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Adopting in Wisconsin

Adoption in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has laws comparable to many other state for adoption. Any adult, single or married, over 21 may adopt. If pursuing interstate adoption, law of the Birth Mom's home state applies to expense, but it most cases it's ok to assist with legal, medical and living expenses, as well as counseling pre- and post-partum.

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Adoption Attorneys in Wisconsin

11 Adoption Agencies in WI

7 AAAA Attorneys in WI

Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys

  • Attorney
    Lynn J. Bodi
    450 S. Yellowstone Drive
    Madison, WI 53719
    (608) 821-8212
    (608) 821-8201
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, LGBT Family Formation, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Emily Dudak Leiter
    450 S. Yellowstone Drive
    Madison, WI 53719
    (608) 821-8214
    (608) 821-8201
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Intercountry Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Special Needs Children, LGBT Family Formation, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Theresa L. Roetter
    2 E. Mifflin Street, Suite 600
    Madison, WI 53703
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Special Needs Children, LGBT Family Formation, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Stephen W. Hayes
    N14 W23777 Stone Ridge Drive, Suite 200
    Waukesha, WI 53188
    (262) 347-2001
    (262) 347-2205
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Intercountry Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Mediation, Special Needs Children, LGBT Family Formation, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Elizabeth A. Neary
    Elizabeth A. NearyN14 W23777 Stone Ridge Drive, Suite 200
    Waukesha, WI 53188
    (262) 347-2201
    (262) 347-2205
    Services Offered Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Victoria J. Schroeder
    385 Williamstowne, Suite 103
    Delafield, WI 53018
    (262) 646-2054
    (262) 646-2075
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Intercountry Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Agency
    A Baby Step Adoption
    340 Morgantown Road
    Suite 2
    Reading, PA 19611
    (610) 376-9742
    info@ababystepadoption.com
    Services Offered A Baby Step Adoption Agency is led by an AAAA Director with over 30 years of legal and adoption experience. Our agency specializes in full service, newborn baby adoption throughout the United States.
  • Attorney
    Adoptions First LLP
    1100 Glendon Ave
    Floor 15
    Los Angeles, CA 90024
    (800) 658-8284
    info@adoptionsfirst.com
    Services Offered Adoptions First has provided the most caring and professional adoption services for over 30 years. Since 1988 we have dedicated our services & experience to adoptive parents and birth parents. Adoption is not only our work. It is our passion, our personal stories, and our life’s calling.
  • Agency
    Adopt America
    111 N.E. 1st Street, Suite 902
    Miami, FL 33132
    (305) 984-2154
    info@adoptamerica411.com
    Services Offered Adopt America is a licensed child placement agency in the State of Florida. We provide home study services mainly to residents of S. Florida and some other locations throughout Florida. We offer placement services when we are working with a designated birthmother/birth parents but no waiting list.
  • Agency
    Caring Adoptions
    11601 Katy Freeway
    Suite 222
    Houston, TX 77079
    (281) 920-4300
    info@caringadoptions.org
    Services Offered Caring Adoptions is a full service adoption agency that has been finding families for children since 1991. Although located in Houston, Caring Adoptions works with Birthmothers throughout Texas, and Adoptive Parents throughout Texas and the United States.
  • Agency
    EVOLVE Family Services
    5850 Omaha Ave N
    Stillwater, MN 55082
    (651) 342-2627
    evolve@evolveservices.org
    Services Offered At EVOLVE Family Services, we provide various services with regard to domestic adoption, international adoption, foster care, and pregnancy services. Within our agency we are committed to dismantling oppression, racism, and other forms of discrimination in all areas of human services we provide.

Traveling For Your Adoption in Wisconsin

Length of ICPC
in Wisconsin

1-30 days

Email: carrie.pedersen@wisconsin.gov

Wisconsin participates in the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) – a statutory agreement between all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. The agreement governs the placement of children from one state into another state. It sets forth the requirements that must be met before a child can be placed out of state. The Compact ensures prospective placements are safe and suitable before approval, and it ensures that the individual or entity placing the child remains legally and financially responsible for the child following placement.

Adoption Law FAQ in Wisconsin

Advertising Law Info

  • Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents?
    Yes. Only home studied parents and Wisconsin-licensed agencies may advertise, not facilitators or agencies from other states.
  • State Advertising Code of Law
    Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.825

    The term ‘advertise’ means to communicate by any public medium that originates within this State, including by newspaper, periodical, telephone book listing, outdoor advertising sign, radio, or television, or by any computerized communication system, including by electronic mail, Internet site, Internet account, or any similar medium of communication provided via the Internet.

    The term ‘Internet account’ means an account created within a bounded system established by an Internet-based service that requires a user to input or store access information in an electronic device in order to view, create, use, or edit the users account information, profile, display, communications, or stored data.

