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Do you have to go to an adoption court for all adoptions?

Adoption is sometimes a long and tedious process. You may have a specific child in mind who you want to adopt or be open to fostering and adopting any child in need. Whatever the case is, it's still likely that you'll be waiting a period of time before you can bring a child home and into your family.

In the meantime, there's plenty of paperwork that you have to submit. You will also need to work with an adoption court to complete the adoption. Whether it's through an adoption agency or you're filing for a private adoption, you must have the adoption approved by the adoption court. A hearing takes place, and anyone who has an interest in the adoption receives notice that it may take place. If someone doesn't want it to go through, he or she has a right to come to the court and address the reasons why. For example, a father who wasn't aware that the mother was trying to have her child adopted out could come to court to stop the adoption.

Courts always want to look out for a child's best interests. The court will review your adoption petition, which should include information such as your name, age and address. If you're adopting with your spouse, then you should include his or her name, age and address as well. You need to list your relationship to the child and that the adoption is in the child's best interests.

There are many things to know before you head to court, and it's a good idea to go over the court process with your attorney. Adoptions take time, but once you bring your child home, they're worth the effort.

Source: FindLaw, "Adoption Court FAQs," accessed March 07, 2018

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