National Adoption Awareness Month Part 2: Your Adoption Checklist
Adoption is about benefitting the child who needs parents, but it also benefits the parents adopting.
It gives these parents a positive and rewarding experience. It’s not a simple process, though, since it involves many steps from start to adoption.
Findlaw gives a checklist for those interested in starting the adoption process. By following this list, you’ll be golden:
☑️ Select Your Adoption Type
Adoption isn’t just one clear cut category. It splinters off into many categories, some more beneficial than others for your specific situation. Not sure which route to go? You can either work with an adoption agency or adopt through an independent adoption without an agency. Factors such as the level of contact between the adoptive parents and birth parents also vary and require different actions. An adoption law attorney can also help facilitate the process.
☑️ Find Child Available to Adopt
Every state has a different adoption process, including varying requirements. Finding a child can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Outlets to pursue involve talking to friends, coworkers, adoption agencies, or adoption law attorneys.
☑️ Participate in the Home Study Process
This process is required by many states and has three purposes involving the adoptive parents: educating/preparing the family for adoption, gathering information about these adoptive parents that will provide the best match (a social worker will utilize this information to find the best “fit” child-adoptive parent relationship), and looking at the overall fit for the adoptive family. Elements of the home study process include: training, interviews, home visits, background checks, references, health statements, income statements, and autobiographical statements.
☑️ Obtain the Birth Parent(s)’s Consent to Adopt
Consent involves the birth parent agreeing to give his or her child up for adoption and to release all respective rights and duties with respect to the child. Once consent is given, there is something called the “termination of parental rights” which “ends the legal parent-child relationship between a prospective adopted child and his or her birth parent(s)”. Once this takes effect, the prospective adopted child is legally free to be put up for adoption.
☑️ File Petition and Obtain Court Approval
Despite having the necessary consent from the birth parent(s), court approval is the next step. This is an important step in the process that involves filing an adoption petition. Every state is different, but generally the information that’s needed is:
- Name, age, and address of any adoptive parent(s) involved
- Relationship between the child and adoptive parents
- The legal purpose behind the “termination of parental rights”
- Proof that the adoption is in prospective adoptive child’s best interest
- Proof that the adoptive parents are the right people to adopt
Once this petition is filed, something known as an “adoption hearing” usually takes place before the entire process/decision is finalized.
Checking off those five steps is important and entirely worth it. To ensure your Louisiana adoption is done properly, you likely want to consult with a local adoption attorney familiar with Louisiana adoption laws and policies. Adoption law attorney Taylor Fontenot Trying to decipher what a specific adoption statute means can be overwhelming and confusing. At Southern Oaks, our goal is to help you guide you through that process. Contact us today.
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