Adoption finalization marks the last step in the Kentucky adoption process, and the point when your child becomes a legally-recognized and permanent part of your family.
Before the final decree of adoption can be issued and Kentucky adoption finalization completed, there are several steps that must happen after placement:
Your baby’s birth parents must issue their adoption consent to terminate their parental rights no earlier than 72 hours after the birth of their child, in accordance with Kentucky adoption consent laws.
You must comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) and/or the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) if applicable in your situation.
Your American Adoptions adoption specialist and your Kentucky adoption attorney will contact you with details about your Kentucky adoption finalization hearing once these steps have been completed. The hearing will be scheduled for several months after your placement, and it’ll take place in your local county circuit court.
The adoption finalization hearing is typically brief, lasting less than an hour, often about twenty minutes. At the adoption finalization hearing, the judge will issue the final decree of adoption, which completes the Kentucky adoption process.
Many adoptive families take this opportunity to celebrate their new family member with a family photo or party, and some invite their family and friends to the hearing.
Here’s what you can anticipate at your Kentucky adoption finalization hearing:
The judge will swear you in with your adoption attorney and occasionally your social worker.
You’ll speak about why you chose to adopt and your intent to provide your child with a safe home.
The judge will ask you or your social worker any final questions, and then sign the final decree of adoption.
With that final decree of adoption, your child’s adoption is finalized and their Kentucky adoption is complete.
Once the Kentucky adoption finalization is complete, you can file for your child’s amended birth certificate and social security card. You can always get in touch with American Adoptions for any post-adoption questions, for help facilitating communication with birth family, support and more.
Learn more about how to finalize an adoption in Kentucky by calling 1-800-ADOPTION now.
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