Adoption is the legal process in which a non-biological parent gains the same legal rights he or she would have had as a biological parent. When a parent adopts a child the legal rights of one or both of the biological parents are usually terminated. A child who is adopted gains all the rights that a biological child would have including inheritance rights.

Common Adoption Scenarios

Stepparent Adoptions:

These are common adoptions which occur when one parent has remarried and the new spouse is interested in treating the child as his or her own child. Although these are common adoptions, these typically only occur when the other biological parent is not involved in the life of the child and in situations where the other biological parent’s rights can be terminated.

Putative Father Adoptions:

Idaho Code § 16-1513 requires a person who claims to be a father of a child born out of wedlock to make a filing with the State of Idaho in order to preserve his claim as father. Murray & Ziel, PLLC encounters two typical scenarios on a regular basis. One situation is when a father has not had any contact with a child and the mother marries another man who wants to adopt the child. Another common situation that our law firm sees occurs when an unwed mother consents to the adoption of a child and the biological father has not registered on the putative father registry. Our attorneys have also helped fathers to register to preserve their rights as a father.

Grandparent Adoptions:

These are becoming more and more common and occur when grandparents adopt grandchildren. Resources may be available in some circumstances to assist grandparents who are involved in grandchild adoptions. Agency Adoptions Agency adoptions are very common and occur when an agency (private or state) assists birth parents in connecting with adoptive parents. Parental Placement Adoptions A parental placement adoption is an adoption where a birth parent chooses a family to adopt a child. Interstate and International Adoptions Interstate adoptions involve adoptions where a child is born, or resides in another state, and then is adopted in Idaho. International adoptions occur when a child comes from a foreign country and brought to Idaho.

Adoptions Involving the Indian Child Welfare Act:

The Office of Indian Affairs states on its website that “[t]he purpose of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is ‘…to protect the best interest of Indian Children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families by the establishment of minimum Federal standards for the removal of Indian children and placement of such children in homes which will reflect the unique values of Indian culture…’”.

What is involved with adopting a child?

Each adoption is different and adoptions often have varying requirements depending on the type of adoption that is occurring. However, all adoption cases must go through the courts and require an appropriate petition to be filed. In every case the adopting parents must be able to show the court that they have followed the requirements imposed by the law for their particular type of adoption, that they have sufficient ability to raise the child and provide a suitable nurturing and education, that the adoption would advance the welfare and best interests of the child, and that the adoption parents are persons of good moral character. In many cases courts will require adopting parents to submit to additional requirements such as a home study.

How Murray & Ziel, PLLC Can Help:

The attorneys at Murray & Ziel, PLLC have extensive experience with stepparent, putative father, grandparent, agency, parental placement, interstate, and ICWA adoptions. Murray & Ziel, PLLC will use its experience to guide you through the adoption process and will strive to make it as effortless as possible for you. We can ensure that your paperwork is done correctly and that you have complied with all requirements imposed by the court for your particular type of adoption. We will attend court with you and we will answer your questions throughout the process. Murray & Ziel, PLLC takes pride in assisting families with their legal needs and considers it a privilege to help families with adoption.