Have you ever wondered what happens during the Adoption finalization process? For those of us who aren’t familiar, the finalization of a child’s adoption marks the finish line of the adoptive parent and child’s journey. When a court issues a decree of adoption, your relationship as parent and child is permanently and legally bound. Finalization of adoption usually takes place between three months and a year after the child comes to their forever home.
I was lucky enough to witness not one, but two Adoption finalizations last month and it was the sweetest thing in the world to see in person. I walked into a room at the courthouse with the adoptive parents, the adopted children, the family’s attorney, and the HFS social workers who worked on the case. Once the judge walks out, the entire family stands up in front of the judge, and the judge swears them in. The children were laughing and playing around. The parents were filled with joy in their eyes knowing this was the final step in making their forever families official. The attorneys ask the parents to introduce who they are, then the attorney asks the family to confirm their intention in relation to the care of the children. One family present had a grandma and grandpa present as well.
Once everything is confirmed the adoptive parents and the judge sign the decree of adoption and any other paperwork needed to finalize the process. Once the signatures are completed it’s time to celebrate! There were a lot of laughs and smiles from cheek to cheek and a sigh of relief in the air. Cameras began flashing as family members began taking pictures of this monumental moment. I looked over at my co-workers and they were also beaming with excitement and joy. This experience was so beautiful and I can’t imagine the joy this day might bring to an awaiting family who has put time, energy, and love into creating their forever family and making it official.