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Senate committee approves Wozniak plan ensuring families have necessary legal support in adoption hearings
RELEASE|July 22, 2020
Contact: Doug Wozniak

The Senate Committee on Families, Seniors and Veterans has approved a bipartisan plan introduced by state Rep. Doug Wozniak to correct an unintentional result of 2016 legislation that prevents attorneys from legally serving people in adoption court hearings.


In 2016, legislation to prevent underground adoptions without court supervision was signed into law. Wozniak said the Legislature unintentionally failed to include language to protect attorneys who regularly represent adoptive parents and biological parents in legal court-supervised adoptions.


If the law is not updated, attorneys could be violating the law and subject to felony prosecution for advertising their services.


“Families and biological parents undergoing court supervised adoptions rely heavily on the help of licensed attorneys who provide support during the complicated adoption process,” Wozniak said. “Without these qualified experts, most adoptions would not be possible. This is a straightforward solution to an unintended problem.”


Wozniak’s legislation amends the existing law to allow adoption attorneys to continue to lawfully advertise for and perform their services in court-supervised adoptions without the threat of prosecution.


The bipartisan bill package, House Bills 5148-5149, now moves to be considered by the full Senate.

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