Wisconsin adoption laws


WHO CAN ADOPT IN WISCONSIN?

A single adult, a married couple jointly, or the child’s stepparent.

Can LGBT families adopt? Yes, same-sex couples can petition for joint adoption.

WISCONSIN DOMESTIC ADOPTION LAWS

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.

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. Birthmother gift up to $100. In interstate placements, law of birthparent’s home state applies to expenses. Payments may be made to third parties.

Is there a putative father registry? Yes.

When can consent to adoption be granted? Birthmothers: any time after birth, in court; adjudicated/presumed father: any time after birth, in court; putative father: any time after birth, does not need to be in court. Court must hold hearing after birth and within 30 days of filing petition to terminate rights.

 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 birthmother chooses another placement option, such as foster care.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Not addressed in state statutes.

WISCONSIN INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION LAWS

Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? The State Dept. must approve the adoption placement.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Yes, as long as the foreign adoption is valid. There is no mention of whether or not it’s mandatory in the state statutes.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The State Registrar will, upon request, issue a birth certificate for a child with adopting parents that reside in Wisconsin at the time of the adoption upon receipt of proof of the date and place of birth of the child.

ADOPTION FROM FOSTER CARE IN WISCONSIN

Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, adoption subsidies are available for a special needs child, who is defined as having at least one of the following: 10 years or older, member of a hard-to-place minority race, member of a sibling group of 3 or more children that are being placed together, has or is at high-risk of developing moderate or intensive “special need characteristics”. Adoption subsidies differ for American Indian children. Adoption subsidies begin at adoption placement and before adoption finalization.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Wisconsin?  http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/children/adoption/default.htm

WISCONSIN ADOPTION UNIT
1 West Wilson Street, PO Box 8916
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 266-3595
langedw@dhfs.state.wi.us
http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/children/adoption/default.htm