Billingham Law - Practice Areas - Adoption

Practice Areas

We are dedicated in helping our clients understand the complex texture of the law. We believe in helping our clients protect themselves and their families’ interest and safeguarding the future of their children through hard work and ongoing communication. In order to do that, we provide representation to clients in the areas listed to the right.

Adoption

To adopt a minor child, you must terminate the parental rights of the other parent or both parents. In other words, if a step-father is adopting his step-child, the natural father’s parental rights must be terminated and if a couple is adopting a child; the parental right of both natural parents must be terminated. This can be done voluntarily (and often is) or involuntarily (very difficult). With termination, the adoption can proceed and involves a Social Study, background check, etc. When a person adopts a child, they become the child’s parent for all purposes and the child’s old birth certificate is removed and another birth certificate replaces it listing the adopting parent as if he and/or she were the child’s parents at birth. Adoption records are always sealed.

It is possible to adopt an adult and it is easier because the parental rights of the natural parent are not terminated. I have been involved in many adoptions wherein the step-parent was more of a parent than the natural parent, but we had no grounds to terminate the rights of the natural parent. When the child turned eighteen, he or she was adopted by the step-parent and since the rights of the natural parent were not terminated, he or she had two fathers and/or mothers.