the father’s parental rights if the father is an unfit parent and severing the parent-child relationship is in the best interests of the child. I will take all necessary steps to identify fathers and obtain their consent, or, when necessary and proper, litigate the matter of the father’s fitness.
An open adoption agreement permits the biological family to maintain a relationship with the child. The terms of the agreement are established by written contract and can include any level of involvement agreed to, ranging from regular visits to yearly snapshots exchanged by mail. A closed adoption protects the identity of the biological parents and the child but may include disclosure of essential information such as the child’s heritage and medical history. Whichever type of adoption you choose, I meticulously draft a contract that reflects the terms you approve.
International adoptions present unique challenges. Also called intercountry adoptions, the process involves a complex web of laws and policies, including those of Alabama, the United States, U.S. immigration, the child’s country of birth and the Hague Adoption Convention. I will advise you on requirements here and abroad and remain by your side through every step to avoid potential problems. My goal is to help you bring your child home as soon as legally possible.
Adoption has the potential to bring your family great joy, but only if you can handle all the legal requirements. Joseph C. Somma, PC in Alabama provides dependable legal counsel for clients in Alabama seeking to adopt. Call 205-937-3951 or contact me online to schedule a consultation at my office.