Adoption is a legal process that establishes a relationship between a parent and a child that is recognized by law. After an adoption occurs, the new parent is legally and morally responsible for the child in every way. The adoptive parent may be either a blood relation to the child or have absolutely no relationship at all prior to the adoption proceeding. Once an adoption is final, the child becomes a permanent member of the new family and the biological parents lose all parental rights and responsibilities.
WHO CAN APPLY FOR ADOPTION?
Essentially anyone, whether related by blood or not, can petition to adopt a child. However, once a child reaches 14, he must consent to the adoption.
AM I ENTITLED TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION?
Yes. You always have the right to be represented in a legal proceeding. If you are the parent of a child in an adoption proceeding who opposes the adoption, and you are unable to afford an attorney, one will be provided to you free of charge by the Assigned Counsel Program.