There are a lot of steps int he adoption process that cause adoptive parents to have fear. First it’s paperwork, then the home study, waiting for a match, adoption placement, and then finally the finalization. The finalization can be just as nerve racking as every other step, but this article will put your mind at ease and help you prepare for that final step in creating your forever family.

A brief overview of the finalization process and court hearing for adoption.

This is a judicial proceeding during which you are given permanent, legal custody of the child. Finalization hearings generally take place within 6 to 12 months after the child is placed in your home. They typically last only 30 to 60 minutes. The hearing will be attended by you, the child you intend to adopt, your attorney, and the agency social worker who placed the child.

In a few cases, the child’s birth parents may also appear, but only if their parental rights have not yet been terminated or they are participating in an open or cooperative adoption.

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Sarah - Content Specialist for, is a mother both biologically and through domestic infant open adoption. She resides with her husband and two boys in Ohio. She is passionate about open adoption and adoption education. In her free time she enjoys cooking, photography, writing, and hiking. You can find more of her adoption work at Heart For Open Adoption on Facebook or on

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