The adoption process

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
The purpose of adoption is to create a legal parent-child relationship between an adoptive parent or parents and a child. This relationship provides the same responsibilities that exist between birth parents and their children. First, an adoption attorney or agency will determine a match between prospective adoptive parents and birth parents. Once this has been accomplished, the prospective adoptive parents will have a home study conducted by a social worker, along with criminal and child abuse history checks. The birth parents will receive consultation from the social worker to determine if they understand the process and if this is truly what they wish to do. During the pregnancy, the reasonable living and pregnancy- related medical expenses of the birth mother will be paid by the prospective parents. After the birth of the child, the birth parents sign to consent the adoption of the child and thereby terminate their parental rights and responsibilities. The child is then, in most cases, placed in the home of the adoptive parents. Further home visits by the social worker are made to complete the home study. After a favorable recommendation is given by the social worker, a final hearing is held in court to legally finalize the adoption and a new birth certificate is subsequently issued listing the adoptive parents as the true parents of the child. This finalization of the adoption legally places all parental rights and responsibilities with the adoptive parents. The adoption of a child in foster care follows a similar process, except it does not involve the birth parents. For additional information, consult an adoption attorney or an adoption agency.

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