Questions About Adoption?
Ask Our Nevada Adoption Attorney
Adoption is a complex legal process. There are laws, deadlines and several considerations that you need to be aware of, whether you are acting as an adoptive parent, birth parent or surrogate. Our Nevada adoption lawyer can answer any questions you have to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. He has assisted with hundreds of adoptions throughout his career, and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.
- Why do people choose adoption?
- In the matter of adoption, who is the competent party to consent?
- When can the court terminate a birth parent’s parental rights?
- How is consent executed?
- How does the law treat the consent of a birth parent who is a minor?
- Is the consent revocable?
- Are there always contacts between the parties after an adoption?
- I am from another state and I found a birth mother in Nevada. What do I do now?
Why do people choose adoption?
For many families, adoption is the best way to create the best life for everyone involved. Some people choose to terminate parental rights because they believe it is the best decision for the birth parents, the child and the eventual adoptive parents. Parents may choose to adopt for health reasons or to provide a home for a child who needs one.
In the matter of adoption, who is the competent party to consent?
In Nevada, the birth mother and father (if he can establish paternity) control the consent rights for their child. If the birth parents are unavailable, then the court may turn to another party or agency to determine consent. This may include a guardian, close relative or “next friend”. A Nevada adoption attorney can help you understand who is the competent party to consent in an adoption case.
When can the court terminate a birth parent’s parental rights?
Each state has different laws which govern when a person can terminate his or her parental rights. In Nevada, a court can terminate parental rights upon a clear and convincing proof of the child’s best interests and parental fault. Parental fault can include criminal activity, child abandonment, child abuse and neglect. The termination of parental rights in Nevada is not something to take lightly.
How is consent executed?
In Nevada, two witnesses must sign a consent form and it needs to be notarized. Unless the adoption is an intra-family adoption, one of the witnesses must be a licensed social worker.
How does the law treat the consent of a birth parent who is a minor?
Most states treat a birth parent who is a minor no differently than adult birth parents. According to Nevada adoption law, under-age birth parents may consent to an adoption without parental approval or notification. Upon reaching the age of maturity, a birth parent may not change his or her mind about a consent for adoption given previously.
Is the consent revocable?
Consents and relinquishments for adoption are irrevocable upon signing in Nevada. We can help you understand the revocation of consent in an adoption case.
Are there always contacts between the parties after an adoption?
While both parties may agree to an open adoption, you do not have to do so. Birth parents and adoptive parents mutually agree on the amount of contacts, if any. Some birth parents want to have assurance that their adoption decision was in their child’s best interests. A contact agreement, where the adoptive parents agree to provide contacts such as pictures, e-mails, etc. from time to time, provides that peace of mind to the birth parents. Parents may also choose to pursue a closed adoption, in which the birth parents have no contact with the adopted child.
I am from another state and I found a birth mother in Nevada. What do I do now?
You finally found (or matched with) a birth mother who lives in Nevada, but you live in another state. What do you need to do to make this private adoption happen?
This is the question that new clients most frequently ask me. As my office works on over a hundred adoption cases each year, we make these interstate adoptions a successful and happy reality all the time.
Basically, you will need both a Nevada licensed adoption agency and a qualified Nevada adoption attorney to complete an interstate adoption of a Nevada child. While the adoption remains a “private adoption,” the specifics of Nevada law require that a Nevada licensed adoption agency be a part of the adoption process. You also need a Nevada adoption attorney to make sure you satisfy the requirements of Nevada law. Additionally, you want to confirm the termination of the rights of the birth parents, both known and unknown. This then allows you to finalize your adoption in your home state.
It does not matter where your birth mother lives in Nevada. I routinely handle cases from Las Vegas to Reno to Elko and all of the smaller Nevada towns in between. My office also regularly represents four different adoption agencies who can assist us with your adoption regardless of where the birth mother may reside in Nevada.
Of course, we need to address other adoption law issues with each case. Please call me without delay to discuss the specifics aspects of your interstate adoption.
Talk to a Nevada Adoption Attorney
Adopting a child is a special occasion for a family. However, all parties must take care to ensure that the overall adoption process goes smoothly and that you address all legal areas. If you are considering adopting a child, then contact Nevada adoption lawyer Eric A. Stovall for an initial consultation.