Adoption & Paternity

Adoption

New York  Adoption Attorneys

Welcoming a child into your family through adoption is one of the most joyous events you can experience, but the legal process that makes it happen can be anything but. For couples both heterosexual and same-sex, married and unmarried, and for grandparents, step parents, and anyone else interested in adoption, New York has a rigorous set of requirements.

Agency or private placement?

The first major choice in an adoption is whether to go through an agency or use private placement. Agencies help the adopting parents find a child and facilitate the interactions between the adopting parents and birth parents.

In a private placement adoption, the adopting parents typically locate the child or birth parents on their own—through personal relationships, online resources, advertising, and many other different ways. The adoptive parents and birth parents will generally each work with an attorney to ensure that their legal interests are protected and that the adoption meets all of the state’s  requirements.

Home Study Report

Whether you’re using an agency or going through private placement for your adoption, you will need to petition the court for the right to adopt. The court will choose whether or not to certify you after you’ve had a Home Study Report.

During a Home Study Report, a social worker will meet with you and your family at your home to get a sense of who you are and what kind of environment the child will be joining. This is to ensure that the child is put in the best situation possible.

The Law Offices of Elizabeth A Douglas, PLLC can guide  you through the adoption process and prepare you and your family for your Home Study.  Whether you’re ready to move forward or you’re just thinking about adoption, our attorneys are here to help and guide you every step of the way. Call us to schedule a custom tailored consultation and we’ll help you create a plan that works for you and your family.

Paternity

Establishing Paternity

Who’s your daddy? In New York State, a child born within a marriage is legally presumed to be the child of both spouses. In the event that the parents are unmarried, the couples can file an Acknowledgment of Paternity–which is a special form provided by the State of New York that can be used to declare paternity. While this Acknowledgement can be completed while still at the hospital, it can also be done anywhere else as long as the signing is done in front of a witness and in the presence of a Notary Public before being filed with the proper governmental agency. All parents should be aware that signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity waives your right to seek a DNA test at a later time. The acknowledgment will have the same force and effect as a court order of paternity.

Consequences of a Paternity Finding

There are numerous consequences of a paternity finding. In terms of the welfare of the child, it affects access to Social Security, veteran’s, inheritance, health care and life insurance benefits. It also provides a more comprehensive family medical history, assisting in the medical care of the child throughout the child’s life.

A paternity finding can afford the father custody or visitation rights.Child support can also be obtained or denied based on a determination of paternity. At the Law Offices of Elizabeth A. Douglas, PLLC we will make sure that you attain the smoothest resolution possible. If there is any doubt about the parentage of a child,