The final stage of the adoption process is adoption finalization in Oregon. In this stage, your child will receive his or her final decree of adoption, and they’ll legally become a permanent part of your family.
After your child is first placed with your family and before the adoption finalization in Oregon can occur, there are a few things that will need to take place first:
Your child’s biological parents will need to terminate their legal parental rights in accordance with Oregon adoption consent laws.
If applicable to your adoption situation, you’ll need to comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) and/or the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) before you may return home to Oregon with your child.
You must complete your post-placement requirements with your Oregon-licensed adoption home study professional.
Once those three steps have been completed, you’ll be contacted by your OR adoption attorney about scheduling your Oregon adoption finalization hearing. This hearing is typically scheduled to take place at least six months after the initial placement, and is held in your local county courthouse according to adoption jurisdiction laws.
Adoption finalization hearings generally only last about 20 to 60 minutes and are very straightforward. At the end of the finalization hearing, the judge will issue your child’s Oregon final decree of adoption, which is the final step in the Oregon adoption process.
The following will usually happen at your child’s Oregon adoption finalization hearing:
You and your adoption attorney will be sworn in before the judge.
The judge may ask you questions about why you wanted to adopt and your ability to provide a good and safe home for your child.
The judge may ask your adoption attorney and/or social worker some questions about the adoption or how your child has been adjusting since placement.
The judge will sign the final decree of adoption and may offer to let you take a family photo.
Most adoptive families see the adoption finalization as a chance to celebrate their first moments together as a legally-recognized family. Some people host a party after the finalization hearing or take a photo together to remember the day. When a child’s adoption is finalized, it’s often the end of one journey and the beginning of another!
Once you’ve received the final decree of adoption in Oregon, you can file for your child’s amended birth certificate and their social security card. This can take several weeks or months to process.
Although adoption finalization is the final legal step of the adoption process, adoption is an ongoing, lifelong process of emotional exploration for everyone involved. Continuing a dialogue about adoption with your child from day one is recommended to grow closer as a family and to encourage them to strengthen their sense of identity.
For any questions, post-placement support, help facilitating communication with your child’s birth family or anything else, you can always call American Adoptions.
Learn more about how to finalize an adoption in Oregon by calling 1-800-ADOPTION now.
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