Choosing to adopt is only the first step towards bringing a child home and building or expanding a family. Your next step is choosing among the options you have for your adoption route. You may use an adoption facilitator, agency, or attorney. Adoption facilitators match expectant mothers who wish to give their kids for adoption to the right families. Unfortunately, most of these facilitators don’t have a license to handle the legal elements and counseling associated with the process, and you will pay extra for professionals.
On the other hand, experienced attorneys in Greenwood, Indiana and other locations will handle virtually all elements of your process. These include the screening of birth mothers, termination of parental rights, and other legal documentation related to your case. Adoption agencies are private institutions that will link you to a child but might promote various perspectives. Some, for instance, are affiliated with specific religious organizations and might have restrictions on the allowed adoptive parents. Hiring a lawyer is your best choice for a hassle-free adoption.
Here are the documents that will be needed for the adoption process:
Consent to Adoption
This term denotes three distinct legal documents. The first one is signed by a child’s birthparents and verifies their intention to relinquish their parental rights and have the child adopted. Some states might revoke this document until courts enter a final termination decree. Adoption agencies issue the second document that allows an adoptive family to conclude the adoption after meeting all legal and agency requirements. The third consent to adoption is a form signed by the child agreeing to the same if he/she is twelve years or older.
Original Birth Certificate
This is the child’s birth certificate indicating the parents’ names, date and place of birth, and the name the child was given at birth. When your adoption process is complete, you will be issued with an amended birth certificate. States have different rules regarding who can access the original birth certificate and adoption records or if the records will be sealed.
Open Adoption Agreement
This document will spell out the terms of contact between parties in open adoptions. The agreement includes the frequency and contact manner between birth families and adoptive parents or between siblings placed in different foster homes. Though it will be drawn as a contract and signed by the birth and adoptive families, the open adoption agreement is in no way legally binding.
The necessary documents needed include your birth certificate’s copy, certified copies of your marriage license or divorce decrees where applicable and your children’s birth or adoption certificates. Copies of your paychecks or completed income tax forms are also essential.
People assume that adoption is meant for those who for one reason or another cannot have kids. Adoption is, however, open to everyone provided you meet the requirements of your state. Moreover, it is neither a painstaking nor expensive process provided you understand what is needed of you. Whether this will be your subsequent or first adoption, get an adoption lawyer to handle the above documents and overall process for you.