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Q: Do I need to go to Court for an adoption?

A: Adoptive parents must file a petition requesting the Court’s approval and go through an adoption hearing. Unlike the legal dramas you see on TV though, adoptions are almost always happy occasions. Many adoptive parents bring toys and a camera to commemorate the special event. Many judges choose to conduct the adoption proceedings informally in their chambers in honor of the occasion.

Q: What should my adoption petition say?

A: Typically, an adoption petitioner should include the following five pieces of information:

  1. The names, ages, and current address of the adoptive parent(s);
  2. The relationship between the child and the adoptive parent(s);
  3. The reason why the adoptive parents are asking to adopt the child;
  4. Why the adoptive parents are appropriate people to adopt the child; and
  5. Why the adoption is in the child’s best interests

If the birth parents consent, this is also typically included in the petition, along with any requested name change.

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