What to Expect from an Adoption Hearing

judge deciding in an adoption hearing

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You’ve wept tears of joy and of frustration.

You’ve put in the time – probably years – and effort, and of course, money.

And now you’re in the home stretch. You and your child have started the long process of becoming a family. You’ve passed your home study.

Now, the final step is your adoption hearing.

approved adoption order at adoption hearing

What Happens at an Adoption Order Hearing?

You’ll be happy to know that the adoption hearing is actually one of the easiest steps in the adoption process. So give yourself, and your kiddo, a pat on the back.

An adoption hearing is generally over within 30 minutes to an hour. It’s also closed to the public, but open to any friends and family you choose to invite.

At your adoption hearing, a judge will finalize all of the parts of your adoption, including termination of the birth parents’ rights, if applicable, as well as solidifying your family in the eyes of the law.

Here’s a step-by-step of what that will look like.

What to Expect from an Adoption Hearing

First, you and your partner or spouse, if you have one, your adopted child, your lawyer, and in some cases a social worker, will gather in the courtroom. Like in all courtrooms, you will stand before the judge and be sworn in by them. Occasionally, all of this happens in the judge’s chambers, but it is more common to happen in the courtroom.

Next, your family lawyer will have you and your spouse introduce yourselves to the court. Your lawyer will then give a brief testimony to verify that the adoption should take place.

All of this is rather informal compared to what many people picture court hearings to be like. So don’t sweat it. Your lawyer will do all of the legal-speak for you. Your purpose in the courtroom is to listen to and understand what the judge tells you and to promise to the court, and to your child, that you will be the best parent to them that you can be.

Your lawyer will then ask you to confirm for the judge that you intend to provide for your child, give them a loving home, and treat them as you would a biological child.

It’s then pretty common for the judge to ask some friendly questions and invite everyone to take pictures together. After all, this is a celebration!

Once all of this is completed, the judge will sign a decree of adoption. This decree is what formally and legally makes you and your child a family. The judge will also sign any other orders you have that are related to your adoption, including termination of birth parents’ parental rights, or child support orders.

You’ll then get a copy of the decree of adoption (you can ask for more than one copy if you’d like). Make sure to keep this document safe and secure, as you would a birth certificate, passport, or deed.

And after that, you, your spouse, and your child, will be on your way as a family, walking down the courthouse steps.

family celebrating successful adoption hearing

Get in Touch with an Adoption Lawyer Today

Adoption is one of the most rewarding areas of family law for us here at Dhanu Dhaliwal Law Group.

Many of our lawyers are used to intense criminal defence cases or upsetting divorce hearings – so it’s an absolute pleasure to help families with one of the most selfless and beautiful journeys there is – adoption.

If you are looking to adopt a child, our family lawyers can help you every step of the way, from starting your application process all the way to your adoption hearing.

Give us a call today or fill out our contact form to get started with a free initial consultation.

We’d love to help your family grow!

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