Springfield, MO Adoption Attorney
The lawyers with Van Pelt & Van Pelt, P.C. emphasize personal attention to their clients’ adoption process, with the knowledge of details necessary to answer questions. The attorneys are able to skillfully deal with the legal issues which arise in order to complete a secure adoption.
Kay Van Pelt is a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, a national organization of attorneys who are experienced in the complexities of adoption law as well as the interstate & international regulations surrounding adoption.
What kinds of adoption do you handle?
We handle all kinds of adoption including private independent placement adoptions, adoptions in which the client is adopting through a licensed child placing agency, including Misosuri Children’s Division, and stepparent adoptions. We also represent adoptive parents who are working with an agency on an international adoption.
What is the difference between private independent placement adoptions and agency adoptions?
In an agency adoption, agencies work with birth mothers who contact them to find an adoptive home for their child. The birth mother (and perhaps father) consents to termination of their parental rights and the legal custody of the child is placed with the agency. Prospective adoptive parents who are working with this agency are considered as a possible placement for the child. The services of an attorney are necessary in an agency placement to ensure that all legal aspects of the adoption are being considered prior to birth and to ensure a secure completion of the adoption in the courts.
In a private independent placement adoption the adoptive parents are selected by the birth mother before her parental rights are terminated, usually during pregnancy. After birth, the birth mother (and father) sign Consents for the selected adoptive parents to adopt their child and the child is placed with the selected family. An agency is not involved with the placement process, so an attorney assists in the placement process to make sure all the necessary steps are taken for a successful adoption.
Can a birth mother (or father) change his or her mind and take the child from the adoptive parents?
In an adoption in Missouri, the birth parents can not revoke a proper Consent they have signed after it has been approved by the court, unless they can prove fraud or duress in the taking of the Consent. Therefore, it is very important that the Consent be properly drafted and taken in a proper manner to allow for very little risk to the adoptive parents. Also, it is very important that Consents be taken from all necessary persons or that parental rights are dealt with in some other proper legal manner. If Consents can not be obtained, it is imperative that an experienced adoption lawyer review the facts to determine the legal steps which must be taken to deal with these issues as early in the process as possible.
How can I adopt a child from another state?
When the child is born or resides in a state which is different from the adoptive parents, the adoptive parents can not leave the child’s state with the child until requirements of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) are complied with. The ICPC require the parties to comply with the laws of both states, and require the adoptive parents to file the necessary additional paperwork to meet ICPC requirements. Therefore, it is important to have an attorney handle your case who has experience with interstate adoptions.