Birth Mother Blog

Finalizing Adoption Steps and Responsibilities

By: Talia Washington

You are nearing the closing of a life-changing process. After a careful guided review of the adoption plan your unplanned pregnancy will be in the care of a loving, like-minded adoptive family. You have made a courageous and selfless decision, but the adoption process does not end with selecting the adoptive parents. Let’s discuss adoption finalization: finalizing adoption steps and responsibilities for adoption in Missouri.

Adoption Finalization for Birth Mothers

Birth mothers, you are essentially near the end of the adoption process.

Your last tasks include acquiring the consent of both birth parents to terminate parental rights. This is legally required before the child can be adopted. It is important to note that parental rights cannot legally be released before the child is two days (48 hours old).

The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) is enforced to keep the child safe while traveling throughout different states. Safety regulations such as ICPC ensure the adoption is legal with the systems that are put in place.

The final steps of the adoption process are legitimizing the adoption. A judge will conduct the final hearing and sign the adoption decree. The adoptive family as well as the birth mother are expected to attend. After the hearing, the adoptive family will be granted legal custody of the child.

There are processes placed to keep your child safe and the adoption process legal. The court hearing will be the final step before taking the child home for the adoptive parents. It is the judge’s decision that will determine whether or not to sign the child will be adopted. The judge will then sign the adoption decree if they find the family appropriate.

Counseling and emotional support will be accessible during and after the adoption finalization. Financial support may be provided based on need and resources.

What Adoptive Parents Need to Know

The birth mother signing over parental rights is not adoption finalization for adoptive parents. Adoptive parents will be present during the final hearing. When the finalization process ends they will be allowed to take the child home.

Here is a list of some things adoptive parents may need during the adoption finalization process. Adoptive parents need to know:

  • Your court appearance may call need for a finalizing attorney and your adoption agency. Adoption Choices of Missouri will be present in court in order to speak with the judge.
  • The judge will swear in everyone present from the adoptive family. The questioning will involve parenting and commitment. If the judge has a speech or other concerns, then it will be spoken.
  • The judge determines whether the adoption takes place. If the decision is in the adoptive parents’ favor they will be issued a Missouri certificate of adoption. At the end, the judge will issue your Missouri certificate of adoption.
  • Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) ensures that adopted children are safe traveling throughout states. 50 states have been contracted on this agreement. These rules must be abided by, even if they are adopting in-state.
  • Adoptive parents will be required to be present for home visits up to six times a month after the adoption. These are mandatory visits to check in on the health and safety of the child.

The Final Steps Summary – Adoption Agencies in Missouri

  • Terminating parental rights
  • Court proceedings
  • Adoption decree
  • Post-placement visitation
  • Counsel and support for birth mothers

Ultimately, after these are complete the adoption is complete. The adoptive parents can begin the journey of parenthood. You can know that you made the best decision for your child and (if decided in the adoption plan) contact the child. Giving a child up for adoption can be an emotional, upsetting, exciting, and somewhat demanding process for all parties. You have reached the end now, and the child is now placed in a loving, stable, and growth-inspiring home.

We understand that this can be an emotional and challenging journey, and our goal is to ensure that you feel empowered, informed, and supported throughout this important step. Our full-service Missouri adoption agency will guide you through the legal procedures, answer your questions, and connect you with resources to assist you in making the best decision for yourself and your child. We believe that every birth mother deserves a smooth and respectful adoption finalization experience, and we are here to help you achieve just that.

If you have questions or are considering adoption for my baby please contact Adoption Choices of Missouri. Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to answer any questions or concerns.