The day you bring your child home with you will be one of the happiest in your life. However, that doesn’t mean the adoption process is over. Connecticut still has some laws that must be followed before you receive your final decree of adoption.
A post-placement study is essentially an extension of your home study. Your adoption home study provider will conduct around two to six visits after you bring your child home with you. This is to ensure that everyone is adjusting well, that your home has maintained the same standards, that the child is developing as expected, and that you’re ready to complete the Connecticut adoption finalization process.
Connecticut state laws do not address post-placement requirements for adoption, so talk to your adoption specialist or home study provider about what the post-placement process will look like for you.
Before you’re ready for your child’s CT adoption finalization hearing, certain requirements must be met. This will, of course, depend on your individual adoption situation, but if applicable, each of the following criteria must be adhered to:
The Termination of Parental Rights: It’s important that both of your child’s birth parents have their rights legally and ethically terminated. Whether this takes place voluntarily or whether a judge legally does so, a child cannot be officially adopted into a new family while one or both of the birth parents retain parental rights.
Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Clearance: If the child you adopt is of Native American heritage and is eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe, you will be required to comply with ICWA, which is a federal law that was enacted to preserve tribal families.
Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) Clearance: If your child was born in a different state than you live in, you’ll be required to see that all ICPC regulations are followed. Since all states have different adoption laws, ICPC serves to protect children who are adopted across state lines by providing a checks and balances system.
Adoptive parents await their child’s CT adoption finalization hearing with a lot of excitement; it is, after all, the day your child becomes legally and permanently yours. To help you prepare, here’s a general outline of how you can expect the day to go:
You, along with your child and your adoption attorney, will meet in front of a judge and be sworn in to the proceedings.
Your attorney will ask you to introduce yourself and provide testimony about why the adoption should take place. If your child is older, he or she may be asked a few questions too. These are simply to ensure that the child is on board with the adoption process and aren’t designed to put him or her on the spot.
Your attorney will ask you to confirm that it is your intent to provide the child with a safe, loving home. At this point, the judge may invite you to take a photo. If you brought your camera and would like a finalization day picture with the judge who grants your final decree of adoption, now is the time!
The judge will ensure that everything is in order, such as approving payments to the birth mother for living expenses or terminating the alleged father’s parental rights. As long as everything is in order, he or she will then sign the final decree of adoption in Connecticut.
And just like that, it’s over! Your child’s adoption is legally complete. You should expect to see his or her new birth certificate in the mail a few months after the hearing, although this may take longer if you adopted internationally.
For more information about the Connecticut adoption finalization hearing or to start the adoption process, please call 1-800-ADOPTION.
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