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Questions about Adoptive Parents’ Rights

Meghan Jones

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Adoption is a process in where the parental rights of a child are transferred from the birth parents to the new adoptive parents. After the procedure is completed, the adoptive parents get all the parental rights as if they were the child’s biological parents. This transfer of rights is often initiated by biological parents or in some cases, by the state. However, the state calls for action to terminate biological parents’ rights only in serious cases where it feels that the child’s life is in danger, the child is being neglected or abandoned. The rights of adoptive parents depend on individual circumstances and the law of adoptive parents’ rights may also seem unclear and give rise to certain legal questions such as the following:

Q. Can adoptive parents give up their parental rights?
The court always sees what is best for the child involved in a case of adoption. When someone volunteers to become a parent to a child and later requests that their rights are taken away, the court does not easily agree to do so. The court may assign a guardian to care for the child. The judge is also unlikely to not take away the adoptive parents’ rights if they are only trying to get rid of child support after divorce. They would have to convince the judge about why they are not capable of taking care of the child and why termination of rights would be best for the child.

Q. Can an adoptive parent give up their rights in order to avoid child support in Alaska?
They cannot give up their rights so easily. The other parent would have to file a petition to terminate their parental rights in the Alaskan court. The court will grant the permission to terminate the rights only if it feels that the reasons stated are just. If both parties are in agreement, then the termination of their rights is possible. However, if someone else steps in and takes the responsibility of parenting the child, it may help the termination case.

Q. Does an adopted child have to be included in the will in the state of California?
In California, there is no rule that says that the adopted child must be included in the will of an adoptive parent. So adopted children along with others can be left out of the will since a will is usually seen as a personal wish of an individual to distribute his or her property only to those who they believe are fit . The spouses receive the inheritance by default most of the times.

Q. Are there any provisions for someone feels that they have signed an open adoption under pressure?
If someone feels that they were forced or pressurized to sign an open adoption then they can cancel the agreement legally. However, they would need to prove that they were forced or under pressure. They are also allowed to file an order to cancel the agreement and wait for the court to pass judgment.

Q. If adoptive parents give up their rights, can they be charged with neglect?
Once the adoption process is completed, the adoptive parents are fully responsible for the child and they cannot give up the child anytime they wish. If the parents is a couple, then one parent can give up his or her parental rights to the other but cannot abandon the child altogether. The court will have to decide what is best for the child; hence the parent who wishes to give up his or her rights will have to present a strong case to convince the court that it is not best for the child to continue living with them or with either of the parents. Also, the court doesn’t allow the parents to give up their parental rights unless there is another person who is willing to take care of the child.

Adoption is not such an easy process. It has many complications that need to be resolved carefully. Questions on child rearing and parental rights also come up. Thus, understanding and being aware of adoptive parents’ rights is extremely important. It is also the first step you need to take before adopting a child. If you need to know more about adoptive parental rights or want to ask specific questions related to adoption, you can ask a Family Lawyer online for their expert advice.


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