Adoption can be a long and expensive process. Even when things go well, the process is complicated and full of daunting tasks. Adoption can also lead to heartbreak for many couples and families, especially when things do not go as planned. To reduce the likelihood of something going wrong during the adoption process, having an experienced Atlanta family lawyer on your side is essential.
The Adoption Process
When starting the adoption process, you can choose an adoption professional who handles the entire process or one that handles only certain parts of the adoption. You must also fill out what can seem like a daunting amount of paperwork, including an Adoptive Parent profile.
Every adopting parent in the U.S. must complete a home study by a licensed social worker in your state. This home study evaluates your capability and suitability to adopt a child. Depending on your adoption type, a birth parent may choose you directly, or you will review a list of children waiting to find their forever families.
Your adoption professional will begin petitioning for your adoption. Yet, you may need to wait between one and 18 months before someone conducts a Post Adoption Supervisory Report in your home with all household members present.
Once you get to this part of the process, the next step is preparing for your baby or child to come home. Once your child is home, the last step in the adoption process is the finalization court hearing which legally completes the adoption process.
Prospective parents must realize before they begin the adoption process that adoption costs are often high. They can include the fees for the adoption professional, marketing costs to reach potential birth mothers, pregnancy-related expenses for the birth mother, the prices of a home study, legal expenses, and travel expenses.
So, What Could Go Wrong?
So, what can go wrong in the adoption process? Some of the most common causes of adoption that doesn’t go as planned include:
- Failed Matches. Failed matches occur when an expectant parent chooses an adoptive family, then changes their mind either before the baby is born or after the birth. The biological parents can change their minds anytime until the adoption is legally finalized.
- Disrupted Adoptions. Disrupted adoptions usually happen with older children adopted from foster care. The adoptive parents may not have prepared for challenging issues with the child and change their minds about legally finalizing the adoption.
- Dissolved Adoptions. A dissolved adoption occurs after the adoption has been legally finalized. It is extremely rare, and happens when adoptive parents find they cannot care for an adopted child’s special needs.
- Contested Adoptions. A contested adoption may occur when one biological parent wants to place the baby up for adoption, but the other does not. This usually happens when a father is unaware that the mother is pregnant or that she intends to place the child up for adoption. It can also occur when paternity is in question. In these cases, all parties must go to court, where the judge will determine the outcome.
- Adoption Gets Canceled. The adoption agency determines the adoptive parents are no longer good candidates for the adoption, and the adoption gets canceled.
- International Adoption Closed. This occurs when a country announces they are closing international adoption indefinitely.
- Child Decision. Sometimes, a child of a certain age decides they no longer want to be adopted by a specific family. In this case, the adoption may not go through.
To minimize the risk of adoption that doesn’t go as planned, ensure you always work with an attorney and a licensed, reputable adoption agency. Parents must understand what this decision entails. Snags can delay the adoption for a short period, a long period, or even permanently. For prospective parents, these delays can be mentally excruciating.
It can feel like adoptive parents don’t have much of a voice in the process. They wait, fill out form after form, pay hefty fees, then wait some more. These parents agree to the amount of contact chosen by the birth parent or parents, and even once they have the baby or child, they must wait until the process is legally finalized.
If you are considering adoption, you must prepare yourselves for unforeseen obstacles along the way. Sometimes adoption doesn’t go as planned. But having an Atlanta adoption attorney on your side throughout the process will maximize your chances of having a smooth and successful adoption.
Contact Our Atlanta Adoption Attorneys
If you have questions about adoption in Georgia, out of state, or internationally, we can help.
At Hobson & Hobson, P.C., our Atlanta adoption attorneys work tirelessly to help guide you through the adoption process as you seek to add to your family. Call us immediately to learn more about the adoption process. Our attorneys can meet with you to discuss these issues and guide you through what comes next.