What happens after papers are signed and you have your new baby in your arms? Read on to learn about three things that need to happen after your adoption placement.
You have waited, matched, traveled, and are sitting in a hotel room as a new family of three. Now what?
I read a thousand articles about what to expect, and learned that every adoption journey is so different.
Luckily, we had a great agency, consultant, and home study provider that answered any questions we had along the way. Those are your go to people for everything up until your court date.
However, the post placement requirements are pretty similar for domestic infant adoptions.
Even when you think the paperwork, home visits, and strangers wanting to know everything about your family is all finished…surprise! There are a few more things you have to do before finalization.
Understanding what is expected after your adoption placement will make it easier to plan.
The steps below include the what to expect after the consents have been signed. And depending on the state you adopt from, there may also be a revocation period.
Check with your agency or lawyer regarding state specific requirements.
If you adopt outside of your home state, you will have to wait for paperwork to be checked before you can cross state lines.
ICPC stands for the Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children.
It is VERY important that you wait for everything to go through before you head home.
From what I understand, ICPC is in place to make sure all of the correct documents are in order from both the state you are adopting from and your home state.
Because each state may have slightly different requirements, the ICPC offices make sure everything is in order.
This page offers a ton of great information about ICPC if you would like to read more about the specific details.
With our adoption, we were quickly cleared in Florida. But then when our paperwork was sent to NC, we were missing something that only NC required.
This made our stay a little longer, but in the end it all worked out. In total, we spent about 3 weeks waiting for our ICPC clearance.
While you are waiting, it’s easy to just sit and hope for your phone to ring. But, try to enjoy this time with your sweet new little one without all of the craziness of new visitors back at home.
Although we got homesick, and really missed our family and dogs, I cherished those three weeks we spent with Baby B as our new family of three.
Getting back home is so exciting, but the process isn’t over yet!
Depending on the state you adopt from, there will be post placement visit requirements.
Also, each agency within the state may have their own interpretation of the requirements, so make sure you clearly understand what you need to do in regards to the visits.
Typically, the agency that conducted your home study will be able to complete these post placement requirements.
We were able to set this up while waiting for our ICPC clearance so that everything was good to go once we got home.
The post placement typically consists of the social worker coming to your home and checking on your new baby.
They will ask questions about the baby’s development and how you are adjusting to everything. They will also ask about doctor’s visits and if the baby has experienced any illnesses.
Also, they want to make sure you and the new baby are bonding, so may ask about your favorite things to do as a family and how your extended family has reacted to your new addition.
After they visit, and ours usually took an hour or so, the social worker will type up a report.
Depending on your specific agency requirements, you may have to email or mail the post placement report to your agency or adoption lawyer.
Luckily we loved our social worker, because we had to have four post placement visits! She was super easy to talk to and always made us feel so comfortable.
I was always so nervous, but learned that it’s really nothing to be nervous about. Everyone involved wants to make sure you meet all of your requirements.
After all of the post placement visits are complete, then you will get a court date for your finalization!
The lawyer through our agency took care of everything regarding finalization for us. They sent us a few documents we had to sign in front of a notary, but that was pretty much it.
The judge has to review all of the adoption paperwork to make sure it was done in accordance with state laws.
Then, it’s time to make everything official. I was super nervous about our court hearing, but looking back, there was no reason to be at all!
At the hearing, you will be sworn in and asked a few questions about the child.
The judge will make sure you understand that this is a permanent situation and that you will provide the child with a loving home.
After that, the judge will sign the adoption decree and you’re done! Everything is official!
Our court hearing was held over Skype, which was amazing because we didn’t have to travel back to Florida.
It took maybe 10 minutes in total and was an amazing experience.
It felt wonderful to have closure to a beautiful journey, and the start to a new one as an official family of three.
Leading up to finalization, after we were home, I loved putting cute prints around my house for inspiration.
You can find a set of four in the resource library.
Wherever you may be in the adoption process, knowing what to expect after placement can help you plan and prepare. Then it will be time to celebrate!