ADOPTIVE COUPLES BASICS
Written by Deborah.
All Christian Adoption couples will need to consider these basics prior to a final adoption hearing.
***Have a home study conducted for you by a licensed and certified social worker in your home state.
A social worker may work for: an agency; in conjunction with an agency; for the state; with an adoption attorney or for themselves as an independent contractor.
Fees vary from state to state as well as from one social worker to another. The national range varies from $350.00-$2,500.00 per home study. Each state has it's own set of home study guidelines. Asking your social worker what your home state's requirements are, in advance of your home study, can save you time, money, and grief. (Be sure to have more than 1 smoke detector installed in your home AND at least 1 fire extinguisher.)
***Retain a professional adoption attorney. This is one area of life, your child's adoption process, that needs professional legal counsel.
***"Match" with a birthmother or with birth parents in or outside of your state. If you "match" with birth parents outside of your home state, you may choose to finalize in your home state, the state of delivery or a 3rd state if that's where your birthmother delivers. (Exception to final hearing location choices: FLORIDA.) Independent adoption is subject to the adoption laws of the state where the birth mother gives birth.
***ICPC is an acronym for Interstate ComPact Contract. This lawful documentation is necessary for a child to be transported from it's birth state to the adoptive couple's home state. (This agreement was designed to reduce child trafficking across state lines.)
ICPC basically means this: "Hello Kansas, this is New Mexico and we're acting as the sending state of a child that's being born in our state. The birth parents have chosen to place this child for adoption with residents of your state. Do you recognize this adoptive couple as legal residents of your state? Will you accept the birth parent's termination of parental rights (TPR) and allow this child to enter your state?" Kansas replies, "New Mexico, we accept their relinquishment of rights paperwork and you have fulfilled Kansas adoption laws. Please inform our Kansas residents that they may return to Kansas with their newly adopted child."
Each state has it's own ICPC requirements. Even if the birthmother delivers in her home state and later flies to your state, the adoption process will still require ICPC clearance.
***You may or may not need an attorney to represent your birth parents for TPR. This is a state by state requirement regardless of the birthmother's age (under 18 in adoption doesn't mean required attorney representation.)
***Birth parents rights are subject to the state in which the baby is born.
Acquire a home study. (This private and confidential legal document is needed primarily for your final adoption hearing.)
Retain a professional adoption attorney.
"Match" with a birthmother.
Determine the laws of the birthmother's home state.
Decide which state is more adoption friendly. (Her state or your home state.)
Jointly decide on a delivery plan.
Travel to the chosen state for delivery, if applicable.
Acquire all TPR signatures of the birth parents prior to or after delivery, dependent on state laws.
Receive your child.
PRAISE GOD for His gift to you!
Process ICPC, if applicable.
Travel back home to your state, if applicable.
Attend your final adoption hearing. (Not all states require you to attend the final hearing or to have a final hearing.)
Give God all the praise & glory!
For more information please read Register Index.
We encourage you to follow God's loving guidance.
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Deborah S. Niles P.O. Box 243 Coffeyville, KS 67337
We are not an adoption agency, we are not registered, we are not licensed, and we are not professional counselors.
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