Family Law and Adoption
Divorce and separation of unmarried domestic partners is one of the most difficult times a person faces in their life. Handling these cases effectively involves technical knowledge and know-how as well as empathy and understanding of the personal challenges faced by clients.
In today’s environment, there are often interested family participants beyond husband and wife. These include stepparents, grandparents, and relatives who have developed a strong parental relationship with children who are not their own. We have addressed a variety of familial situations through adoption, guardianship, third party custody, and creative parenting plans.
Navigating the legal system in the family law area requires experience and creativity. The courts are backlogged with cases and having the right attorney who knows how to navigate the system can make the difference between frustration and resolution. We frequently utilize mediation and negotiation as a first step and the great majority of our family cases are settled outside of court. We have the skill, expertise, and respect in the legal community which is required to negotiate effective settlements of family cases.
Adoption can be the most challenging yet satisfying experience in a parent’s life. Albertazzi Law Firm offers a variety of services in this area including stepparent adoption at reasonable rates and independent adoptions.
Adoption can be fraught with risk, red tape, paperwork, and tricky legalities. We will help you understand the adoption process, follow state and federal laws, explain your rights, and develop a secure legal plan.
Adoption Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I want to adopt my wife’s children, but I was in some criminal trouble when I was younger. Will that affect the adoption?
A: As part of the adoption process, the State of Oregon will require a criminal background check. If your criminal history did not involve child abuse or violence, it will probably not be a problem. Your attorney can help you by doing a background check in advance and dealing with any possible problems before filing the adoption petition. For example, you may be able to have your criminal record expunged (removed from the public record). Ultimately, the judge will decide whether to allow the adoption. If your criminal history is of concern, the State may require a “home study” which involves an investigation of your current living situation as it relates to the safety of the child you plan to adopt. Your attorney will assist you through the entire process.
Q: My new husband would like to adopt my child from a previous relationship. The father has not been involved in the child's life. Does the birth father need to consent to the adoption?
A: In most situations where the birth parent has had very limited contact with the child, an adoption may be done without the birth parent’s consent. The law provides a procedure for allowing adoptions where the birth parent has shown little or no interest in the child. When the father is not even aware that the child was born, there may be a process completed without notice to the birth parent. The birth parent’s obligation to pay future child support may be terminated when an adoption is completed. In many cases, this is an incentive for the birth parent to cooperate with an adoption.
See our Family Law Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.