Family law cases involving adoption primarily concern those instances in which some party is attempting to adopt a child, but is encountering difficulty or resistance for some reason. Adoption is not a process that is taken lightly by the government, as it can determine whether or not children grow up in stable, good homes, or are abused. If an adoptive parent does not meet the criteria of the government for being able to adopt a child, then the adoptive parent will be denied. Thus, some cases in family law adoption involve adoptive parents who are suing for the ability to adopt a child.
All instances of adoption will require court approval in some fashion. This means that any parent attempting to perform a family law adoption, must petition a court for the right to adopt the child in question. Family law adoption involves civil courts, and will involve an adoption hearing by the court to determine the fitness of the prospective parents to adopt a child.
When there are other parties who must consent to an adoption before hand, family law adoption laws dictate that those parties must receive notice of the hearing. Family law cases of greater contention may arise if, when notified, these parties do not consent to the adoption, or attempt to contest the adoption after receiving notice of the hearing.
The parties that might need to give consent to a family law adoption include: the biological parents of the child to be adopted, assuming they haven’t already lost legal rights as parents of the child; the adoption agency that helped to set up the adoption; the legal representation of the child being adopted, if the child has such a legal representative; and, depending upon the age of the child, the child him or herself.
The hearing will allow the judge to determine if the family law adoption in question is in the child’s best interests. Family law cases in which the judge does agree to grant the adoption to the would-be adoptive parents ,involve the judge issuing a final decree of adoption, which officially legalizes the adoptive parents as the child’s parents.
An adoption petition needs to contain all the necessary information for the adoption process when submitted. It must include the names of the parents pursuing the family law adoption, along with a statement of why and how the parents in question are suited to adopt the child, and a statement that the adoption would be for the good of the child.
The petition must also include the reason that the original parents are having their rights to the child terminated. In most family law cases, this is simply because the original parents have consented to give up those rights, and a form indicating as much is normally submitted along with the adoption petition.
As earlier mentioned, when a given party does contest the adoption, then the proceeding may go to a full court trial, as the would-be adoptive parents sue for authority to adopt the child in the face of the objections from other parties.