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Jennifer S Fairfax
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Jennifer Fairfax’s Answers

13 total


  • International adoption and 221(g)

    Algeria. His parents deserted him, signed abandonment documents relinquishing all their rights. We had an interview at the consulate 11/5/2014. I am a US citizen, my husband LPR. After an interview, during which consular officer asked more questio...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    This type of situation requires both an adoption and immigration attorney. Sometimes an attorney focuses in both areas. There is the AILA organization that lists immigration attorneys and AAAA that has adoption attorneys. Look for one that is in both organizations.

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  • Termination of parental rights, visitation and custody question (See Details)

    My ex is in the process of having her lawyer file documents to do terminate my parental rights and petition for a step parent adoption, but these documents haven't been filed with the courts yet, so Instead of responding to that motion, I filed a...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    If your ex is attempting to terminate your parental rights, you should either hire an attorney or have one appointed for you by the court.

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  • Can a birth mother revoke adoption?

    Adoptive parents are seperated and mother is seeing someone birth mother has never met. She is unsatisfied with this situation and doesn't want her child in that living situation. She put her daughter for adoption so she wouldn't be in a broken ho...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Almost all states have a 1 year statute of repose - that means the birth parents cannot challenge the adoption after that time period. Usually prior to that statute of limitations they can only challenge based on fraud, duress or undue influence. Adoption laws are state specific so it will depend on what your state allows. Go to www.adoptionattorneys.org to find an adoption attorney near you.

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  • Step parent adoption

    My husband wants to adopt my 5 y/o daughter. We have been married 2 years and have a 4 y/o son together. My daughter's birth certificate lists no father since I don't know who he is and of course she has my maiden name. It seems like I have to j...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Many attorneys believe step-parent adoptions are not difficult but that is not true. A step-parent adoption must be completed in strict compliance with the letter of the law of your state. This may mean you have to sign a statement regarding conception and why you do not know the father or identify the person you believe him to be (in some states). If he is not able to be found the court would likely require some kind of notification through a newspaper publication. If your state has a putative father registry, that would need to be searched. It is best to hire an adoption attorney in your state. You can find someone who focuses on adoption in your state at www.adoptionattorneys.org. Good luck and remember that this is general advice and you have to speak with a lawyer for advice specific to your case.

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  • Getting custodial parent and legal custody in MD of niece adoption in PA

    How do I go about getting legal custody of child whos birth mother lives in Pa (intends on adopting child to my husband and I) when we live in Md. She's been living with us since birth; shell be ten months soon. What happens if there is a divorc...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    You definitely need to hire an adoption attorney. If the birth parents (both mother and father) are willing to consent to the adoption by you and your husband, there is a process you must follow for purposes of interstate adoption (this means the adoptive parents and birth parents live in two separate states). You can file a Petition for Adoption once you have their consents and go through the adoption process. I strongly encourage you to call an adoption attorney. Go to www.adoptionattorneys.org and find someone near you.

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  • Can i just print out parental sign over paper out and have my babys daddy sign it???

    I got pregnant by this guy he dont want nothing to do with the kid and i want an easy no court involved way to let him sign over his rights

    Jennifer’s Answer

    A parent cannot just sign away their rights. The only way to terminate a parents rights in Maryland is through adoption meaning you have someone else willing to parent the child with you so the biological father signs a consent to the adoption and you complete the adoption or the child is taken into child protective services and parental rights are terminated due to abuse or neglect. In a situation like yours, there is no way to terminate the biological fathers rights. Now whether you pursue child support or he pursues custody is a different issue - that is up to the two of you.

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  • Can A Notary Notarize Adoption Consents if they are also the Director of the Adoption Agency?

    Would that be a conflict of interest and can it make the consent Null and Void? If so how would you go about voiding it?

    Jennifer’s Answer

    It depends. Many state law allows that, a couple do not. You should speak with an attorney in the state where the consent was taken or provide that in your fact scenario so that someone from that particular state can assist.

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  • Can i teminate a adoption?

    i adopted my ex wife's daughter back when she was a baby. i had nothing but heart breaking. as much as i tried to show her how much i love her, she wants nothing to do with me, unless she needs me for money. Her own mother gave full custody of her...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    This answer is not legal advice creating an attorney client relationship. Adoption is a permanent creation of the parent child relationship. When the adoption occurs, previous legal parents (biological or previous adoptive parents) rights are terminated except in a step parent or second parent where one previous parent retains rights. You cannot terminate an adoption or your parental rights but as previously noted, you should have not further financial obligations one the child turns 18 in Maryland unless the child is disabled or unable to become self-supporting. You should speak with a family lawyer familiar with custody and child support going forward as the adoption cannot be undone.

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  • I have a 16 year old daughter that my husband wants to adopt how can I do this without an attorney

    My daughter wants my husband to adopt her. the birth father is all for it . I cant afford an attorney . There is no father on her birth certifcate. How do i even begin to file anything in the courts

    Jennifer’s Answer

    This is for educational purposes only and not legal advice.
    Call the adoption clerk at the circuit court in your county. In Maryland where I practice, the court provides pro se forms and guidance and sometimes can appoint a pro bono attorney to assist you in you qualify. If it is truly uncontested, the courts are usually friendly and want to make the system available to everyone not just those who can afford an attorney. Even if you don't have a lawyer for yourself of the biological father, your daughter will likely have to have a lawyer becuase she is still a minor. THe court might appoint an attorney for her and you'll be expected to pay for that lawyer so you may want to see if your daughter can also get a pro se or reduced fee attorney for her before you file with the court.

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  • Family friend wants us to adopt her unborn child.

    A family friend asked my husband and I to adopt her unborn child. She is 3 mo. along and she has asked the bio father what he wants, and he said that he wants to give it up! My husband and I have a big decision to make. We have no children and ...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    You should immediately contacta private attorney in your home state, MIssouri. This does not have to be overly expensive as most states allow for private adoptions also called direct placements or independent adoption. The birth parents will have to have their own lawyer. Your lawyers can help you through the process without the need for an agency. If you all live in MIssouri you will not have to go through the ICPC process which can add cost but your courts may require you to have a home study or other kind of family investigation but an experience adoption attorney can explain all of this and walk you through it. Try finding one through the american academy of adoption attorneys which has, like myself, attorneys who focus on adoption across the U.S. and canada.

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