Anyone can petition to adopt a child, as long as they are 10 years older than the child. If the child is above the age of 14, their consent is required. Additionally, written consent must be given by the biological/legal parents, unless they are deceased, deemed insane, or their parental rights have been terminated.
Parents may also relinquish custody of a child to the Division of Child & Family Services, or a licensed adoption agency. This is consent to adoption, but without reference to a specific person to whom consent to adopt is given.
Should a child be adopted, all familial ties to the natural parents’ other relatives, such as grandparents, are terminated unless the third parties had court-ordered rights established prior to the adoption. Any agreement between natural parents and adoptive parents are unenforceable unless set out in the decree of adoption.
Attorney Maryam Vasek truly enjoys helping families finalize adoption cases and they are her favorite types of cases to handle.