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Legal Help with Adoption Services & Name Changes in Fort McMurray

At Flett Manning Moore our team of family lawyers can help you with adoptions & legal name changes in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Our family lawyers can assist you with the process and documentation required to complete a private adoption, step-parent adoption, adult adoption and a legal name change. In addition, we may be able to assist you if you are struggling and frustrated with issues arising during the course of a public adoption process with child services authorities. We understand that adoption is a positive, exciting step and we can help make the legal process go more smoothly for you.

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PRIVATE AND STEP-PARENT ADOPTIONS

Ready to adopt a child? Adopting a child entails a private, public or step-parent adoption. A private adoption is when there is a privately made agreement between the birth and adoptive families to place a child. Private adoptions can occur between families that have met personally or through the assistance of an adoption agency. A step-parent adoption is, as its name implies, a privately arranged adoption of the child of a spouse. Adoptions in Alberta are governed by the Child, Youth & Family Enhancement Act.


Adoption Self-Help Kits are available from the Alberta Government but are only necessary if you intend to attempt the adoption process on your own. Hiring a lawyer at Flett Manning Moore to help you prepare and complete the required forms correctly to submit to Court is beneficial. The forms can be daunting and confusing to many people and the information required differs depending on the circumstances. Our legal team can assist with obtaining birth parent or guardian consents where required or a court order to dispense with consent. Legal advice is recommended as each adoption situation will vary.

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ADULT ADOPTIONS

Want to formalize a long-standing relationship? At Flett Manning Moore, we can assist you with an adult adoption under the Adult Adoption Act. The adoption can take many forms, but generally occurs when the parties have a child-parent-like relationship that they were unable to formalize when the child was under the age of 18.


Common examples of adult adoptions include:

  • The adult child of parents who have raised the child as foster parents, but who never adopted the child, and now all parties wish to formalize the relationship;
  • Step parents who were unable to adopt a child with whom they have formed a close relationship, and now all parties all wish to formalize the relationship; and,
  • Adult adoptees who have been reconnected with their birth family, and now all parties wish to formalize the relationship.


To qualify for an adult adoption in Alberta, the person seeking to adopt (petitioner) must reside in Alberta. The adoptee must be 18 years of age and be either a Canadian citizen or a lawful resident of Canada. As the adoptee is 18 years of age and therefore an adult, there is no requirement for the consent of the adoptee’s parents.


How long does an adoption take? Depending on the situation and the type of adoption, adoptions typically take several months and sometimes years to approve. It can take significant time to collect the necessary information, prepare the court documents, obtain consents or obtain court orders to dispense with consents and eventually obtain the final Adoption Order. Once your Adoption Order is issued, the adoption has all the legal effects in place immediately, including the right to inherit assets as if the adoptee was born into the family.

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LEGAL NAME CHANGES

Want to change your child’s last name? As family situations change some family members want to change their legal name or their children’s surnames to reflect those changes. Depending on the reason for the name change, there are different rules in Alberta.


When you submit a name change in Alberta various requirements and sometimes consents or court orders need to be obtained.


If you are unsure of which rules apply to your situation, you should contact an experienced family lawyer in Fort McMurray at our law firm.

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CHILD SERVICES

Losing contact with your child is both scary and traumatic. At Flett Manning Moore our Fort McMurray lawyers have experience acting for Child Services and defending the parents of children that have been apprehended.


If your child is taken from you, we can help you understand what is going on and deal with what is happening. Our Fort McMurray lawyers can explain your situation to the child services workers or lawyer and help you stay in contact with your child as much as possible until you are able to bring him or her home.


If Children's Services determines that you simply need support, you may enter into a Family Enhancement Agreement, cooperating with support workers to resolve family issues. You will undergo assessments, and receive help for issues such as addiction, mental health and family counselling. Workers will also help you access services available in the community and help you create strategies to deal with future problems.


The court may impose the following orders:


Supervision Order: Your children will be with you, with visits from child services to ensure their security and development for up to six months. You may also have to meet certain conditions, such as attending counselling.


Temporary Guardianship Order (TGO): The court may believe that your children should be removed right now, but that they may be returned within a reasonable time, usually less than six to nine months, depending on their age. You may be asked to submit to a parenting or psychological assessment. You and your relatives may be able to visit your child under a TGO, at the discretion of the court.


Permanent Guardianship Order (PGO): The court may believe that it is unlikely you will be able to care for your children within a reasonable amount of time. A permanent home will be arranged for the children, making an effort to match them to families that are similar in culture, family or social heritage. An adult who already has a relationship with the child — for example, a grandparent — can apply to become a guardian.


We can answer your questions about all of these orders and agreements, and help you decide whether you should contest the position being taken by Child Services.

CONTACT FLETT MANNING MOORE FAMILY LAWYERS

If you need advice or know you will need a Fort McMurray family lawyer for a child services matter, we can help you, whether it is acting for the child services authority or defending the parents or guardians of a child deemed to be in need of intervention. We have a diverse and knowledgeable team that can resolve your immediate legal issues and enable you to have continued success. Contact our experienced Alberta family lawyers in Fort McMurray for assistance at 780‑799‑9290 or info@flettmanningmoore.com.

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