Need an Adoption Attorney?

We can help with the adoption process and keep you informed of your rights and obligations throughout the very emotional process.

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Jennifer Mills (Peeler) Peek



Very often, parents that are childless want to adopt a baby. But unless the procedure is followed properly, problems and tragedy can occur later. For example, the mother who gave the baby up for adoption may have a change of heart and wants the baby back. 

The pain that may occur by taking a baby who has been loved by adopted parents, away from them is enormous. There are legal procedures that can avoid the heartbreak that can occur. These laws are also legislated at the state level and each state is different. 

In some cases religion is an issue and in some states racial prescriptions are legislated.

Another problem is that there are illegal sources of babies for parents who are either deemed not suitable by the government agency or parents who don’t want to spend the time to go through the prescribed steps. Adopting a baby through one of these baby mills can lead to disaster. You can’t know what you are getting and where it came from. In some cases, they prey on the desire for a baby and are just outright scams.

Want To Adopt?

Make no mistake about it, adoption is not an easy or fast process. However there are some things you can do to start the process which will help you along the way.

The first step is to actually Learn About Adoption. You’ll want to consider the different types of adoption as well as how you will pay for the adoption itself.

The requirements, costs, and waiting period are different for each type of adoption. There are four basic types of adoption, excluding step-parent adoption:

  • Adoption from foster care
  • Domestic private adoption
  • International adoption
  • Independent adoption

Adoption from Foster Care

Adopting a child in the foster care system may be completed directly by the public agency (usually department of human services or social services or by a private agency contracted to complete adoptions from foster care. Here are a few important notes about foster care adoption:

  • Children in foster care who are able to be adopted into a new family have likely experienced abuse, neglect, and trauma. The average age of a child waiting to be adopted in the foster care system in the US is eight years old.
  • The approximate cost ranges from $0 to $2,500. 
  • There are flexible eligibility requirements for adoptive parents, with decisions often made on a case-by-case basis. Agencies will consider single parents, parents over the age of 40, parents who have other children, parental income, housing situation, etc.
  • This process can take a year or more and starts slowly.

It is common for a child in foster care to be adopted by their foster parents or relatives. While many people decide to become foster parents first, there is no guarantee that they will be able to adopt a child placed in their care or another child in the system. State agencies usually want to place the child either back in the care of their birth families or with a relative.

Domestic Private Adoption

This is an adoption organized and managed by a private licensed adoption agency.

  • Usually children are younger and even infants.
  • The approximate cost is $12,000 to $45,000 in the US. 
  • Agencies may select parents based upon their own deciding factors including  race, religious affiliation, etc. In the case of infant adoptions, the birth mother is often involved in selecting the parents.
  • It can take six months to a few years (sometimes longer for infant adoption).

International Adoption

The process of adopting a child from another country, which may be accomplished privately through an attorney or through an international adoption agency.

  • Many, many countries allow their children to be adopted by US citizens with ages ranging from infant to teens.
  • The approximate cost is $18,000 to $60,000 in the US. This can change depending on the child’s home country.
  • Who can adopt depends on the agency and country requirements. Some countries will accept single parents with most prospective parents between ages 25 and 45.
  • It can take six months to several years depending on the child’s age and health, and the country’s political climate.

Independent Adoption

An adoption initiated by prospective adopters and completed with help from an attorney or adoption counselor is known as an independent adoption or a private adoption.

  • Children in this adoption scenario are usually infants.
  • The approximate cost is $8,000 to $40,000, which includes prospective parents’ cost of finding a birth mother, certain birth mother expenses, and attorney’s fees.
  • Birth mothers typically choose the adoptive parent and there are often preferences toward younger, affluent, married couples.
  • The length of time to adopt varies depending on the length of time it takes to find a birth mother who will see the process through to finalization.

Step Parent Adoption

Adopting a step child is the most common form of adoption and is the process where by a stepparent agrees to become the legal parent and fully responsible for his or her spouse’s child. Once this type of adoption takes place, the noncustodial parent no longer has rights or responsibilities for the child including child support.

Stepparent adoption is an important legal step that does provide many benefits to a family including:

  • Financial benefits – Having legal custody will entitle your child to all of the financial benefits a biological child would have including  your inheritance and healthcare/insurance benefits
  • Wellbeing of the Child – From an emotional standpoint, legalizing your adoption provides a sense of permanence and stability for a family, especially the child.
  • Recognition as a parent – Many tasks, such as doctor’s appointments, obtaining medical records, and even picking your child up from school are made easier when you are a legal parent.

For more information on adoption and how you can start the process, call Jennifer Mills Peek today!

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through the difficult process of family-related legal challenges.

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We will always be there when they need us.

Jennifer Peek |Peek Family Law | Family Law Paducah KY

Attorney Jennifer Mills Peek PLLC

Specializing in Family & Criminal Law

Jennifer handles your Illinois or Kentucky family law (including divorce, child custody, adoption, grandparent’s rights, etc.), criminal defense, and general law needs (including wills, POAs, etc) in her friendly, family-oriented office setting.

She knows that all other aspects of family law are delicate and sensitive practice areas. We can treat you with the kindness, sensitivity, and discretion you would expect, yet still, be tough and strong on your behalf. It’s what we do, every day.