woman and children on beach shore

Adoption Law

Adopting a child brings happiness to families, but a biological parent’s change of heart can turn a joyous occasion into a nightmare. Wagner Laws has more than 25 years of experience handling the complex legal procedures and frustrating red tape of the adoption process for clients throughout Vermont. We are ready to do the same for you so you can focus on your new family member.

At our Middlebury practice, Wagner Law helps clients with the following areas of adoption:

  • Termination of parental rights
  • Paternity registry
  • Open adoptions
  • Closed adoptions
  • Private adoptions
  • Domestic adoptions
  • Stepparent adoptions

We are dedicated to guiding you through each step of the adoption process toward a favorable outcome.

man and woman holding hand of toddler walking on grass field

Handling The Termination Of Parental Rights

Stories abound about birth parents challenging an adoption after it is finalized. These well-publicized news accounts reflect a real fear for adoptive parents. The suffering associated with a badly handled adoption affects everybody involved — the adoptive parents, the birth parents and the children who are caught in the middle. At Wagner Law, we ensure that both the birth and adoptive parents’ rights are respected so that the end result is a final adoption that cannot be challenged. We seek to ensure that the birth parents consent to the adoption freely and voluntarily to avoid claims of fraud, duress and coercion that can be grounds for restoring a birth parent’s rights.

Overcoming A Biological Father’s Resistance To An Adoption

The biological father has the same parental rights as the biological mother, especially if he is named in the state’s putative father registry and has provided support for the child. Fathers who are active in their children’s lives are generally opposed to adoption, whereas uninterested fathers are usually content to surrender parental rights voluntarily to be free from support obligations. When a father resists the idea of adoption, a court might terminate the father’s parental rights if the father is an unfit parent and severing the parent-child relationship is in the best interests of the child. With compassion, we take all necessary steps to identify fathers and obtain their consent, or, when necessary and proper, litigate the matter of the father’s fitness.

person carrying baby while reading book

Lawyer Experienced With Various Types Of Domestic Adoption

An open adoption agreement permits the biological family to maintain a relationship with the child. The terms of the agreement are established by written contract and can include any level of involvement ranging from regular visits to yearly snapshots exchanged by mail. A closed adoption protects the identity of the biological parents and the child but may include the disclosure of essential information such as the child’s heritage and medical history. Whichever type of adoption you choose, we meticulously draft a contract that reflects the terms of your adoption.

Contact Vermont for concerned counsel on all aspects of adoption

Adoption has the potential to bring your family great joy, but only if you overcome legal impediments. You can trust Wagner Law in Middlebury, Vermont to provide capable and compassionate legal services for adoptions in Vermont. Call 802-388-4026 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our office.