Through an adoption, a parent-child relationship is established between a child and someone who is not the child’s biological parent. Often, as part of an adoption, a biological parents’ legal rights and relationship with the child are terminated.
For all legal purposes, adoptive parents are substituted into the place of the biological parents. They become legally responsible for the child. After an adoption decree is signed, the child's birth certificate is changed: Biological parents’ names are removed; Adoptive parents’ names take their place.
The formal procedure by which a legal adoption occurs differs from state to state. The procedures also vary depending on the type of adoption.
Step-parent adoptions are the most common adoptions we handle. Other common scenarios we address include: