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How to Finalize Your Adoption in Vermont

Breaking Down the Vermont Adoption Finalization Process

Every adoption in Vermont is different, but they all have one thing in common — finalization. This exciting step signals the completion of the adoption. But before you get too excited, there are a still a few steps that you may need to complete first.

Because every adoption will have different requirements, it’s a good idea to speak with an adoption professional or an adoption attorney before you get started. They will be able to help you throughout the process and will make sure that you complete the necessary legal steps for your adoption finalization in Vermont.

To receive free information, please call 1-800-ADOPTION now.

Legal Requirements to Finalize an Adoption in VT

One important step that adoptive families may overlook is making sure that certain criteria have been met before finalizing their adoption in Vermont:

  • Termination of Parental Rights: Both of the birth parents must have their rights terminated before an adoption can continue. This can be done either voluntarily or involuntarily. Termination is legally necessary before you can bring a child into your home.

  • Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA): The Indian Child Welfare Act helps protect Native American tribes and families before an adoption can occur. If you are adopting a child with Native American heritage, you may need to go through ICWA to receive clearance and make sure that all legal requirements have been followed.

  • Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC): The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children is used when the adoptive family and the adopted child live in different states. If you’re planning to adopt a child from a different state, rest assured that ICPC will be there to make sure the rules and regulations of both states have been met, and that your transition goes smoothly.

After you’ve received the necessary clearances and ensured your adoption has followed all applicable laws, there’s still one more step to complete before your Vermont adoption finalization hearing.

Post-Placement Visits

During your home study, you were required to participate in in-home visits. You may have thought that you were finished with these in-home visits, but there are still some additional ones you will have to complete after you bring your new child home.

After the adoptive placement, your social worker will return to evaluate how the family is adjusting to life with their little one. Your social worker will discuss how your child is developing, and they will be able to answer any questions that you may have. You social worker will mainly be there to evaluate whether everyone’s needs are being met.

In Vermont, the post-placement assessments will occur within five days of placement. The assessments made during your post-placement visits will be used to recommend your final decree of adoption in Vermont.

Once you have satisfied the necessary post-placement requirements, you are well on your way to the finalization hearing in Vermont.

If you have any questions about what to expect during your post placement visits, please call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an adoption counselor.

What to Expect During Your Finalization Hearing in Vermont

Before you head to your finalization hearing, your adoption attorney will prepare all of the necessary paperwork in advance. The judge will review your paperwork ahead of the hearing, and will make sure all state rules and regulations in Vermont have been met. Your adoption specialist and attorney will let you know when your adoption finalization in Vermont will take place. Usually, it will take place three months to a year after placement.

The moment you and your family have been waiting for is finally here. Typically, you can anticipate the hearing to last about 30-60 minutes. During your Vermont adoption finalization hearing, you can expect the following to happen:

  • Your family, adoption attorney, and possibly your social worker, if they’re there, will stand before the judge and be sworn in.

  • You will be asked to introduce yourself and answer some questions about your desire to adopt. You will then confirm for the judge that you can provide a loving and safe home for the child.

  • If you are adopting an older child, either from foster care or internationally, they may be asked to confirm they wish to be adopted.

  • The judge will then ask any closing questions to finish out the hearing

  • Once the last questions have been asked, they may ask you and your family to take a picture together. Don’t forget to bring a camera!

  • The hearing will be over once the judge has signed the final decree of adoption in Vermont.

To learn more about what to expect during the finalization hearing, you can contact your local county court in Vermont.

After your adoption finalization hearing in Vermont, your adoption is legally complete. Many adoptive families invite their extended family and friends to the hearing to celebrate this momentous occasion. You can now apply for a new birth certificate and social security card with your child’s name on it.

If you have any lingering questions about the adoption finalization process in Vermont, request free information here. To learn more about adoption with our agency, please call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time. 

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