If contemplating an adoption you can start the process by gathering the necessary paperwork that must be submitted to the court along with adoption petition. Exactly which documents you will need to include depend on what type of adoption you are seeking. All interested parties must be advised of the availability of ACT 101 and proof that all parties received information should be retained for presentation to the court. You will need to original birth certificate for the adoptee. Additionally, prospective parents and any other adult household members will need to have the requisite clearances completed where the adoptee is a minor and the results of those clearances should be attached to the petition. A home study may be required as well if there is no familial relationship between the adoptee and prospective parents.

In a situation where the adoptee is over twelve years old, you should also have the consent of the adoptee attached to your petition. If the natural parents consent to the adoption and are voluntarily terminating their parental rights, their consent(s) should be attached as well. In some circumstances parental rights do not need to be terminated. For example, if the natural parent has passed away you do not need to request their rights be terminated however you should include a certified copy of the death certificate with the petition. Another scenario may be if you have used an anonymous donor to conceive, that documentation should be included with your petition. You should consult with an experienced adoption attorney to be clear on exactly which documents you will need to include with your adoption petition to make the process as efficient as possible.  By April M. Townsend