Considering an adoption? There is nothing more wonderful for a child than to be adopted by a person who wants to become their parent. A person who decides to become a parent by choice-not simply by act- certainly is a person who commands respect and thanks. After all, children are really just interested in being loved and cared for and enjoying a stable life.
The adoption process should be a warm and wonderful process leading to a joyous occasion. Getting to that joyous occasion can, however, be complicated. In those circumstances where there is a biological parent, it is necessary to terminate that biological parent’s parental rights. Doing so can be done voluntarily, however, it has to be done correctly. In the event that a promised voluntary relinquishment of parental rights turns into a contested proceeding, you will need an experienced, competent legal advocate in your corner to help you thought that difficult process.
In Wisconsin, a termination of parental rights proceeding is a two-pronged proceeding. First and foremost, you must understand that the parent who’s rights are sought to be terminated has the right to an attorney. If that parent cannot afford one, the State will provide an attorney for that parent. The first prong of the test is to have the matter head before a jury. Jury trials on termination of parental rights cases can be very emotional. The evidence presented at this hearing must be focused on meeting the statutory requirements for a termination of parental rights. A jury will be asked to find that certain factual circumstances exist that would permit the circuit court judge to then terminate parental rights. Once the jury makes these factual findings, the circuit court judge will hold a second hearing to determine whether or not parental rights should be terminated.
An experienced attorney can help you through this process. Please remember, at Darrow & Dietrich, S.C., a first consultation is free. You are not charged until we are retained and we perform substantive legal work on your behalf. Give us a call to discuss your thoughts and concerns about the adoption process.