Experienced Washington D.C. Adoption Lawyer Advises Prospective Parents

Attentive DC law firm helps clients with domestic and international placements

Opening your heart and home to a child is a lifelong joy. Whether you are ready to expand your family or are just starting to seriously consider adoption, having a trusted and committed family lawyer at your side is of the utmost importance. Since 1978, the law office of Joel W. Anders in Washington D.C. has earned the trust of individuals and families throughout the DC metro area. Our firm’s attorney guides hopeful parents through the legal requirements of U.S. and foreign adoptions.

Caring attorney offers guidance during DC metro area adoption processes

The laws of the District of Columbia and Maryland respect the gravity of the decision to permanently expand one’s family. Accordingly, each maintains extensive requirements to ensure that adoption is in the best interest of the child.

The official first step of adoption is to file a petition with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or a Circuit Court in Maryland. Once the application is initiated, adoptive parents will need to submit substantial paperwork, attend hearings and cooperate with investigations of their parental fitness, including a home study. Final steps include receiving official adoption documents and the child’s amended birth certificate.

Our firm’s family law attorney provides thoughtful guidance and reliable representation through the entire adoption process. We can also answer your questions about the legal implications of different types of adoption, including:

  • Public or private — Both Washington D.C. and Maryland use a foster-to-adopt system for public adoptions. Navigating the foster system can be tricky, particularly if biological parents still maintain some parental rights. In private adoptions, adoptive parents are able to communicate with the expecting biological parents either directly or through an agency. Adoptive parents may be asked to share detailed information to help biological parents decide to whom they are willing to give up parental rights.
  • Open or closed — Determining whether an adoption will be open or closed has lifelong implications for your child. If you choose an open adoption or semi-open adoption, in which the birth mother and possibly other family members maintain contact with the child, a written agreement will set forth each party’s rights.
  • Newborn or adolescent — A child who is up for adoption needs to legally consent to the adoption if he or she is 14 years or older in the District of Columbia, or 10 years or older in Maryland.

Wherever you are in the process, we are prepared to meet you and help you avoid unnecessary complications through this sometimes stressful endeavor.

Knowledgeable adviser represents parents who adopt from overseas

Adopting a child from outside the U.S. requires compliance with the laws of your state, the federal government and the country from which you will adopt. Once you are able to bring your child home, you will go through separate processes to obtain his or her citizenship or permanent resident status.

Undertaking an international adoption can require great amounts of patience and determination, and so it is important to put careful consideration into choosing the adoption agency and lawyer with whom you will work. We will be your advocates and advisers for the entirety of your adoption journey. Our goal is to help you give your child a warm, safe and loving environment.

Contact a dedicated DC metro area adoption attorney to schedule a free initial consultation

Located in Washington D.C., the law firm of Joel W. Anders guides DC and Maryland parents through foreign and domestic adoptions. To set up a free initial consultation, call 202-466-4334 or contact us online.


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