Potential adoptive parents shouldn’t start the process without a basic understanding of the procedures. When adopters understand the rules of parental consent, home studies, and court processes, they are better prepared for the emotional and long adoption process. These processes are explained in detail in the sections below.
For an adoption to be legalized, the child’s biological parents must give consent unless they’ve lost their parental rights. Most states won’t allow parents to give consent until after a child is born, and some jurisdictions even impose a waiting period. Even after consent has been given and the child is in the adoptive parents’ home, the biological parents may be able to revoke consent within a certain amount of time.
All jurisdictions require potential adoptive parents to submit to an investigation to ensure their fitness to raise the child. The investigation is called a home study, which is typically done by the state or a social worker who examines the parents’ home life and prepares a court report. The investigator gathers information such as:
• Financial and marital stability
• Other children in the home
• Both parents’ careers
• The parents’ mental and physical health
• The parents’ criminal histories
In the recent past, home studies have become more than just an investigative method, they serve to inform potential adoptive parents as well. An Adoption Attorney in Hillsboro MO can provide further details on the home study process.
The Court Process
Every adoption, whether it’s handled independently or through an agency, must receive court approval. Adoptive parents must file a petition and go through the hearing process where the court gives formal approval and the adoption moves forward.
Before an adoption hearing takes place, anyone who must give consent has to be notified. Typically, this includes the child’s birth parents, the adoption agency, a child’s legal representative, and the child themselves if they are of age. Check with an Adoption Attorney in Hillsboro MO for state-specific rules.
Adoption can be an emotional process, but local attorneys are here to help adoptive parents work their way through the legal system. Call the firm or visit wegmannlawfirm.com to schedule a pre-adoption consultation.