Adoptions and Juvenile Court

Adoptions and Juvenile Court

At Nazette, Marner, Nathanson & Shea, LLP, we assist clients with all manner of family changes and transitions. These include adoptions and proceedings in the juvenile court system. Legal matters involving families require not just legal expertise, but sensitivity and responsiveness on the part of the attorneys involved. We make every effort to be readily available to our clients, to offer the support and guidance they need at every step of their legal process.

Adoption Services

The path to adopting a child is a joyful one, but it is also laden with complex requirements, waiting, and questions.  For parents making the choice to surrender a child for adoption, the process is a time of careful deliberation and mixed emotions as they consider this decision. Adoption is a life-changing process.  Our goal is to make it a positive one for all involved, as well.

Our firm represents both adoptive parents and birth parents. We are aware that most people who are adopting a child, or surrendering a child for adoption, have not been through the process before. We take the time to explain clearly to our clients how the adoption process works, their obligations and rights, and what they may be able to expect. Our attorneys are ever-mindful of the needs of our clients, and offer them compassionate and supportive guidance as they travel the road to adoption.

We offer assistance with most types of adoption, including:

  • Private adoption
  • Agency-assisted adoption
  • Open adoption
  • Interstate adoption
  • International adoption
  • Contested adoption
  • Step-parent adoption
  • Grandparent adoption
  • Second-parent adoption or co-adoption
  • Adoption through the foster care system
  • Guardianship for children

Juvenile Court Legal Representation

Laws governing crimes committed by juveniles, and procedures in juvenile court, can differ significantly from those in the adult system. In order for a child to receive proper representation in juvenile court, it is essential that he have an attorney familiar with the requirements of that system. We have experience dealing with the juvenile court. Our attorneys are committed to easing the process for children and families who find themselves facing a juvenile court proceeding. We listen to and address our clients' concerns, and explain their options in the following types of matters:

  • Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) Proceedings — These proceedings, usually initiated by the Iowa Department of Human Services, determine whether there is a threat to a child’s well-being in the home and whether removal of a child or children is warranted.
  • Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings — Parents may consent to the termination of their parental rights (as where a stepparent or grandparent seeks to adopt a child), or such termination may be involuntary. An involuntary termination of parental rights may be initiated as the result of CINA proceedings, or by a family member or other party with standing to to so.
  • Delinquency Proceedings — Younger juveniles accused of the commission of a crime are charged with delinquency, and the matter is adjudicated in juvenile court. Juveniles aged 16 or 17 may be charged as adults or as juveniles. Punishment in the adult justice system is usually harsher, and it is advisable to retain experienced counsel to advocate for the case to remain in the juvenile system.

Whatever the circumstances, proceedings in juvenile court can be stressful and can have a negative impact on a child's future unless handled with skill and compassion. If your family is facing a juvenile court proceeding, we invite you to contact us for assistance. 

Call our office in Cedar Rapids at (319) 366-1000 to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help.

 

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