How to Finalize Your Adoption in Idaho
The Final Steps to Receive Your Idaho Adoption Decree
Bringing your baby home from the hospital will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. You’ve waited for so long to add him or her to your family, and it’s an occasion that deserves to be celebrated. You have every right to enjoy every minute of it with your newest family member. However, this doesn’t mean the adoption process is completely over. Prior to receiving your child’s final decree of adoption in Idaho, you’ll have two steps to complete: post-placement visits and your adoption finalization hearing.
What are post-placement visits?
Usually completed by the same social worker who performed your adoption in Idaho home study, a post-placement visit is actually an extension of the home study that occurs after you bring your child home. To ensure that everyone is adjusting well, your social worker will make scheduled visits to your home at least monthly for a period of six months or more. Each month, he or she will fill out a post-placement report that includes information about:
Any special needs or circumstances that might apply to the child
Any services provided to the child or family during the post-placement study period
The general appearance and adjustment of the adopted child
Health and developmental progress
Whether the child has been accepted on the family’s medical insurance, and, if so, when that coverage begins
Any changes in family situation or circumstances
It’s not uncommon to feel nervous about post-placement visits, but remember — just like with your home study, the social worker is there to help you and your child! In addition to ensuring that everyone is adjusting, the post-placement visits are the perfect time to ask any questions you may have prior to the finalization hearing.
What needs to happen before a family can receive the final decree of adoption in Idaho?
Aside from the post-placement visits, there are two laws you may have to comply with before your Idaho adoption finalization hearing. Of course, regardless of your individual adoption situation, you’ll have to wait for the termination of parental rights, whether your child’s birth parents voluntarily consents or the court takes those rights away. However, there are two additional regulations to be aware of:
ICPC (The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children): If you adopt a child across state lines, you’ll have to comply with the ICPC regulations. These were enacted to help regulate adoptions across the United States, since each state has its own set of adoption laws.
ICWA (The Indian Child Welfare Act): If you adopt a child with Native American heritage, you’ll be required to comply with the Indian Child Welfare Act, which was enacted to preserve American Indian families and tribes.
Prior to your finalization hearing, the judge overseeing your adoption will review your case to ensure that the process was completed legally and that you’ve gained the appropriate ICPC and ICWA clearances, if applicable.
What happens at the Idaho adoption finalization hearing?
After you’ve completed your post-placement visits and complied with ICPC or ICWA regulations (if necessary), it will be time for your Idaho adoption finalization hearing. A judge in your county will oversee a quick proceeding, typically no more than an hour long. Here’s how it will generally go down:
Your family will stand before the judge with your attorney. In some instances, your social worker will also be present.
You will introduces yourselves to the judge and explain why you believe the adoption is in the child’s best interests.
You will assure the judge that your intent is to provide your adopted child with a safe, loving and stable home. At this point, he or she may ask some questions to get to know you and your family. If you want to bring a camera to remember the day, now is the time for pictures!
At the tail end of the hearing, the judge will handle any outstanding issues and sign the final decree of adoption in Idaho.
After you’ve gone through the Idaho adoption finalization hearing, you will receive your child’s new birth certificate in the mail. After you receive this, the adoption process is complete. However, it’s important to understand that adoption is never really over; it’s a journey that you’ll be discussing with your child for the rest of your lives. Make sure your child always understands that their adoption story is something to be proud of and that they can come to you with any questions or concerns.
To learn more about the process for adopting a baby in Idaho with our agency, please contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.
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