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Every family has some things in common: love, affection, and support. But not every family shares DNA. For non-traditional and blended families, the idea of living mutually supportive but legally separate lives can cause stress. And if that family ever breaks apart, the results can be heartbreaking to children and parents alike. That’s why adoption is so important.
Lisa J. Schmidt of Schmidt Law Services, PLLC, represents clients who want to protect their families by adopting a child. Whether you are a foster parent looking to formalize a placement, or an LGBT family seeking to protect your rights, the adoption process can bring legal support to your household.
Some families are put together by the courts. If you have been appointed a guardian or foster parent of a child, you and your child could face years of uncertainty as the courts attempt to reunify the child with his or her birth parents. But when termination is final, you have a choice. You may choose to make your foster situation permanent by adopting your ward. Schmidt Law Services can help you navigate the system and create the permanent family your child so desperately needs.
Not every birth mother is ready or able to be a parent. Sometimes, the family is simply waiting for the baby to arrive so they can become the parents the child needs. If your family has made arrangements to take on an unwanted child, Schmidt Law Services can help make it official. Direct placement adoptions are available to individuals and married couples who take on the care of children unrelated to them without the aid of an adoption agency.
When a birth parent can no longer handle the job of parenting, that role often falls to a relative. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members often step in to care for the child. But without the legal standing to back it up, these arrangements can spell disaster when the child attempts to enroll in school or has a major medical situation. Schmidt Law Services can help you ensure that the right relative has the authority to make decisions for the child.
Increasingly, marriage comes with a family, not just a spouse. While many families are happy to carry on as step-parents (especially when the non-custodial parent is active in a child’s life), other times, a more formal arrangement is necessary. Schmidt Law Services can help terminate the inactive parent’s rights and unite your family through a step-parent adoption.
For gay and lesbian couples, second parent adoption is even more important. The laws around gay marriage and LGBT family issues are changing rapidly. But without the protection of legal parental rights, a spouse, partner, or equitable parent could end up cut off. By using a second parent adoption in conjunction with a known donor contract or (in very limited cases) a surrogacy agreement, gay and lesbian families can ensure that all of their parental rights will be protected.
Maybe you aren’t ready to be a parent. Maybe your life has turned in another direction. Maybe you can’t afford to support your kid. Maybe your child is better off with the family he or she has now. There are many reasons why a person may voluntarily waive his or her parental rights. Under Michigan law, a parent wanting to avoid court must have independent legal representation before he or she can sign off on an adoption.
Lisa J. Schmidt will explain your rights and obligations as a parent and help you make the tough decision whether or not to give up your child. By hiring Schmidt Law Services as your independent counsel, you can avoid the time and embarrassment of a court hearing and make the decision quietly, on your own time, in private.
Adoption is never an easy process. You can easily find yourself in over your head in paperwork and procedures. Don’t go it alone. Contact Lisa J. Schmidt of Schmidt Law Services, PLLC. She’ll help you protect your family and your rights.