explanation of court process for adoptions

I found this on someone else's site. They summed it up pretty well from what I've learned so far. The whole court process takes somewhere between 1-6 months. Some of that time depends which judge you get and I'm sure partly also on where the child lives. You know, always so many variants can come into play. So here's the hijacked info.

1. District Court Process- Judge reviews and considers the case and schedules a "hearing". Hearings are handled differently depending on the birth family's situation, the judge's schedule, persons representing the birth family and those representing the adoptive family. The time involved in getting a hearing scheduled depends on the judge's calendar/schedule and that of everyone else required to attend. Hearings can result in--The immediate decision to finalize the adoption (though this is rarely the case) or - Result in the judge's request for more information (in one case we saw the judge request additional counseling for the birth mother and he scheduled a follow-up hearing. Again, this is rare). -Most often, the hearing just provides a judge with more information about the case and allows him/her to rule on the adoption with confidence. Most often, the judge's decision (final ruling) happens weeks or even as long as months after the hearing. The responsibility of the District Court is to make sure that every issue related to the best interest of the child has been considered.

2. Part I of Final Decree(first decree). Once the District Court hearing has been completed and the judge has had time to make a decision to finalize the adoption, he/she issues the firstpart of the Final Decree. This is a short statement signed by the judge that is forwarded to the parties involved (social services organization on behalf of the adoptive family and the birth family) notifying everyone of his/her decision to finalize the adoption. This first part of the Final Decree must go to each party and there is a waiting period of 10 days before any more can happen to ensure that everyone has been notified of the judge's decision.

3. Part II of Final Decree. Once the 10 day waiting period is up (and the court staff finds time!), the second part of the Final Decree is forwarded to all parties. When the second part of the decree is received by your child's social service organization,the court process is DONE!

4. Household registration change and immigration requirements. Before adoptive family travels, a lot must be accomplished by the child's social service organization. All court documents and background info on the child must be officially translated to English and submitted with certain paperwork to the consulate. Also, the child must have his/her Visa medical exam which is forwarded directly (unopened) to the consulate's immigrant visa office. At some point the child's guardian must file for a household registration change. The household registration is a file located at local government offices that contains certificates and information about each person. Your child's household registration is attached to his/her guardian's file until the adoption has been finalized by the courts. Once the child has been legally adopted, the guardian files with the government office to remove the file from theirs and create a new file showing that the adoptive parent(s) are the new legal guardians. The household registration change takes a day or two or a week depending on the placing organization and the local government office.

5. New family receives a travel date. Each orphanage is different in when and how they schedule a travel date. Some wait until all of the above paperwork is filed and then give the family notice to travel quickly. Some schedule the travel in advance, while they work at preparing the above documents, giving a couple of weeks notice before travel.

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