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For a simple act of love and kindness, the law surrounding adoption can be fairly complicated. State adoption laws can vary, international adoption laws can seem impenetrable, and that's before you even get into the rights of birth parents.
Deciding to expand your family through adoption can be a beautiful one, but one that is also fraught with legal questions. Here are five of the biggest if you're considering adoption:
While there are generally no restrictions on a single person adopting a child, some states make it harder for unmarried couples to adopt, especially same-sex couples. And while recent Supreme Court decisions have recognized the parental rights of married same-sex couples who adopt, those who are not married may not have the same protection.
Not all adoptions involve children. In some cases, adults would like to formalize a familial relationship, ease estate planning or inheritance transfers, or allow for someone else to make important health care decisions.
With the emerging refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe, many Americans have turned towards adoption as a way to help. But even if you have the best intentions, adopting a refugee child is not easy, and there are extensive United Nations restrictions on adopting refugee children.
Sadly, not every adoption works out, and an adoptee, the adoptive parents, or the birth parents will want to reverse the adoption. The legal processes, as well as the legal consequences, for each are different, and can vary from state to state.
As with most legal questions -- especially those regarding attorneys' fees -- that all depends. The complexity of the adoption, the laws in your state, and the way your lawyer structures his or her fees could all affect how much an adoption lawyer will cost. One thing is certain, however: not hiring a lawyer could be even more expensive.
If you're considering adoption and have more questions or would like legal assistance, you should contact an experienced adoption attorney today.