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Starting the Wisconsin adoption process is an exciting milestone for any expanding family, but it may also be scary due to the complexities of the regulations.
Those who deal with our firm will be assigned their own adoption attorney who will assist them at every stage of the process. You will collaborate closely with our experienced to ensure that your adoption is conducted in accordance with all Wisconsin adoption regulations.
However, you may wish to conduct your own research to become acquainted with Wisconsin's crucial adoption legislation. This post will give you with some useful information to help you get started. Please keep in mind that nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice; you should always speak with a Wisconsin adoption lawyer about your specific situation.
Meanwhile, here are five key Wisconsin adoption laws to keep in mind:
1. Adoption Requirements in Wisconsin
First and foremost, every prospective adoptive parent should ensure that they are legally qualified to adopt in Wisconsin. Wisconsin law allows residents to adopt as follows:
- A married couple adopting together
- A stepparent
- An adult who is not married
Minimum qualifications for foster and adoptive parents in Wisconsin include:
- You must be at least 21 years old
- You must have enough money to meet your financial obligations
- You must sufficient space for the minor
- You must complete the necessary training
- You must pass background checks
For additional information on the standards you'll need to meet to adopt in Wisconsin, talk to your adoption attorney. Remember that different adoption agencies have different requirements for hopeful adoptive families; you must also meet the requirements of your specific adoption agency.
2. Consent Laws in Wisconsin Adoption
According to Wisconsin adoption regulations, the birth parent's rights must be officially terminated before hopeful parents can adopt a child. Your child's biological mother will may need to be represented by her own adoption attorney, who will walk her through the steps necessary to legally consent to the adoption.
Here's what you should know about Wisconsin's adoption consent laws:
- After the birth of the child, the birth mother can file a petition for voluntary termination of her parental rights.
- Within 30 days of the petitioner's submission, a hearing will be held.
- The parent must attend the hearing to consent to the adoption, or the court may accept written approval submitted before the proper authority.
- A birth father can sign a written, notarized statement consenting to the adoption.
Your state's consent rules may differ depending on your adoption situation. If the child you are adopting has Native American ancestry, for example, his or her birth parents may need to complete additional adoption standards. Your adoption attorney will explain what to expect in the hospital and during the formal consent procedure.
3. Adoption Expense Laws in Wisconsin
Wisconsin adoption regulations govern the costs that adoptive parents might incur during the adoption process. Adoptive parents in Wisconsin are allowed to pay for the following expenditures for their prospective birth mother:
- Services for pre-adoption and post-adoption therapy
- Up to $300 in maternity wear
- Pregnancy and adoption-related transportation
- Pregnancy and birth-related medical and hospital care
- The child's medical and hospital treatment
- Legal representation for both the child and the birth parents
- If necessary, living expenses up to $5,000 can be paid to safeguard the baby's and birth mother's health.
- Classes on childbirth
- A gift of up to $100 to the birth mother
- An adoption agency's services include: Costs of doing a home inquiry
At the time of the adoption hearing, adoptive parents must give a financial accounting to the court. An itemized list of all payments made or promised to be made in connection with the adoption should be included in the report. More information regarding submitting adoption expenses to the court can be obtained from your adoption attorney.
4. Adoption Advertising Laws in Wisconsin
Many prospective adoptive parents are unaware that Wisconsin adoption regulations govern the use of advertising in the adoption process. These laws will affect how you market your family to expectant moms who are contemplating adoption.
Because adoption advertising laws, like other adoption rules, can be complicated, it's essential to speak with an adoption attorney before looking for an adoption opportunity or announcing your desire to adopt a child.
5. Wisconsin's Adoption Laws Concerning Birth Fathers
The regulations governing the rights of birth fathers in adoption are among the most complicated of all Wisconsin adoption laws. Every birth father situation is different, and how the birth father's rights are handled varies from case to case.
Your baby's birth mother may choose to include your baby's father in her adoption plan if he is known and supportive of the adoption. This means you may be able to meet him, learn more about him and his background, and maintain a contact with him after he has been placed through open adoption.
If he is unknown, uninvolved, or opposed to the adoption, he may need to take particular legal steps to establish and maintain his paternal rights over the child. If he fails to do so, his approval and involvement in the adoption may not be required.
The rights of an alleged birth father in the adoption process are influenced by a variety of individual factors. Your adoption attorney will be able to better clarify the rights and responsibilities of the birth father in your situation.
Request a consultation with an attorney. Call our office at (630) 324-6666 or schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers today. You can also fill out our confidential contact form and we will get back to you shortly.
To learn about recent changes to Iowa adoption laws, click here.