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Adoption Finalization in Wyoming

How to Receive Your Final Decree of Adoption

The moment your baby is placed in your arms will change your life. The joy of parenthood and the overwhelming rush of emotion are something you should hold on to. This can feel like an enormous moment of victory — which it is.

You’ve come a long way to get here, and you’ve overcome a lot of challenges. It may surprise you to learn that, in this moment, the adoption process is not quite finished. Not to bum you out, but there are still a few steps left until your adoption in Wyoming is finalized.

Most hopeful adoptive parents aren’t aware of the Wyoming adoption finalization process when they first consider adoption. Even though you’ll have professional guidance from an adoption specialist and adoption attorney, it’s good to learn about this important step for yourself. The more you understand about the adoption process, the less stressful it will feel.

This guide to adoption finalization in Wyoming will start you off with the basic information you need to understand what’s happening and why it’s happening. You can also contact us online at any time to learn more about adoption in Wyoming.

What is Wyoming adoption finalization?

Wyoming adoption finalization includes all of the steps of the adoption process between placement and the final decree of adoption. These steps are almost entirely legal in nature, so your adoption attorney will be heavily involved in your adoption finalization.

By the end of this process, you will be awarded complete legal custody of your baby, and the adoption process will officially be over. In order for this to happen, you will need to follow a few steps.

How do you receive your final decree of adoption in Wyoming?

There are, generally speaking, three steps between placement and adoption finalization in Wyoming. Typically, this process takes about six months, although it can be shorter for some families. As you read, keep in mind that your adoption attorney and adoption specialist will be there to guide you through this.

Step 1: Complying with adoption laws

There are plenty of legal requirements you will need to meet during the adoption process, which is something your adoption attorney should stay on top of. When it comes to Wyoming adoption finalization, there are two laws in particular that could noticeably impact your adoption process.

  • The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) is a federal adoption law that each state complies with. Because each state has its own adoption laws, a federal law is necessary to tie the patchwork of 50 unique laws together. If you are adopting a child who is born in a different state, you will need to comply with ICPC. This means, primarily, that you will need to plan on staying in the child’s state of birth until all of the interstate paperwork has been completed, which can take a week or two. ICPC compliance is something a judge will look at before issuing a final decree of adoption in Wyoming.

  • The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) creates certain protections for children and families of Native American heritage. If the child you are adopting has this heritage, you should consult with your adoption attorney about how ICWA could affect your Wyoming adoption finalization.

Step 2: Post-placement home study visits

The bulk of the Wyoming adoption finalization process happens during the post-placement visits. At this point, you will have already completed the pre-placement adoption home study, which reviews your home and adoption readiness. That home study is used to determine if a placement should be made with your family.

During the post-placement visits, a social worker will observe how you and your baby are adjusting to this new life. There are usually several post-placement visits over a six-month period following the adoption placement. A report will be written and reviewed by a judge at the adoption finalization hearing.

Step 3: The Wyoming adoption finalization hearing

To complete your Wyoming adoption finalization, you will schedule and attend a hearing, most likely at your local courthouse. During this hearing, a judge will review the necessary documents to ensure that your adoption has met all applicable legal standards. It’s common for the judge to ask you a few questions, too. He or she may ask about your motivation to adopt, and how you have bonded with your child since placement.

After this, the judge will give your final decree of adoption — the last stamp of approval to close the adoption process and officially recognize your new family. This is a celebratory occasion, as it should be. The adoption process isn’t always easy, and any family at this point has worked hard to receive their Wyoming final decree of adoption. 

If you are still considering adoption and want to learn more about Wyoming adoption finalization, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time. Our adoption specialists will help you understand adoption finalization and all the other steps of the adoption process. 

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