One of the final steps in the adoption process is the adoption hearing. The hearing is often ceremonial in nature. It is common for family and friends to attend along with the prospective adoptee parents. The adoptee(s) must be present as well. At the hearing, the Petitioners should be prepared to show all legal requirements for an adoption have been met. Any documents that were attached to your original petition or subsequently filed with the court should already be in the court file (i.e. original birth certificate, background checks, home study report.) Additional requirements may include service on the opposing party in which case you should be sure to have valid proof of service with you for your hearing.

As adoption is permanent, there are some questions to make sure the prospective adoptive parents understand exactly what they are taking on. For example, prospective parents will be asked if they understand the adoption confers all the legal rights and duties between a parent and child that the law provides for natural born children. Those rights and duties include, but are not limited to, the right of the child to inherit through you and your family, the legal obligation to financially support the child, the right of the child to seek support from you, the principle that these rights and duties would continue if you and your spouse separate or divorce as well as if the child develops any physical, psychological problems or becomes ill or disabled for any reason in the future.

The Judge presiding over the case will often allow for pictures at the conclusion of the proceedings. As a family member or friend, you can bring gifts or card however, the court has a strict no balloon policy. After receiving the final decree of adoption, you can follow up with getting a new birth certificate for the adoptee.