By Rob Hagy, Law Offices of Rob Hagy, P.C., 154 Hansen Road, Suite 202B, Charlottesville, Virginia. Call (434)293-4562 for more information or email for more information at email@example.com. I look forward to helping you!
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In the case of Scudder v. Ramsey, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that adult mother's adoption by her relatives terminated visitation rights that maternal grandmother had been granted with mother's child. The visitation rights of grandmother were derived from mother, her biological child, because they sprung from her relationship as child's grandmother, but upon mother's adoption, statute effected the termination of all legal relationships between adopted individual and her biological relatives, such that they were strangers for all purposes.
-Rob Hagy of Rob Hagy Law, Charlottesville Adoption and Custody and Visitation Lawyer. For help with issues like these or other adoption and custody and visitation issues, please contact me at 434.293.4562 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time.com had an interesting article this morning about a N.J. Superior Court Judge's decision to deny a couple's adoption petition citing the the New Jersey state constitution which declares that "no person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience." The judge reasoned that "the child (a toddler) should have the freedom to worship as she sees fit, and not be influenced by prospective parents who do not believe in a Supreme Being." The judge raised this issue sua sponte. The case has been appealed to N.J. Supreme Court.
"As early as this week, the legislature is expected to debate new rules to eliminate potential fraud in Guatemala's adoption process, which until now has been run from beginning to end by notaries who work with birth mothers, determine if babies were surrendered willingly, hire foster mothers and handle all the paperwork.
These notaries charge an average of $30,000 for children delivered in about nine months — record time for international adoptions. The process is so quick that one in every 100 Guatemalan children now grow up as an adopted American.
The small Central American country sent 4,135 children to the U.S. last year, making it the largest source of babies for American families after much-bigger China.
The adoptions are a $100 million a year industry for notaries.
Government agency will be involved But the system violates The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions, a treaty designed to prevent fraudulent adoptions. Both Guatemala and the United States have agreed to observe the treaty starting next year. Among other things, a government agency must oversee the process and determine if the child was legally surrendered by the birth mother.
Most agree the new rules will reduce the number of Guatemalan adoptions because the government doesn't have the resources to manage all the cases that notaries have handled and because of extra inspections intended to guarantee that each child is being given up willingly.
What this means for the Kerrs and other would-be parents whose adoptions are currently in process remains unclear.
The United States is pushing for a transition period so that the 3,700 adoptions now under way can be concluded under the existing law.
But scrutiny of the pending adoptions has turned up problems in about 1,000 cases, said Victor Mejicanos, a federal official who oversees adoptions.
"We have everything from altered birth certificates to birth mothers who change their minds and want their babies back," Mejicanos said.
And with only seven investigators, who deal with everything from parental neglect to domestic violence and other family issues, Mejicanos predicts adoptions will take much longer now.
Anticipating the new rules, the Guatemalan government has begun cracking down. In one high-profile case, it closed down the Casa Quivira adoption agency and took custody of 46 children. Just 10 of these have been cleared for adoption, Mejicanos said."
In the case of Tyrone L. Wheless v. Commonwealth Catholic Charities, the Virginia Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, ruled that the trial court, in an adoption proceeding, did not err in concluding evidence was sufficient to justify termination of father’s parental rights to his child and in ruling that father withheld his consent contrary to the best interests of the child. The child was entrusted to foster care three days after his birth and the child was almost two years old at the time of the proceeding. The Court further explained that the child:
"had bonded with his prospective adoptive parents, and expert testimony concluded his removal from that home would be detrimental. His mother wishes the adoption to proceed. The relationship between the birth parents showed appellant to have been abusive and physically violent to the mother, to the extent she fears for her life when he is released from incarceration. Appellant has no ability to care for B.B.H. He is a convicted felon, disabled by being shot and subsisting upon $384 per month in Social Security benefits. Testimony reveals no prospects of his employment and he has no home for the child. He cannot lawfully return to live with his mother. He has never been licensed to drive. Appellant is a self-admitted drug addict and drug dealer who "pawned" Cassandra's car to other dealers to use in their actions and in exchange for drugs. Appellant relies on the drugs to alleviate his psychosis. Appellant is a convicted felon with a history of violence towards women. Finally, there has been no "previous relationship" between appellant and B.B.H. (the "child")."
National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the 114,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. For the last eight years, National Adoption Day has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with courts, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies and advocates to finalize adoptions and find permanent, loving homes for children in foster care.
National Adoption Day is celebrated every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. For the first time in 2006, National Adoption Day was celebrated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In total, more than 250 events were held throughout the country to finalize the adoptions of more than 3,300 children in foster care, and to celebrate all families who adopt.
Without a doubt, adoption practice is the most rewarding of the areas of Family Law in which I handle cases.
To visit the National Adoption Day website, please click here.
The following courts will be observing National Adoption Day in Virginia:
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2007, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM Location: Alexandria Circuit Court Contact: Amel Logan, Alexandria Dept. of Social Services - 703-519-3318 x212 Note: By Invitation Only. Please contact Amel Logan if you are interested in attending.
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2007 Location: Campbell County Circuit Court Contact: Carol Anne Booth, Campbell Co. Dept. of Social Services - 434-332-9753
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2007 Location: Fredericksburg Circuit Court Contact: Joan Millward, Clerk, Fredericksburg JDR District Court - 540-372-1072
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2007, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM Location: Hampton Marina Hotel Contact: Shirley Bowie, Hampton Dept. of Social Services - 757-727-1965
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2007 Contact: Carole Sutton, Newport News Dept. of Social Services - 757-926-6113
New River Valley
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2007, 10:30 AM Location: Skate Center, Christiansburg, VA Contact: Depaul Family Services - 540-381-1848
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2007, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Location: Prince William Circuit Court Contact: Addie Whitaker, Prince William Dept. of Social Services - 703-792-7500
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2007, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM Location: Oliver Hill Courts Building Contact: Diane Ickes - 804-646-2918 or Diane.Ickes@RichmondGov.com Note: By Invitation Only. Please contact Diane Ickes if you are interested in attending.
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2007 Location: Roanoke County Circuit Court Contact: Ellen Weinman - 540-389-3825
Virginia Code Section 20-108.2 This provision of Virginia law sets forth the child support guidelines-a table of reference for determining the base monthly child support obligation.
Virginia Code Section 20-124.3 This statute sets forth the factors that a court will consider in divorce proceedings, temporary proceedings, or modification proceedings to determine what custody and visitation arrangement would be best for the child or children involved.