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How do you file a petition for adoption?

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Quick Answer

File a petition for adoption by supplying personal information about the adoptive parents and the child, specifying the legal reason for termination of the birth parents' rights, and identifying any relationship between the adoptive parents and the child, explains Nolo. Include statements that the adoption is in the child's best interest, and that the adoptive parents are an appropriate placement. State adoption laws and procedures vary.

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Full Answer

An adoption petition usually requires the address, names and ages of the adoptive parents, and the name, age and parentage of the child, says Nolo. An adoption requires either a court order to terminate parental rights, or the written consents of the birth parents, which can be filed with the petition. If the adoptive parents wish to change the child's name, this request is filed at the same time. After the petition is filed, the appropriate court schedules an adoption hearing.

An adopted child who is placed with adoptive parents by a public agency can move in as soon as the parents are approved, according to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. This temporary legal custody continues until the agency recommends court approval, which usually occurs within a period of a few months. A petition may also require the child's birth certificate and a statement that the adoptive parents can financially provide for the child.

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