Adoption Expenses - Attorney and Court Costs

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All domestic adoptions must be finalized in a state court or, for some Native American children, in an Indian Tribal court. Many international adoptions are finalized in the child's country of origin; however, in some cases, the international adoption must be finalized in this country. Even when the adoption is finalized in the birth country, many families choose to finalize in the United States so they can share that important day with family and friends, in addition to getting a birth certificate in English. Your international adoption agency should be able to tell you where the finalization needs to occur. As stated previously, it's important that foreign-born adopted children become naturalized citizens of the United States.

For a child to be legally adopted, the biological parents must voluntarily and legally relinquish their parental rights, or the courts must involuntarily terminate their rights. The adoptive parents are not responsible for these court costs. However, in some international and independent adoptions, the adoptive parents may have to pay the legal costs of terminating the rights of the biological parent(s). It is very important to be sure that the parental rights of both biological parents have been relinquished or terminated before you adopt a child. The adoption cases that have received media attention and "movie-of-the-week" notoriety often result from parental rights not being correctly terminated. When a child is adopted, the court creates a new legal relationship between the child and the adoptive parents.
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