Adoption is a complicated legal process which transfers the biological parents’ rights to a child to non-biological parents. Children are often adopted by step-parents, relatives, foster parents, or unrelated parties. This process typically contains two stages: termination of the biological parents rights and the formal adoption.
After termination is complete the adoption process begins. Adoption requires certification, filing multiple documents with the court and at least one court appearance. Certification to adopt can take about six months to complete. This should be completed prior to starting the adoption process; however, it is not always an option and may require temporary custody. Multiple private agencies offer certification and home studies. If you are a foster family the certification will be completed byDCS.
The court paperwork and hearing are all part of the same proceeding. The paperwork is detailed and requires specific affidavits, searches, statements, and agreements. The paperwork will also depend on the type of termination. During the final stage of the adoption the Court will hold a hearing. Unlike many court hearings that are stressful this adoption hearing is a joyful experience finalizing the adoption. Often family members attend and take pictures. This is also when the Court issues an order changing the child’s name.