How Do You Adopt a Child in Nevada?

Adoption is the legal process that happens when a person or a couple legally and fully take over parental responsibilities for a minor from the child’s legal or biological parent or parents. To adopt in Nevada, the first step is scheduling a consultation with a Las Vegas adoption lawyer.

Adoption is one of the most joyous events that families experience. Every year, over 100,000 children are adopted in the U.S. If you want to adopt, you may encounter some unexpected legal challenges, but the right lawyer can guide you through the complicated adoption process.

How Will an Attorney Help You?

Adoptions are permanent. A Las Vegas adoption attorney can discuss adoption with you and help you understand – and overcome – the legal and procedural difficulties that potential adoptive parents may face. Adoption in Nevada can be a simple legal process, but it usually isn’t.

If you are trying to adopt a foster child, a stepchild, or another child who is related to you, you should work with a Nevada family law attorney to ensure that the adoption is compliant with the law and that no legal problems will arise in the future.

If you are adopting a child who is unrelated to you, or if you are adopting a child from another country, you should have an attorney’s help from the beginning, because the adoption process will be even more complicated.

What Are the Different Options for Adoption in Nevada?

Every family and every child is unique. When you meet with a Las Vegas adoption lawyer, that lawyer can discuss the following options for adoption and help you determine the option that is best for you, your family, and the child:

  1.  A closed adoption seals the records of the child’s biological parents and keeps the adoption process confidential.
  2.  An open adoption allows a child’s birth parents to remain in contact with the child’s adoptive parents.
  3.  A “related” adoption can be made by a stepparent, a grandparent, or in some cases, a sibling.
  4.  A “non-related” adoption is an adoption that is made by an individual or couple unrelated to the child.
  5.  Private adoptions are made when the adoptive parents know the child and his or her biological parent or parents.
  6.  An agency adoption is an adoption made by an individual or a couple working with a private adoption agency.

Who Qualifies to Adopt a Child in Nevada?

To adopt in Nevada, a child’s biological parent or parents must consent in writing or a court must terminate their parental rights. An adoptive parent must be a Nevada resident, complete a written application for adoption, and be at least 21 years old and at least ten years older than the child.

However, a Nevada court may waive the age requirements if a sibling, stepparent, uncle or aunt, or first cousin is the prospective adoptive parent and if the court also believes that the adoption is both in the public’s interest as well as in the best interests of the child.

Additionally in Nevada, if the child to be adopted is more than 14 years old, the child’s consent to the adoption will be required.

What Else is Required Prior to an Adoption?

Those who want to adopt in Nevada must prove that they are fit and proper to act as parents and that the adoption is in the child’s best interests. They must take part in a home study that includes a home inspection conducted by a state or county agency or a private child-placing agency.

A court may waive the home study requirement if a prospective adoptive parent is related to the child within the third degree of consanguinity (such as a grandparent, sibling, uncle, or aunt). The adoptive parents also must provide fingerprints and undergo criminal background checks.

What Else Should Prospective Adoptive Parents Know?

You don’t need to be affluent or own your own home to adopt a child in Nevada. However, you must show that you can provide a stable home and a safe environment that facilitates and supports a child’s mental and physical health as well as the child’s educational and social needs.

It is not easy to adopt a child in the State of Nevada. The state imposes a number of legal requirements because lawmakers and courts want to make sure that children are placed only with stable and responsible adoptive parents.

When you decide to adopt a child, meet first with a Las Vegas family law attorney. A family law attorney will know what will be required of you, what you can expect, and how to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes that could unnecessarily delay the adoption process.

What Should You Know About International Adoptions?

Children all over the world need homes and families. In an international adoption, the legal requirements of both nations must be met, and the prospective adoptive parents must obtain an immigrant visa for the child from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

After USCIS issues that immigrant visa, the child automatically becomes a U.S. citizen upon arriving in the United States. Those who want to adopt a child from another nation should have the insights and advice of an adoption attorney who routinely handles international adoptions.

The international adoption process can be frustrating and lengthy. Rules for international adoptions are complicated, and a judge, lawyer, or birth parent in the other nation can sometimes disrupt the entire process. Before you make any final choices about international adoption, discuss the process with an attorney who has substantial experience with international adoptions.

How Does Fuller Law Practice Help Prospective Adoptive Parents?

If you are ready to adopt a child in Nevada, or if you need to learn more about adoption and the adoption process, consult Las Vegas adoption attorney Rebecca Fuller at Fuller Law Practice for the legal advice and services you will need.

Provided that you meet Nevada’s basic requirements for adoption, attorney Rebecca Fuller will help you get past the legal barriers so that adoption becomes a joyful event for you, your family, and your adopted child. The team at Fuller Law Practice has been advising and helping families and prospective adoptive parents in and near the Las Vegas area for more than seventeen years.

Award-winning Nevada attorney Rebecca A. Fuller is the mother of two, so she understands that there is nothing more important than children and parenthood. If you’re considering adoption, schedule a consultation by calling Fuller Law Practice at 702-935-4144, and let us work for you.