Finalizing an Adoption from Foster Care

Stanton Phillips has successfully finalized over 1,000 adoptions of children from foster care. That experience has taught Stan that what the adopting family wants is an easy process that quickly proceeds to making their child a permanent member of their family.

An easy process for his clients means that Stan knows exactly what steps need to be taken and how to quickly implement those steps. Stan starts the process by emailing the family a worksheet to obtain the information he will need about the family and then emailing the social worker requesting the information and documents he will need from the local Department. The key is to draft a Petition for Adoption and accompanying materials that do not raise questions. Whenever a Court raises a question, that slows the process down.

Your case may have taken many months or years to reach the point where you are ready to finalize. Stan normally recommends that we start preparing the paperwork a month or two prior to the time you are given the green light to file so that we prepare and sign the Petition for Adoption and be ready to file on the earliest day possible. In almost all cases, Stan is able to prepare the Petition for Adoption within a day or two of receiving the materials necessary from you and the local Department.

Easy also means that the clients will only one Court document to sign and it does not even need to be signed before a Notary Public. (If the child is 14 years of age or older, the child will need to sign a Consent for Adoption before a Notary.)

Making the process easy includes that when there is an Adoption Assistance Agreement, Stan normally advances the filing fee and other costs so that there is no upfront money from the clients and he collects his fees and costs from the local Department once your adoption is finalized.

Once your case is filed, the Court will issue an Order of Reference directing your local Department to file their Report of Investigation within 60 days. Stan diplomatically encourages the local Department to file sooner. Soon after the Order of Reference is issued, Stan emails a draft of the proposed Final Order of Adoption to his clients to allow them to review it and make sure the names are spelled exactly the way they want. Preparing early allows us to present your case to the Court to enter the Final Order of Adoption as soon as the Department files its Report.
The Court normally enters the Final Order of Adoption without anyone having to appear in Court. Sometimes when it Is meaningful for the child and family, Stan can arrange a special signing ceremony so everyone can appear in Court and say a few words.

To finish the process, Stan will order a new Birth Certificate from the State where your child is born.