St. Louis, Missouri Adoption Attorneys
Are you a step-parent who wants to formally adopt your spouse’s child?
Are you a grandparent or other relative taking care of young children because the child’s parents can’t or won’t take care of them?
Is your grandchild, niece, or nephew counting on you to raise them?
Experienced Adoption Attorney
Adoption attorney Kathleen E. Shaul has handled adoption and guardianship cases for more than 17 years. She will help you understand and guide you through the adoption process including the home study, filing the Petition for Adoption, and representing you at all adoption hearings. Through adoption you can establish all of the legal rights and obligations which exist in a biological child-parent relationship, including the child’s rights to financial support and inheritance.
Step-parent Adoption. In most cases, a step-parent adoption is not difficult if the non-custodial biological parent consents to the adoption.
Grandparent Adoption. Adoption is not the only choice for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Grandparents may be able to get legal guardianship of their grandchildren when the biological parents are unable or unwilling to parent their children.
Inter-family Adoptions. There are strong inter-familial bonds which make family members want to take care of children in their extended family. For a grandparent or other relative to adopt a child, both parents must agree to give up their parental rights and consent to the adoption.
Unlike adoption, guardianships are not permanent arrangements and end when the child turns 18. If you would like to establish a legal guardianship of a child or a disabled adult, we can evaluate your situation and help you weigh the benefits and disadvantages of obtaining guardianship as opposed to adoption.
Grandparents Rights to Visitation
In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has narrowed the rights of grandparents to visit their grandchildren. If the child’s parents are alive and do not want the grandparent to see the children, the courts will not order visitation. In other circumstances, grandparents do have visitation rights, which may be affected by adoption of their grandchild by someone who is not a blood relative.