Our use of the terms “putting up” or “giving up” does not reflect how we feel about adoptive placement. These terms remain the most widely used search terms for those who are considering adoption for their baby, and we wish to reach all who seek this important information.
For Birth Parents considering placing their child for adoption, the legal
requirements may seem overwhelming and confusing. In fact, there are a number
of laws that dictate the process, many of which vary based on state.
For Birth Parents, understanding the laws and the legal process that accompany
adoption is an essential step towards making the best decision for your
family and your child.
The legal process of adoption is what transfers the permanent parent-child
relationship from one party to another. Adoption provides the Adoptive Parents
the rights and responsibilities of a legal parent, and bestows the title of a
legal family member on the child.
It is important to note that because adoption laws differ by state,
this process may look different depending on the location of Birth Parents
and Adoptive Parents. However, this sequence of events is the typical process
by which Birth Parents secure an adoption for the infant.
What Happens First?
The Birth Mother or the Birth Parents must
or give up, their parental rights. Based on whether the Birth Parents are working
with an adoption agency or a lawyer, the process may be a bit different. While
this is not finalized until after the child is born, the early stages of the process
include development of an adoption plan. An adoption plan is a formula for how
the Birth Parents wish for the process to look, including which
type of adoption
they would like and the level of involvement they are interested in after the
adoption is finalized.
After Birth Parents have contacted a lawyer or adoption agency, a series of
steps will begin in order to secure a placement for the child. This includes
the Birth Parent's selection of an adoptive family
Once an adoptive family has been selected, state laws will dictate the following
steps, all of which are in place to ensure the Adoptive Parents will be able to
provide the child with a safe and healthy home. This may require tasks for the
Birth Parents, including medical testing. The Adoptive Parents may experience a
where the couple is formally evaluated to determine their appropriateness as
parents, along with caseworker evaluations, and a review of other reports.
The Final Steps
Once the birth has taken place, a Judge will review the adoption case. It is at
this time that the Judge considers the Birth Parent's application to relinquish
their rights to the child, along with the information pertaining to the Adoptive
Parent's suitability. This court hearing, often called a "finalization," is in
many states the time when the dissolution of the Birth Parent's rights and
bestowing of the Adoptive Parent's rights occurs. Depending on the specifics
of the adoption, Birth Parents may or may not need to appear in court. Many
agencies will host meetings within their facilities or take the paperwork to
court without the presence of the Birth Parents.