Adoption Guide for Parents
Congratulations on your decision to adopt! Let’s get started. Our adoption guide for parents will walk you through the process and help avoid or minimize any pitfalls that might come your way.
Here is is a list of things you will need: 1) positive attitude; 2) perspective; 3) persistence; 4) patience. These qualities are required of parents (especially parents of teens), so you may as well get some practice in early, right?
Positive Attitude about the Adoption Process
Whether you are adopting a newborn child from someone you know, or from a private or non-profit agency, there will be some bumps along the road. These may be minor glitches, causing a small delay, or they may be seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Do not get discouraged. Seek affirmative support from your pastor, your family, your friends, or other adoptive families.
Keep Perspective in Place During the Adoption
Giving birth may not be easy, but neither is adoption. Every pregnancy is different and every adoption is different. During pregnancy, sometimes things go smoothly and sometimes the doctor has to take extreme measures to protect his patients. During an adoption, several issues can arise as well, causing your attorney to have to take action. For instance, your caseworker may be overloaded – many are – and the home study time may increase. Since the typical length is six to eight weeks, it can really seem to drag on. A pregnant woman may to endure enforced bed rest; you may have to endure a lengthy screening process. Remember, the caseworker is only looking for a loving and safe home for the child. Keep your perspective. You will have many years with your child.
Polite Persistence Pays Off in Your Adoption Process
Most good things in life come at a price. You have worked hard to achieve the qualities that will make you a great parent. If the caseworker keeps requesting more information prior to making a decision, provide the information. Make sure all your documents are accurate and complete. Take time to check in with your adoption attorney to make sure there is nothing you need to be doing. Take time to check in with your caseworker (be extremely polite) to make sure he or she has the information and documentation needed to complete the report. Staying on top of things in a productive manner will make you feel better and will actually help the process.
Practice Patience Throughout the Adoption Process
It may not seem like it, but the wheels of the system are slowly turning. In addition to the home study, you (and your partner if you have one) will have to get your fingerprints taken. You will have to submit to a criminal background check. Your attorney will have to locate the biological father, if known, and obtain a relinquishment from him. If your child is not yet born, you will be waiting until the birth. Then you must wait until at least 48 hours after the birth of the baby to allow the birth mother time to consider and sign the relinquishment paperwork. Please be patient, these things take time.
Welcome Adopted Baby Home!
You have had a positive attitude; you have maintained your perspective; you have displayed polite persistence; your patience is about to be rewarded. Once the home study report and screening processes are complete, you receive approval, and your attorney has received the necessary paperwork, you are almost finished. Now, finally, your attorney can schedule a time to take you to before the judge to complete the court processes. Your attorney will prepare the Orders for Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption for your review prior to the hearing.
NOTE: If you are adopting a child through CPS, a foster child, or an older child, please read next week’s article for more information. Later in November we will talk about Grandparent Adoptions, Step-parent Adoptions and Voluntary Placements. Be sure to contact our law office at 817-336-8500 if you have a topic you want to hear more about.
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