Parents have a constitutional right to raise their own children. There are three situations where a child is eligible for adoption.
1) The biological parents are dead;
2) the parents voluntarily relinquished their rights to the child; or
3) the court involuntarily terminated the parents’ rights.
To be eligible for adoption, the child must also have resided with the prospective adoptive parents for a period of 6 months. Further, the adoptive parents must have passed a criminal background check. A qualified adoption evaluator is appointed by the Court to conduct an evaluation including an onsite visit to the home and face to face interviews with family and friends of the adoptive family. The report will be filed of record and state the findings of the evaluator including whether the evaluator believes it is in the best interest of the child to be adopted by the prospective adoptive parents. Once all the requirements are met, a hearing is held requesting the Court to grant the adoption.
Judges frequently say adoptions are one of the happiest hearings over which they preside. Photos, balloons and gifts memorialize the smiles on everyone’s faces.