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Atlanta Family Law Blog

Native children face struggles others don't in foster care

In America, Native American children are protected under law, but are those laws really protecting them? The Indian Child Welfare Act helps make sure that Native American children are fostered and adopted in by others of their culture when possible. Some believe that law makes it harder to protect those children and makes it nearly impossible to find the children adoptive homes.

In a previous article, it was discussed that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit to debate the current law's constitutionality. He believes that the Indian Child Welfare Act is discriminatory and thinks that the law should protect Native American children in the same way that it protects any other child. Putting the child's best interests first doesn't necessarily mean keeping the child in a foster-care system while awaiting a Native American family.

Adopting Native American children: A complicated matter

If you are trying to adopt a Native American child, you may already know that there are laws in place that make it more difficult if you do not have a Native American heritage. The purpose of the law is to keep Native American children with families of their own heritage.

Typically, parents of Native American children are required to contact the FCCA if the child has Native heritage. Then, the FCCA contacts all possible tribes that the child could be eligible to enroll with. If the child isn't eligible to enroll, then an adoption can go forward.

Resistance to adoption is sometimes normal in marriages

When only one person in a marriage wants to adopt, it can create a problem. It's not uncommon for a spouse to feel resistant to adoption. In many cases, adoption professionals will turn down applications in which both partners aren't completely committed.

The truth is that in most cases, there is always one person who is a little less interested in adoption than the other. Throughout the process of adoption, it's possible to have that person's insecurities or concerns relieved, so that he or she can enjoy the adoption thoroughly.

What do you need before a child custody hearing?

If you and your spouse can't agree on child custody, then you need to take time to go to mediation or arbitration. If you can't negotiate what you want to see happen, then the court is happy to make that decision in your child's best interests.

As parents, it's your responsibility to think about your child. Before you go to court, you should create a parenting plan that states how your child will spend the holidays or vacations. You should propose ways to transfer your child from or to drop-off points when switching custody. You should also have a plan for continuing contact with your child when he or she is with the other parent.

Adoption's impact: The emotional process of adoption

Adoption doesn't just affect the children who come into new homes and families. The families themselves are affected as well. Parenthood is a challenge and a joy, but there are some things that you'll need to adjust to. As a prospective adoptive parent, there are many decisions you'll need to make before you can finalize an adoption.

When you adopt a child, you'll be making life-changing decisions for yourself and a child in need. You'll need to determine what kind of adoption you're interested in first. If you want to work with an adoption service provider, that's something you'll have to decide as well. Some people choose to work with a specialized attorney during the process as well.

Divorces: Contested or uncontested still require legal assistance

You always wanted to get married, and you dreamed of a life where you'd be with your spouse forever. That isn't how you perceive your marriage now, and you just want to get a divorce. You haven't spoken to your spouse yet, and you're not sure how he is going to react. Fortunately, no matter what he has to say about it, the divorce will happen if you want it to.

If you're planning to get a divorce in Georgia, then you should know the different kinds you can opt to file. There are two main forms, contested and uncontested. In a contested divorce, one spouse disagrees and does not want to file or perhaps has a problem with property division options. In an uncontested divorce, both agree to the divorce along with its terms and will move forward with it.

What can you do to prevent custodial interference?

Custody interference is a problem among some families. It is when one parent takes steps to try to limit the other from seeing or talking to his or her children. This isn't always a physical act; parents might use emotional or psychological techniques to make the children refuse to see the other parent or to act out against him or her.

Whether a parent takes your children away without permission or is purposefully saying negative things about you to alienate the child, you can fight it in court. Both you and the other parent are bound by your custody agreement, so any violation can be just cause to take your ex to court.

Don't let family violence control your life. You can get help

If you're worried about your safety after leaving a relationship or are concerned about the actions of your spouse and feel you or your children are in danger, you can seek out a restraining order. Also known as protective orders, restraining orders help protect you by telling your spouse or partner what he or she cannot do. It might limit his or her access to your home or have other consequences.

There are a few kinds of domestic abuse you can get a restraining order for. Physical violence is the main reason people seek out a restraining order, but psychological abuse, the depletion of assets and patent or trademark infringement are also good reasons to seek a restraining order.

Is a transracial adoption right for you?

If you are considering a transracial adoption, there are a few things that you should know. Adopting outside your own race is a major decision. As a parent of one cultural background, it can be difficult to raise a child from another. Interestingly, it is illegal to prevent the adoption of a child based on his or her race or the race of his or her potential parents.What should you do to make sure that you are making the right decision when adopting transracially? Start with looking at yourself. How would you handle the racism that other people have towards your child? For example, if you are a white family who has chosen to adopt an African-American child, do you have the support you need to prevent your child from growing up in a family fueled by racism? Sometimes, extended family members may not feel the way you do about interracial relationships and adoptions.Another thing to consider is the racial breakdown of the community around you. Is it mostly black? Is it primarily white? Are there any Asians in the area if you plan to adopt an Asian child? Racial diversity and a diverse school can help your child feel like he or she fits in even if you do not share the same race as your child.Of course, think about your child's culture. If your child is Chinese, you may want to incorporate Chinese New Year into your family's activities. Likewise, if your child is African-American, you may need to learn about how to deal with the blatant racism still facing African-Americans today.

These are just a few things to think about. Your attorney can help you start an adoption when you are ready.

2 daughters returned to custodial parent after 9 years

It is tragic when a parent feels no remorse about taking his or her children away from the custodial parent. It can lead to months or years of police involvement where the custodial parent tries to get his or her children back. Parental kidnapping, or the act of taking children against the child custody agreement, can land parents in deep trouble with the law and end up affecting their right to see their children.

That's only if they're caught, though. That was the problem in this case involving a woman who has just found her daughters after nine years of searching. The July 12 story states that the mother, who lives in Georgia, had custody of her two daughters when she allowed their father to take them for a weekend. He was meant to return them after their visit, but he never did.

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