Adoptions are a complicated legal process, which can get even more confusing when birth and adoptive parents live in different states. An adoption attorney can help the entire adoption process moves smoothly by ensuring your adoption is legally binding, your wishes are followed and your parental rights are protected.
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More and more U.S. adoptions involve older children where the birth parents and adoptive parents know one another. But these same adoption situations can also raise child custody issues.

Adoption vs. Child Custody

Every day, people across the country find themselves wrestling with child custody and adoption issues.

Imagine the stepparent who wants to adopt his or her stepchild. That action requires a birth parent to either relinquish his or her parental rights or fight for custody.

Countless grandparents are raising their grandchildren. There comes a time when many grandparents ask themselves: Should we pursue legal guardianship of our grandchildren or formally adopt them? Absentee parents may object to the idea of adoption and try to regain custody of their children.

And the refusal of some states to allow second-parent adoption causes problems for both same-sex parents and unmarried couples who split up. Suddenly the non-biological parent has to fight for custody of a child that's not his or hers in the eyes of the law.

Working With Adoption & Child Custody Attorneys

Adoption can formalize a parental relationship that already exists between an adult and child. But adoption--or the failure to adopt--may lead to child custody issues down the road.

If you find yourself in one of these situations, it is always smart to have an experienced child custody at your side. With a lawyer's assistance, you can protect and vigorously advocate for your rights throughout the adoption and child custody process.

An adoption or child custody lawyer can:

  • Explain your legal rights and responsibilities as either a biological parent or prospective adoptive parent
  • Explain your legal options, and the pros and cons of each choice
  • Represent you in court and advocate on your behalf
  • Help negotiate an acceptable child custody arrangement or adoption agreement with the other parental figures in the child's life

Whether you're a biological parent whose rights are being challenged or an adult raising someone else's child as your own, adoption lawyers and child custody attorneys can help you reach a solution that's best for children, their parents and their guardians.

Find a Local Child Custody Attorney