To close out National Adoptio Month, I have one final question.
Why do you have to wait six months before finalizing?
Jocelyn was placed in our physical custody on April 21, 2009, although technically she "belongs" to the adoption agency until the courts finalize our adoption of her. Jocelyn must be in our care for a minimum of six months before finalization can happen. This gives the agency time to do two to three post-placement reports to make sure we are treating the baby well and bonding and adjusting normally. This also includes the period of time the birth parents have to appeal their relinquishment, depending on the laws of the state.
If adoptive parents were found unfit to parent the baby, the child would go back to the adoption agency because that agency holds the legal guardianship of that child. After the birth parents relinquish their rights, they cannot get the baby back, even in the extreme case of the baby being removed from the adoptive parents' home. Before finalizing, the adoptive parents don't have the same legal obligation for the child as parents would. If the adoptive family decided for some reason that they could no longer parent the baby, the agency would regain custody of the baby and find a different family for the baby and there would be no legal repurcussions for that.
We filed the petition to finalize Joci's adoption the very day that marked her six months in our home. We finally got a court date, which is next Monday. I am very excited to legally make her ours!