Adoption is a process that creates a new family for a child or adult. The process for completing the adoption varies based on the type of adoption. Most types of adoptions require a completed home study (also called a “Family Assessment” or “Family Evaluation”) before the adoption legal process can begin. If the Department of Human Services is not involved and the court classifies your adoption as a relative, guardian, adult or step-parent adoption, the adoption process can begin without the home study, but one is needed before the adoption is completed.
In addition to the home study , there are other requirements. For example, children ages 14 and over can only be adopted if they give their consent in writing. Children under the age of 14 are consulted, but their written permission is not required. Another issue that must be resolved is whether the child will retain their current name. Once this decision is made and the adoption is completed, the court will submit a request to the state that issued the original birth record to issue a new birth certificate, which includes the child’s new name and the new parents’ name.
Once the adoption is completed, the adoptive parents become fully responsible for the child and are legally obligated to provide for the child’s health, education, and welfare until the child reaches the age of majority or is emancipated.