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Friday, June 28, 2013

Working Toward Finalization

I'm sure you know it, but the adoption process doesn't end when the baby comes home. In Indiana it takes 5-6 months to finalize.

We are in the middle of a private domestic infant adoption (Recap: We did not use an agency to be matched. Isaiah's birth mom contacted us directly.). The process we're going through to adopt Isaiah is split into two in my mind. Before and after.

Before Isaiah was born we had to:
  • Contact an attorney to seek advice on how to proceed.
  • Contact the social services agency our attorney suggested.
  • Fill out hours worth of paperwork.
  • Contact trusted friends to explain our situation and ask for references.
  • Send in application with non-refundable application fee.
  • Get digitally fingerprinted.
  • Get certified background checks.
  • Turn in requested financial documents.
  • Meet with our social worker for the first two hour meeting in her office. Second payment due.
  • Fill out "homework" sheet with lots of open ended questions about our early lives.
  • Meet with our social worker for the second two hour meeting in her office. Third payment due.
  • Fill out "homework" sheet with lots of questions about the pending adoption.
  • Meet with our social worker for the third two hour meeting at our house. Final payment due.
  • Wait for the final report stating we're approved to adopt.
During that time I was also meeting with Isaiah's birth mom to go to her doctor's appointments, and she met with our attorney so he could explain the process to her. We also met with his birth dad so that he could meet us and feel comfortable knowing that we are good people. We pulled together a nursery, had a couple of baby showers, and held our breath that nothing would change.
After Isaiah was born, we:
  • Signed papers with our attorney 24 hours after Isaiah was born.
  • Forked over serious coin.
  • Isaiah's adoption was opened with the court. An emergency custody order was granted to us and we took him home from the hospital. We live in the same area, so a hotel stay like most adoptive parents go through was not required.
After we went home:
  • We had to have an in home visit with our social worker at 2 months. Payment due.
  • We have to have an in home visit with our social worker at 4 months. Payment due.
  • Our attorney files our finalization paperwork after the report comes out from the 4 month visit.
  • Between 5-6 months we will finalize the adoption and Isaiah's name will legally be Isaiah instead of "Infant Male." Final payment due.
The first two months of Isaiah's life were very unmonitored. It truly felt like we were on our own to just be the three of us. We didn't have to fill out paperwork, make phone calls or anything. Even the "after" meetings with our social worker were more relaxed than they were during the home study process. I only heard from our social worker once between our 2 and 4 month meetings, and that was a message telling me Happy Mother's Day. She's so sweet.

Now, we're waiting for our finalization hearing. The very last step! We've been told that our hearing will be in early August, just shy of the 6 month mark. I can't begin to tell you how excited it makes me to be completely finished with the legalities. Isaiah is excited too.

How did you celebrate your Adoption Day?



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