NYC Adoption Lawyers

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Adoption in New York is not as simple as going to an adoption agency and choosing a child to become part of your family. An adoption proceeding is a very serious matter in the state of New York. The state has set forth specific guidelines for prospective parents to meet before any adoption can actually be finalized, and the results of this adoption priority will be scrutinized in detail by the state before an adoption is completed. All prospective adoptive parents are required to complete an orientation and home study before even meeting an available minor child, unless the applicants already have a specific child in mind, as the state determines suitability of the child to the home. After an adoption appears to be on course for approval, it will then take an experienced and effective adoption attorney to represent the case in court when the final ruling is issued. In addition, there is financial assistance available when the child qualifies through various determinations by the state, such as a disability or being classified as a “hard to place” child. Qualifying the child as a difficult placement can be a challenge in some instances. As subsidies are not automatically applied to all adoptions, having an experienced attorney handling your adoption case means that all necessary requirements will be completed when the court finally is ready to make a decision, including qualifying the adopted child for some form of financial need. In addition, subsidies are also often available on a one-time basis to cover legal fees and court costs, but applying parents should be aware of these expenses.

Orientation and Home Study
The first step in the adoption process is orientation which must be completed before the potential adopting parent can begin choosing the right adoption service. All adoption services are certified by the state and will be in charge of the home study that is performed after the Application for Adoption is officially on file. The application will include a complete medical history and criminal background check, including being cleared through the state Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment for prior issues. Very often families adopt more than one child or have had an adopted child previously and there will be a prior history of home placement. This can also be a positive part of the process when a prior adoption has been successful because it establishes a solid opportunity for the adoption to be granted. It can also be one of the most difficult components as well, and many individuals who may think they want to adopt a child will decide they are not ready. This may also include a trial period that allows the adoptive child to live in the home for a short period under state supervision. While the state will have considerable input into the decision, it also helps to consult with an attorney because of the potential legalities involved in the adoption decision.

Subsidies and Medical Coverage
There are financial subsidies available to many adopting parents based on the medical evaluation and placement difficulty rating by the state. While disabilities are usually approved because of supporting medical documentation, determining if a child is “hard-to-place” can be difficult. Many times they qualify on both accounts, but those that are borderline situations may require the legal expertise of an experienced adoption attorney who can help discuss the case in specific detail. Children often qualify by age alone when they are older, but younger children could also potentially covered by financial assistance when a qualifying situation is documented as well. Your attorney can help ensure that all of the your rights to assistance are respected, including the rights of the children. One aspect of an adoption that many do not realize is the rights of the child, and the court understands well they are advocating for the adopted child as well as issuing a final decision. Many children are also eligible for medical assistance through Medicaid or the state health agency, and your attorney can help with ensuring eligibility. These benefits are normally required to be completed before the adoption is finalized, but post subsidies can still be awarded.