Rochester Adoption Lawyer

25+ Years of Experience Guiding Monroe County Families Through the Legal Process

One of the most exciting steps for a family to expand is adoption. Whether you are parents seeking to adopt through private or international adoption or a stepparent interested in uniting your family, the Law Office of Alexander Korotkin, Esq. can help you navigate the legal process of adoption. We have more than 25 years of professional legal experience and are happy to help you unite your family formally. 

Schedule a free consultation with our firm today to get started. Representing families in Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Wayne, Genesee, and Orleans Counties.  We also speak Russian and Ukrainian.

Who Can Adopt in New York?

Any unmarried or married adult can adopt in New York, either individually or jointly as partners. The adoption process will vary depending on the type of adoption, such as international adoption or private adoption. Private placement adoption typically includes an additional step of consent, which may be executed before any New York judge having jurisdiction over adoption or through a notary. 

Consent to private adoption is required from the following individuals:

  • The parents or surviving parent of a child conceived in wedlock
  • The mother of a child born out of wedlock
  • The father of a child born out of wedlock who is at least 6 months old when placed for adoption if the father has maintained substantial and continuous contact with the child
  • The father of a child born out of wedlock who is younger than 6 months old when placed for adoption if the father openly lived with the child or the child’s mother for 6 consecutive months immediately prior to placement; or if the father paid a fair and reasonable sum for the medical, hospital, and nursing expenses connected to the pregnancy or birth
  • Any person or authorized agency with lawful custody over the child
  • The child if they are 14 years or older

Consent is not required of any parent or person having custody of the child if:

  • They fail to visit and communicate with the child for a period of 6 months or more
  • They surrendered the child to an authorized agency
  • Their child has been appointed a guardian
  • They are unable to properly care for the child due to mental illness or insufficient mental capacity

The Home Study Requirement

One of the most important steps in an adoption is the home study. The child must reside in the home of the prospective parents for a period of 3 months (unless this home residency requirement is waived by the judge). A licensed, disinterested third party (e.g., licensed social worker, authorized agency) will perform a home study to evaluate the child’s standard of living and comfort in the home to approve the adoption. All the adults who will be residing in the home, even if they are not the prospective parents, must be included in the home study.

In New York, a home study includes the following:

  • A report of a physical examination conducted within 1 year regarding the family’s general health
  • An inquiry into the prospective parent(s)’ experience with children and training to strengthen their experience and knowledge in that area
  • Checks with the State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment and checks of out-of-state registries if a member of the household lived in another state during the past 5 years
  • Fingerprint-based state and federal criminal history record checks for all adult members of the household

Situations in which a home study may not pass might be if current alcohol or drug abuse in the home is found or if the adoptive parent or anyone else residing in the home has a criminal history of child abuse or neglect, spousal abuse, a crime against a child, or a crime involving violence. The application may also be denied if the parent has a felony conviction within the past 5 years for physical assault, battery, or a drug offense. 

If the home study is completed and approved, the adoption can proceed to placement.

Can You Adopt Someone Over 18 in New York?

It is possible to adopt someone over the age of 18 in New York. The adoption of an adult is referred to as an adult adoption. New York's adult adoption process is similar to that for minor adoption, but there are some key differences. Here are the basic steps to adopt an adult in New York:

  1. Obtain the consent of the person you want to adopt: New York requires the consent of the adult being adopted, unlike minor adoptions. They will need to sign a consent form.
  2. File a petition with the court: To adopt someone, you must file an adoption petition with the court in the county where you live and where the person being adopted lives. Adoption petitions should include information about the person being adopted as well as the reasons for the adoption.
  3. Attend a court hearing: A hearing will be scheduled to review your petition and decide whether to adopt. Any other parties interested in the adoption may also attend the hearing.
  4. Finalize the adoption: The adoption will be finalized once the court approves the adoption. This may include obtaining a new birth certificate for the adopted adult.

The majority of adult adoptions in New York are done for emotional or personal reasons rather than for legal or financial reasons. To help guide you through the adoption process, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced Rochester adoption attorney in New York prior to adopting an adult.

Stepparent Adoption Laws

Adopting a stepchild follows a unique set of steps, the most important of which is the termination of the other parent’s rights. The child’s parent who is not the prospective stepparent’s spouse must relinquish their parental rights and consent to the adoption in order for the stepchild to be eligible for adoption by the stepparent. 

The termination of parental rights may be done voluntarily or involuntarily. In the former case, the biological parent not married to the prospective stepparent can simply consent to have their parental ties to the child dissolved. In the latter case, the prospective stepparent may have to go to court and file a request for the other parent’s rights to be terminated. This can be a complex request, but the court will grant such termination if that parent proves to be a danger to the child, such as due to drug abuse.

Other requirements for a stepparent to adopt a stepchild include being legally married to the child’s parent (not just living together). The child must also reside with their parent and stepparent for at least 6 months prior to filing for adoption. 

Adoption can be a complex process, but an experienced lawyer can guide you along smoothly. At the Law Office of Alexander Korotkin, Esq., we are excited for you to unite your family and will represent you in your adoption proceedings. We are skilled at trial litigation and can provide the knowledgeable and fearless advocacy you need to secure your adoption.

Schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Alexander Korotkin, Esq. to learn more.

my promise to you

  • I seek to resolve all disputes in an efficient and cost-effective manner, whether through a negotiated settlement or litigation.
  • I will take the time to answer all of your questions and will make sure that you understand every part of the legal process.
  • I am committed to addressing your needs on an individualized basis and will never lose sight of who you are.
  • “Alexander is very understanding and willing to work with you. He takes the time to listen and truly cares about his clients. I would highly recommend him!!!” - Todd C.
  • “During a very difficult time in my life, I was faced with court hearings to determine child custody. It was a complex, emotional, and confusing time for me. Alexander was a source of knowledge, calmness and clarity.” - Michael L.
  • “There are many lawyers out there who will take your case and mislead you because income is their motivating factor, but not Alex. Alex cares about his clients needs and will advise them according to the law.” - Darren C.

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