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Patrick Long Law Firm, PC.

When it comes to modifying a family law court order, child support, custody, and visitation can generally be modified. Alimony and asset division, on the other hand, normally cannot be modified. Alimony sometimes can be modified, but there has to be some kind of material change in circumstances. It’s kind of unusual that anything would qualify as a material change. In child support and custody arrangements, however, it’s common that there will be changes as the child grows up. Depending on their age at the time of the divorce, a lot of things can happen.

What Are The Requirements Or Guidelines Requiring Good Potential Adoptive Parents In A Domestic Adoption Case In Massachusetts?

Adoption cases in Massachusetts vary, and it depends on how someone goes about the adoption process. There are a few different ways. One is if the child is someone you already know and have some kind of relationship with, such as a relative or friend’s child. The second would be a foster parent adopting a child who they’ve fostered or someone who’s been involved in the child’s life through DCF custody. The third way would be to go through an adoption agency. The main thing that the court requires is a home study. Basically, the probation department has to study, interview, and visit the adoptive parent or parents. The probation department will want to make sure that it’s safe and that the person is capable of taking care of the child. They’re going to look at whether the person has a criminal record or Department of Children & Families record. They will investigate the person’s income, whether they have sufficient time to devote to the child, and whether they have the general maturity and good judgment to take care of the child. Once that’s done, it gets filed with the adoption petition, and the judge makes a decision.

The big hurdle is the investigation and home study period. Once the case is actually in court and you’re moving toward the adoption, it’s smoother. Adoption agencies may have their own procedures in addition to the home study. If you’re interested in adopting, I recommend contacting them to see what their procedures and screening process are like. If you’re adopting through an agency or from a friend or family member that will probably be uncontested. Adoption a child who has been in the custody of the Department of Children & Families does involve more legal risk. In that situation, the adoption case itself is not contested. However, the judge has to make a decision to terminate the biological parents’ parental rights first before the child is available for adoption, and that will be contested and take a substantial length of time. Additionally, the biological parents may appeal the termination of their parental rights.

Are The Adoption Requirements Going To Be Different For International Adoptions?

The adoption requirements are going to be different for international adoptions. Requirements for adoption will also depend on the country you’re planning to adopt from. The big division is between Hague Convention versus Non-Hague Convention countries. The Hague Convention established a standardized procedure for how the process is supposed to work. Whereas countries that are not members of the Hague Convention can establish their own rules with a lot more variation from one country to another.

What Is The Process Of A Domestic Adoption?

As mentioned, the process of a domestic adoption will depend on who you’re adopting and what your relationship is with them. If you’re adopting a friend or a relative’s child who you already know, and the parent agrees to it, the biggest hurdle is going to be the home study. As long as that goes well, you should be able to proceed with the adoption fairly easily. If you’re adopting through an agency, the process is similar once it actually gets to court. However, before that, you have to go through the agency’s process. If you’re adopting a child who is involved with Departments of Children & Families, the biological parents are usually going to object. They’re going to fight DCF every step of the way. The child will not be available for adoption unless or until the judge makes a decision to terminate the parental rights of the biological parents.

If the biological parents are making some effort to do the right thing, the judge will be reluctant to terminate their rights. If they’re not making any effort, it’s a lot more likely that the parental rights will be terminated.

What Is The Process Of An International Adoption?

The process of an international adoption will depend on whether it’s a Hague Convention or Non-Hague Convention country. For a non-Hague Convention country, it’s hard to give an answer. There is paperwork that has to be filed with the US citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For a Hague Convention country, you have to go through an approved adoption agency. Basically, you have to choose the adoption agency and an attorney. You’ll want someone who is familiar with immigration because you’re filing with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services rather than the court to get the process started. You still have to do a home study, similarly to a domestic adoption. However, the home study will be done by an agency that’s been authorized by the federal government for international adoptions instead of by a court. You would have to apply to the USCIS for pre-approval since the initial application is not for applying to adopt a specific child, but to apply to be considered as an appropriate adoptive parent. Once you’re approved, you’ll work with the adoption agency to find a child. Then, you file a petition specifically for the child with the USCIS. Once that’s approved, you go to court and obtain a custody order or an adoption order, which you then take back to the immigration authorities to get the visa and bring the child to the United States.

For more information on Family Law In Massachusetts, an initial case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.

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