If you have decided to adopt a baby in Kansas City, you undoubtedly want a knowledgeable and experienced adoption professional at your side. The legal process of adoption is as complex as it is emotional, and choosing the right legal counsel can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful adoption experience.
Michael Belfonte can help you achieve your adoption dream, and he can do it right here in Kansas City. Whether you’re completing your adoption with or without an adoption agency, he can assist you from beginning to end. Read on to learn more about how Michael Belfonte can help you adopt a baby in Missouri or Kansas, just like the hundreds of previous adoptive families who were once in your same position.
Consultations and Case Management
To help you through the complex legal process of adoption, Michael Belfonte can offer any advice, education, and guidance you may need as you consider your options. Then, if you are ready to begin an adoption plan, he will open your case, proactively complete each step of the legal process, and keep you informed about each of the following processes throughout the case:
Termination of Parental Rights
In order for you to take your baby home after he or she is born, the parental rights of the birth parents must be terminated. Michael Belfonte will make sure that the transfer of parental rights is carried out in accordance with Missouri’s consent laws or Kansas’s consent laws.
ICPC and ICWA
The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) regulates any adoptions that occur across state lines. If you are adopting from anywhere other than your home state, Michael Belfonte will make sure that your adoption follows all the protocol of both states.
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) applies to children of Native American heritage. Families adopting a Native American baby must be sure to comply with ICWA, and Michael Belfonte can help you navigate these guidelines.
Adoption Finalization and Birth Certificate Assistance
The legal process of adoption will be complete during a finalization hearing, where a judge will ensure the birth parents’ rights were properly terminated, the adoptive family met the required number of post-placement visits, and ICPC and ICWA were properly handled. Michael Belfonte will be present at your finalization hearing to guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have at this exciting time in your journey.
Working with Michael
Michael Belfonte frequently partners with American Adoptions, a national adoption agency, to help families with every aspect of their adoption. If you choose to include American Adoptions, you will find a wide variety of services and benefits, including:
- Matching services – Most prospective adoptive parents require assistance with finding an adoption opportunity with a birth mother. In these situations, Michael works closely with American Adoptions to helps his clients locate situations perfect for them. You will receive assistance in creating your adoptive family print and video profiles, which will be shown to prospective birth mothers in an effort to receive an adoption opportunity.
- Counseling and support – American Adoptions’ adoption specialists are experienced in counseling prospective families, letting them know what to expect, and making sure they are emotionally prepared for adoption.
- Birth mother screening – All birth mothers working with American Adoptions are screened to ensure they are committed to their adoption decision and to learn more about them and their motivations for choosing adoption.
- Home study guidance and referral – Wherever you live, American Adoptions can point you to a home study provider that will help you through this crucial step of the process.
- Financial protection – Through American Adoptions’ Risk-Sharing program, you can be sure that your adoption funds will be protected in the event of a disruption.
Domestic Infant Adoption Process
If you decide to work with Michael Belfonte to complete an infant adoption, he will guide you through the following steps of the process:
- Get started – The first step of the process is to talk to Michael Belfonte about your adoption goals. If you need help finding an adoption opportunity with a prospective birth mother, he will further explain how that process works with involving American Adoptions.
- Complete your home study – Before you can get started on finding a birth mother, you will need to complete an adoption home study, which determines whether your family and home are prepared for a newborn.
- Create a family profile to show birth mothers – If you haven’t yet found an adoption opportunity with a birth mother, the next step is to create an adoptive family profile to show to prospective birth mothers. If American Adoptions is performing your matching services, you will also create an adoptive family video profile to improve your chances of being selected.
- Be matched with a birth mother – With American Adoptions, your profile(s) will be shown to expecting mothers whose preferences match your own, and when one selects you, your adoption specialist will inform you of the match. Without American Adoptions, you will post your profile online in hopes of finding a match.
- Get to know the birth mother – Over the course of the expecting mother’s pregnancy, you will get to know her based on the type of adoption relationship she is interested in. With American Adoptions, you adoption specialist will be able to mediate contact if needed.
- Meet your baby – When the due date arrives, you will travel to the birth mother’s location and finally meet your child! The birth mother will have been planned her hospital plan, and you will know in advance the role you will play during this time. Also, if your adoption takes place across state lines, you will need to remain in the state of birth until ICPC clearance is granted.
- Finalize your adoption – Once you take your baby home, you will take part in a series of post-placement visits until it is time for finalization, where Michael Belfonte will be present to see the successful completion of your adoption.
With Michael Belfonte on your adoption team, you can rest assured that the legal side of the process will be covered. If you would like to get started with your adoption, or if you simply have a few questions, you can call Michael Belfonte for a consultation. He will take the time to discuss your options with you and answer any of your questions, and by calling him, you are under no obligation to pursue an adoption with him.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with Michael Belfonte, call 816-842-3580 or fill out his contact form today.