Adoption Law in St. Louis
Although not fitting into the two general categories of Juvenile Court cases, most county courts in Missouri handle adoption cases in their juvenile court division.
Although finalizing an adoption is almost always a joyful event, the process and/or events leading to adoption often are tragic.
Regardless of why or how an adoption is sought, welcoming a new member to your family is an exciting time. Those wanting to adopt a child have a difficult legal process to follow.
Whether you want to adopt a stepchild or other relative, or are interested in traditional adoption, a skilled attorney can help.
Stepparent adoptions commonly occur when a parent remarries and the new spouse wishes to adopt their child.
Often times, the other parent is absent from the child’s life and the stepparent wants to take on the legal rights and responsibilities of parenting.
Grandparent adoptions are often pursued when a child’s parents are physically and/or financially unable to provide for their child, or have not provided sufficient care, or the parent is in trouble with the law, most often drug or substance abuse related.
Tragically, some adoptions follow the death of a parent.
Independent Private Adoptions
An independent private adoption grants a person, or couple, legal parentage of a child after the birth parents voluntarily give up their parental rights.
Before you can assume legal responsibility for a child, the child’s parents must first terminate their own parental rights.
Often times, the termination of parental rights is a formality, but in many cases involving abuse or neglect, it can be necessary for a court to terminate parental rights.
Cavanagh and Associates can assist you in understanding the rights and obligations you will assume as you seek to adopt your child and establish your legal status as the parent of your child.