Skip to main content
Irene Arfaras Steffas

Irene Steffas’s Answers

418 total

  • Can i adopt my grandchildren

    we have legal gaurdianship for 3years and father has only seen kid 5 times the child is 7yrs old

    Irene’s Answer

    Yes, of course you can petition the court for an adoption. Seek the advice and legal services of a good adoption attorney in your area. If your income is less than 190K, then you are eligible for expenses up to $13,200. California has excellent adoption attorneys. Good Luck

    See question 
  • Is an attorney needed to expedite adoption?

    My parents are in the process of adopting my niece (5 years old) but are having difficulties and the process is taking forever. My niece has been living with my parents and I for the past 3 years as her biological mother has abandoned her. They ar...

    Irene’s Answer

    To be honest, I am impressed that the case has gone on for 2 years without an attorney. Many courts would have demanded that the adoptive parents obtain the services of an attorney.
    No one is going to expedite your case out of mercy - just being realistic.

    What a good attorney can do is provide a solid path to a successful adoption by knowing the laws and case law for the state of NJ. This can save time.

    A grandparent adoption will qualify for the Adoption Tax Credit. If your parents' income is less than 190K, then may be eligible for up to $13,200 in tax credits. With that said, they will not be out any money they spend on legal fees. There are ways to terminate the rights of biological parents who are not willing to consent. Seek the advice and services of a good adoption attorney!

    See question 
  • Can a 16 choose to live with his biological parent?

    I have a 16 year old son that was adopted 10.5 years ago by the paternal grandparents for the last few years he has been wanting to come and live with me. The other day he showed up with a suitcase and his important papers and said he wanted to li...

    Irene’s Answer

    I see two issues- one is legal custody and the other is counseling a teenager. A good adoption attorney or family law attorney should be able to help you. If your son wants to reside with you, his wishes will definitely have an impact on the decision by the court. Getting legal custody may be the answer. Have you spoken to the grandparents?

    The second issue is motive. Why is he doing this? I have seen children leave adoptive home because of abuse. However teenagers are very volatile and your child may be acting out teenage issues. Getting counseling may be helpful in a case that goes to court.

    A good attorney will help you find a good counselor and set out the best path for this child.

    Good luck - it is good that he knew how to find you

    See question 
  • Parental right termination

    I have two children two different biological father's but only one as the legal father. One is out of prison after 4 years still on parole for assault causes bodily injury. He has seen my daughter a few times since our divorce is behind on child...

    Irene’s Answer

    I understand your concern about having any additional dealings with their father. Please seek the assistance of a good adoption attorney. If he owes child support, this means he is more than just a putative father - someone we presume to be the father. I mention this because his rights can only be terminated by a court. However, over my 30 years experience, I have seen judges waive notice to the father if there is genuine concern that such fathers would put the family in danger. Only a Texas attorney in St. Angelo has any idea of what your judges will do. Please contact an attorney, let the attorney address the court and the attorney will deal with the father in the best way.

    In the event contact is required and you do not wish to proceed, you can always stop the adoption process.

    Good Luck, your children deserve a good father.

    See question 
  • What forms do I need? Can anyone help?

    My daughters father wants to relinquish his rights and my boyfriend of 7 years wants to adopt her. My boyfriend has taken on the father role physically, mentally and emotionally. Can someone please help me with what forms I would need?

    Irene’s Answer

    Many people go on line and try to find the appropriate forms. I do not recommend this. In every case where forms were brought to my office, they were the wrong forms. Even if you had the correct forms, they must be filed with a Petition for Adoption in the appropriate NY court. You are going to need an attorney. Use one from the beginning. If you try to do this on your own, you may end up using the wrong form and needing additional forms to be filled out later.

    Attorneys do not get rich by practicing adoption law. I think you will find the fees reasonable.

    Good Luck

    See question 
  • Step parent adapotion.

    Step Parent Adoption KY What is the name of your state? Kentucky. I would like to adopt my wife's child. The birth certificate does not list the biological father or anyone for father. She was not married to the biological fat...

    Irene’s Answer

    Adoption is a very delicate and important area of law. It terminates the rights of one person and weaves another person into the life of a child.
    From the facts you have provided, it sounds like there is a clear to a straight forward adoption. I highly recommend that you seek the advice of an adoption attorney in your state. Laws are different in every state. For example, not being married to the birth mother and not having his name on his birth certificate should make it easier, faster and less expensive.

    A good adoption attorney in Kentucky will help you achieve your goal of adoption and changing the child's name to yours

    Luck child Best wishes

    See question 
  • Is there such thing called grandparents rights?

    My husband legally adopted my 12 year old. Biological father's rights were terminated and was told that all family member on his side loses rights as well is this correct? Right now they have visitation on the 1st and 3rd weekends. He doesn't want...

    Irene’s Answer

    If the children have resided with the grandparents for 6 months or more, then they have rights to visitation -- that is the law of most states. You need to know California's law

    Grandparents have a very special place in a child's life. My sons are down to just one grandparent and I really understand the huge benefits of grandparents - my mother has more influence over my 19 and 21 year old that my husband and I do, sometimes.

    Have you tried to speak to the grandparents about this? Perhaps the visits interfere with your son's weekend plans and his time with his friends. It may be a simple conversation can accomplish a lot = modify the visitation schedule and give your son the independence he is growing into.
    Good Luck

    See question 
  • I'm 51, and recently found out that my adoption wasn't completed, and have no birth certificate. I do know my birth mother.

    My adoptive parents are both dead, I live in Florida and know my birth name. How can I fix this and get a ABC showing the name I have used since I was 6 weeks old?

    Irene’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I have seen this more frequently that you might imagine.

    Since both of the parents who raised you are deceased, it is very doubtful if not impossible to have them recognized as your parents through adoption. An experienced attorney, might be able to obtain a Declaratory Judgment. You really need someone with a lot of experience. You are welcome to call me. 770-642-6075.

    See question 
  • Can my husband file for adoption for my two children w/out having a attorney? Neither father is present in their life as of now

    I have two boys they have different fathers and my oldest father is unknown and I was married to my youngest sons father but he has not had any contact with him since he left. I have remarried and my husband provides for my two boys has they are his.

    Irene’s Answer

    I appreciate you wanting to save money. However adoption is not the place. You want the adoption to be on solid ground without the possibility of being challenged. Do it right and find an adoption attorney in your state. Special laws apply when a birth father is unknown - it may be easier than you think. With the second father, if he has been out of your son's life for more than one year, it may also be easier. Easier means faster and less steps with fewer fees. However, I would never let a friend do an adoption on their own. Good Luck and great news for your sons.

    See question 
  • Can a mother of a 10 month old baby currently incarcerated relinquish her rights as a mother and give her baby up for adoption?

    My gay partner and I want to adopt. We live in south Texas. We know this lady, currently in jail. Mother of a 10 month old baby. We just found out that she doesnt want the baby, and she doesnt know who the father is since she would prostitute hers...

    Irene’s Answer

    Yes, a birth mother, even in prison can consent to a specific family adopting her child. To answer the remainder of your questions, please seek counsel from an experienced adoption attorney in Texas.

    In all cases where two people wish to adopt a child, I always recommend that they marry first. This way everyone's rights are clearly articulated.

    If you have both parents in agreement with the adoption, your case will be processed much easier, faster and less expensively. I have assisted in a gay adoption in Texas, so I know it can be done in Texas. Can it be accomplished in your county? The adoption attorney will be able to answer that question for you.

    Good luck,

    See question