Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Proper planning is key to a successful private adoption

When Salt Lake City residents add a new member to their families, it is supposed to be an exciting time. In the case of private adoption, the celebration is often preceded by confusion and stress over the requirements for becoming an adoptive parent.

There are a number of legal, financial and personal issues that must be considered before an adoption can proceed. These considerations are confusing to many, because the legal and financial requirements can vary widely.

For instance, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the costs of adoption can range between a few hundred dollars and more than $40,000. While the financial costs will depend on the kind of adoption at issue, there is financial help that may be available for adoptive parents. This includes workplace benefits, adoption grants from private groups and federal tax breaks for adoption. There may be a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses, as well as further benefits for the adoption of special needs children.

Aside from the varying financial issues, the legal questions can also vary. If a person wishes to adopt domestically, for example, there are different legal procedures as compared to when the person wants to adopt internationally. There may also be both federal and state law considerations to take into account, along with legal issues from other countries in the event of international adoptions. 

Ultimately, the legal, financial and other questions surrounding adoption can be addressed through proper planning. Utah residents can examine their options and, once they have a particular course of action in mind, they can determine all of the requirements they must comply with in order to complete a successful adoption and welcome the new member to the family.

Source:The St. Louis American, "Getting your finances ready for adoption," Nathaniel Sillin, May 11, 2016

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