So my wife is well on her way to citizenship. Just waiting for the interview now. While we are waiting, I figured I would start researching what needs to be done to adopt her son as mine. I understand that it's easier to do once he becomes a US Citizen. He will obtain that once my wife becomes a citizen.
What else is needed? I'm sure I'll have to file some paperwork with the courts, probably get a lawyer and such. What kind of lawyer? Any 'ol adoption lawyer or see if I can find one that specializes in "foreign" adoptions?
Anyone know how much I should be expecting for this? Or how long such a process would take?
Any insights are appreciated.
Stepchild adoptions are the most common in the U.S. (and probably in other Western countries as well). Some countries, Afghanistan, for example, do not have legal adoptions, FWIW.
Having said that, Bruce is correct in that the requirements vary in difficulty, by State. I suspect that there are no regulations against doing your own paperwork, but without court experience and ability to weather court judge requirements, attorney assistance is recommended.
I used to work for California's adoption agency (State level) and we routinely received requests for information or help on parents doing their own adoption paperwork. After studying the requirements (Home Studies, relationship of legal staff with local judge, Relinquishment of Parent Rights, etc.), we routinely advised parents to hire a recommended attorney to handle this. It is "bread and butter" attorney work and averages $3,000 to $5,000, plus government or agency fees.
Edited by Mr. Lee, 11 November 2017 - 09:39 AM.