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The Legal Implications of Adoption

Bringing a child into your life can enrich and reward in many ways.  Unfortunately, the process can be quite taxing and take a very long time. There are many aspects of the adoption process to consider, but the legal implications of adoption are quite straightforward, and understanding them is equally as important as covering the emotional and social implications of the process.

The process of adoption terminates the rights and responsibilities of the natural parents and transfers them to the adoptive parents. This provides a minor child with all of the rights given to a natural child. This is not the case for an adult adoption, where the usual duty of child support is not a concern.

State law governs whether or not a name is affected by adoption, and the State of Rhode Island does not require a child’s name to be changed to the adoptive parent’s name. If an adoptive parent would like the child’s name to be changed, the request may be done when filing the petition for adoption. A minor child’s residence always changes to that of the adoptive parent.

An adopted child will inherit from adoptive parents in the same manner that a natural child would. Adoption does not prevent a child from also inheriting from natural parents if the natural parents make this determination.

After the decree of adoption has been entered in the court, the clerk of the court will mail a copy of the order of adoption to the division of vital statistics, and a new birth certificate of the adopted minor may be obtained listing the names of the adoptive parents as the natural parents of the child.

It is important for parents to review their wills and beneficiaries for all investments, insurance policies and financial accounts to ensure that the newly adopted child is included in all appropriate aspects of the estate.  For more information on the legal implications of adoption in the State of Rhode Island, contact your lawyer.