What are the steps in a typical adoption?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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When an adoption is pending, the prospective adopting parents are generally screened by the adoption agency or a social service investigator assigned to your case. Certain documents need to be prepared and filed, several office interviews will take place, and a there will be a home visit. A written report with a recommendation for or against the adoption is prepared and forwarded to the court.

Most states require the adoptive parents to have temporary custody of the child to be adopted for a stated period of time. The purpose is to monitor the relationship of the child with the adopting parents in the home environment.

Because court procedures and local adoption rules vary from state-to-state, the advice of an attorney is usually necessary to ensure the proper procedures are followed. Failure to conform to state or local law may result in delays or in the court’s outright refusal to allow the adoption or, worse, create grounds to overturn an adoption.

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