Adoptive Parents’ Legal Rights and Responsibilities
Parents adopting a child are bound by certain obligations. Once the adoption process is complete, rights will be granted to certain parents. As with children born to a marriage, the parent is responsible for providing care and support for the child. The parent also has the right of making important decisions about the adoption child, including those regarding education, religion, and other aspects.
Sometimes, the parents adopt a child who is not biologically related to them. Sometimes, the stepparent adopts a child from the other parent. While the court might consider the biological connection and the length of time the step-parent has been a legal father to the child, this information is not necessarily binding in determining child custody.
After Divorce: Legal Rights and Responsibilities
These rights and obligations are not affected by divorce. Adoptive parents can receive joint custody or one parent could be granted primary custody. Some states make a distinction between legal custody which allows the parent to make decisions about the child’s welfare and physical custody. Both parents may retain full legal custody in most cases. However, one parent might have more physical custody.
Child Custody Decisions
Child custody decisions can be made in many ways, just like in cases involving children of the marriage. As part of a divorce settlement, parents may agree to custody arrangements. A judge will sign off on the agreement. Alternately, the parents might initially be in disagreement but reach an agreement via mediation. Finally, the case could be litigated. In this instance, the judge will decide who should have primary custody. This is based on the best interest of the child.
This standard is the same as it would for cases involving children born to the couple. The court can also make decisions regarding custody, child support, and parenting time.
Divorce during Adoption
Many adoptions involve a mother who isn’t in a stable relationship but wants her child to live with two parents. This condition may preclude her consent. The birth parents can decide to end the process if the adoptive parent divorces or separates before the adoption is finalized. The court that is handling the adoption may also consider the impact of the divorce on the child. The judge in these cases may decide that the adoption can be continued if the birth parents consent. One parent may then move forward with the adoption or deny it.
Intent to Divorce
The adoption could also be affected if the parents had already planned to divorce before the adoption was started or in the middle. The birth parent could claim that the adoptive parents were fraudulent or falsely represented that the child would be raised with two parents when in fact this was not the case. If fraud is found, adoptions can be declared null and void and the birth parent could be able to regain parental rights, check surrey bc divorce lawyer for more information.