Thursday, May 13, 2010

What is the process of adoption with a child whose parent signs away their legal rights?

My boyfriend's daugthers mother may do this, and if so, I would like to adopt. Does anyone know what the process is, even if it's brief?What is the process of adoption with a child whose parent signs away their legal rights?
Laws are different state to state. My husband is about to begin the process of adopting my daughter that he's been raising since birth. The biological father left me shortly after I told him I was pregnant and hasn't been a part of her life ever. The law in Michigan as I understand it so far is that we had to be married for a year first before he can adopt and the courts won't let the biological father ';sign off'; until and unless there is a father ready to adopt and/or the biological father has had no contact and hasn't paid child support in 2 years. Search online for your states laws or contact your local department of human serivces - they're a good place to start.What is the process of adoption with a child whose parent signs away their legal rights?
You'll need to get an attorney, which isn't tremendously expensive (ours was $500 plus paperwork and filing fees). She and you will sign consent to adopt papers, and you will file that you wish to adopt the baby.

You'll have to have a home study done by a private social worker. Get this started ASAP, as it takes a while. You'll have a few visits before and after the baby is born, to make sure that your parenting plan, your home, and your background is parenting material. Look up the questions online, and have the answers typewritten out when they get there, which will save time and money. Have your ID ready, and you'll probably have to travel to her office after the first visit, with notarized documents, and possibly fingerprints done by a certified police officer in order to get criminal checks done.

Research the laws in your state, because they can be so different from state to state. After the birth of the baby, she'll have a stated amount of time to change her mind, and it happens, so you'll need to be emotionally ready for that unfortunately. If it is possible in your state to sign consent forms before the baby is born (even though she can change her mind afterwards), I'd have it done, that way, God forbid, if she screws up and tests positive for drugs or something at the baby's birth, you'll already have the process started and can have it where the baby doesn't go into the foster care system first, which can be a nightmare! This happened during our son's birth, that just one time she did something that showed up in his body at birth, and if we hadn't had the paperwork done, we would have lost him.
Has your boyfriend signed the birth certificate or taken a parenity test? If the mother signs away her rights, then he will be the sole parent. If you were married to him, I believe you would be able to adopt her.

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