Written by Alissa Kay
Adoption is complicated. Some people say it’s the easy way to have a family… clearly; they haven’t been through the ups and downs that adoption brings. But really, let’s be honest. Adding to your family is never easy. Life is complicated.
When it comes to domestic infant adoption, hopeful adoptive families put together a profile book. This is usually what the expecting parents look at if they decide that they want to CONSIDER making an adoption plan. Remember, expecting parents are the mom and dad… even if they are “sure” on adoption; they aren’t. The decision will have to be made after delivery. Adoption is a HARD choice to make.
Our profile book was all about us. We wanted to portray ourselves in an honest way. We wanted them to get to know us and to understand what our daily life looked like. Profile books can be hard to do because you’re basically marketing yourselves. This isn’t always easy and feels a little weird. But be honest and don’t exaggerate. If you were giving up your child, what would you want to know about your child’s new family? We did a Shutterfly book. Some people do traditional scrapbooks. Be creative, but most importantly, be you.
Sometimes you might meet with the expecting parents before the baby has arrived and sometimes not. Either way, adoption is not a sure thing until TPR happens. Termination of Parental Rights varies by state. Obviously, your agency or attorney will be able to clue in on the facts. In Iowa (since that’s where we adopted our son), parents cannot sign away their rights until 72 hours after birth. After signing, they have 96 hours to change their mind. Basically, the earliest TPR can happen in Iowa is one week after birth. Keep in mind that parents do NOT have to sign after 72 hours… they can take as long as they need. In Nebraska, the mom has to wait at least 48 hours to sign away her rights. Once she signs, it is irrevocable… in other states the parents have to appear in court before their rights can be terminated.
Even after the biological parents’ rights have been terminated… the adoption still isn’t a done deal. A social worker will continue to check in on you and the baby and you’ll have to send in monthly reports. Again, this can vary by state but I found that in most states you need to have the child in home for 6 months before finalization. Finalization is when the courts recognize that child as YOUR baby and that they will have all the same rights as if they were born to you. Oh, and that’s also when their original birth certificate is locked away (in some states forever…) and you will receive a new birth certificate for your child making it seem like you gave birth… that part still seems weird to me! But it is what it is and like I said earlier, adoption is complicated. But my kids are so worth it!!