Catholic Charities Relative Adoption Program is designed to assist families with the legal process of terminating parental rights and
finalizing your adoption. In addition to providing the birth parents with support services, Catholic Charities will provide you with a comprehensive home study including education which is mandated by the State of Wisconsin. Our agency will then provide a report to the court in preparation for your adoption. We will also guide you through the process of changing and applying for your child’s new birth certificate.
In Wisconsin the term “relative” is broadly defined. According to Wisconsin’s Children’s Code a relative is:
a parent, stepparent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, first cousin, 2nd cousin, nephew, niece, uncle, aunt, step-uncle, step-aunt, or any person of a preceding generation as denoted by the prefix of grand, great, or great-great, whether by blood, marriage, or legal adoption, or the spouse of any person named in this subsection, even if the marriage is terminated by death or divorce. Wis. Stat. § 48.02(15).
If you do not already have legal representation, it is recommended that you hire an attorney who is versed in adoption practices. Catholic Charities is able to provide you with a referral at your request.
Children do best when they are provided the truth. During the home study process, Catholic Charities will be speaking with your child about his/her birthparents, the pending adoption, and his/her relationship with you. It is your responsibility to speak to your child prior to this meeting. If you are unsure about having this conversation with your child, you may want to seek assistance regarding some ways to have that discussion.