Jay & Campbell

Reviewing Documents for Court

Should I have an attorney review my adoption paperwork before I sign?

Yes. The Department asks adoptive applicants to sign a form, titled, “Memorandum of Agreement.” Sometimes there are problems with this agreement, as one popular boilerplate form asks prospective adoptive parents to sign away rights that they are not obligated to give up. Here are some things for you to know:

First, longterm caregivers who have had custody

of a child for more than 9 months have the right to notice and a formal hearing before the Department removes a child from their care. If, for example, the Department chooses someone else adopt the child rather than the child’s current caregiver, the Department would have to set a court hearing and give the caregiver notice and the opportunity to argue their side before the Department may remove the child. Second, you may file a Petition For Adoption even if the Department has not given its “consent” for you to adopt. The above “agreement” could waive your right to notice and a hearing, as well as create an obstacle to adopting. You may also want our experienced adoption and dependency attorneys to assess your application for adoption subsidy. Jay & Campbell is a strong advocate for caregivers and will help you navigate the foster care system. To learn more, you may schedule a free consultation or call our offices 24/7 at 844-624-2361.