Nobody chooses adoption for the joy of having to chase paperwork, nor for the excitement of giving their whole lives up for inspection by strangers. We do it because it’s our only or best way to start a family. This is why it’s so rewarding to get to sign the papers for finalization. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as scribbling your name on a couple of pieces of paper. There are things you should do to prepare for the day!
1. Prepare for the arrival of your child.
You’ll get to welcome your child into their new home long before the adoption process is finalized. Keep in mind that this could go on for a while, lasting from three months to a whole year. This is why you shouldn’t postpone making arrangements for your child’s arrival until the papers have gone through. You should have everything ready before the new member of your family even steps through the door, since they’ll start sharing your living space right away.
2. Make sure the post-placement visits go as planned.
Once your child has settled into the new environment, you’ll be contacted by the social services to complete the required number of post-placement visits. These will all take place before the final hearing, which means they’re one of the things to worry about while preparing for the big day. The most important thing to do here is to try to establish a routine as soon as possible, as well as to make sure nothing catches you by surprise.
3. Know what the hearing will be about.
The hearing you’ll be asked to participate in is a highly standardized procedure, which is a good thing since you can learn exactly what this system has in store for you. The proceeding usually lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. Since it’s not a public event, only you, your child, your attorney and maybe the social worker will be present. You’ll be asked to introduce yourself to the judge, as well as to answer a couple of fairly easy questions regarding your intentions.
4. Prepare for the worst.
Although things usually go as planned when it comes to the finalization itself, you still need to be aware of the fact that nothing is permanent until the adoption papers have been signed and processed. You could be rejected based on the social worker’s evaluation, or you could fail to meet other requirements. Since there’s a time frame in which the biological parents can change their minds, you’re also facing the possibility of all your effort going to waste. That’s why it’s crucial to work on keeping yourself in a healthy and resilient state of mind.
5. Keep yourself as relaxed as possible.
Going through an adoption process can be very difficult for everyone involved. It gets even harder once you come very close to the finish line and the stakes suddenly go very high.
This is why it’s of the greatest importance for you to do everything you can to keep yourself as relaxed as possible.