    No person may do any of the following:

    1) Advertise for the purpose of finding a child to adopt or to otherwise take into permanent physical custody

    2) Advertise that the person will find an adoptive home or any other permanent physical placement for a child or arrange for or assist in the adoption, adoptive placement, or any other permanent physical placement of a child

    3) Advertise that the person will place a child for adoption or in any other permanent physical placement

    This section does not apply to any of the following:

    1) The Department of Children and Families or a child welfare agency

    2) An individual or agency providing adoption information • A foster care and adoption resource center

    3) An individual who has received a favorable recommendation regarding his or her fitness to be an adoptive parent in this State

    No person may publish by a public medium an advertisement that violates this section. Nothing in this section prohibits an attorney licensed to practice in this State from advertising his or her availability to practice or provide services relating to the adoption of children.

Adoption Law Info

  • Who Can Adopt?
    A single adult, a married couple jointly, or the child’s stepparent.
  • Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption?
    No.
  • Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary?
    Yes, but adopting parents may only use a licensed agency.
  • What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period?
    Medical, legal, pre- and post-adoption counseling. Up to $5,000 living. Post finalization payments must be court-approved. Birth mother gift up to $100. In interstate placements, law of birthparent’s home state applies to expenses. Payments may be made to third parties.
  • When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic?
    When the judge signs the order terminating rights. 30 days to appeal on basis of fraud, mistake, undue coercion or inadvertence. Return is automatic, unless the birth mother chooses another placement option, such as foster care.
  • Qualifications for Adoptive Parents for adoption
    Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 48.82; 48.84
    When practicable and if requested by the birth parent, the adoptive parents shall be of the same religious faith as the birth parents of the child being adopted.
    No person may be denied the benefits of this subchapter because of a religious belief in the use of spiritual means through prayer for healing. If otherwise qualified, no person shall be denied the benefits of this section because the person is deaf, blind, or has other physical handicaps. No otherwise qualified person may be denied the benefits of this subchapter because of his or her race, color, ancestry, or national origin.
    Before a child may be placed for adoption by a proposed adoptive parent who has not previously adopted a child, the proposed adoptive parent shall complete the preadoption preparation required under this section. The preparation shall be provided by a licensed child welfare agency, a licensed private adoption agency, the State adoption information exchange, the State adoption center, a State-funded foster care and adoption resource center, a State-funded postadoption resource center, a technical college district school, or an institution or college campus within the University of Wisconsin system. If the proposed adoptive parent does not reside in this State, he or she may meet this requirement by obtaining equivalent preparation in his or her State of residence.
    The Department of Children and Families shall promulgate rules establishing the number of hours of preadoption preparation that is required and the topics covered under that preparation. The preparation shall include training on issues that may confront adoptive parents, in general, and that may confront adoptive parents of special needs children or foreign children.

Home Study Info

  • Elements of a Home Study for Adoption
    Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.88
    When a petition to adopt a child is filed, the court shall order an investigation to determine whether the child is a proper subject for adoption and whether the petitioner’s home is suitable for the child.
    If the petitioner was required to obtain a license to operate a foster home before placement of the child for adoption:
    • The agency making the investigation shall obtain a criminal history search from the records maintained by the Department of Justice and request a fingerprint-based check of the national crime information databases.
    • The agency making the investigation shall obtain information maintained by the department regarding any substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect against the petitioner and any other adult residing in the petitioner’s home regarding substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect.
    • If the petitioner or other adult residing in the petitioner’s home is not now or has not been a resident of this State within the 5 years preceding the date of the search, the agency shall check any child abuse or neglect registry maintained by any State or other U.S. jurisdiction in which the petitioner or other adult is or was a resident within those 5 years.
  • Grounds for Withholding Approval for Adoption
    Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.837
    In the case of a child on whose behalf adoption assistance payments will be provided, if the petitioner has been convicted of any of the offenses specified in § 48.685(5)(c), including murder, homicide, battery, sexual assault or exploitation, child abuse or neglect, incest, child prostitution, child pornography, or incest, the agency may not report that the petitioners home is suitable for the child.
  • When Home Studies Must Be Completed for Adoption
    Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.837
    When the proposed adoptive parent or parents of a child reside in this State and are not relatives of the child, a parent having custody of a child and the proposed adoptive parent or parents of the child may petition the court for placement of the child for adoption if the home is licensed as a foster home under § 48.62. At the request of a custodial parent and the proposed adoptive parents, the department, a county department, or a child welfare agency may place the child in the home of the proposed adoptive parent or parents prior to the filing of a petition.
    After an adoption petition is filed, the court shall order an investigation. The agency making the investigation shall file its report with the court at least 10 days before the hearing on the petition.
  • Postplacement Study Requirements for Adoption
    This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

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