Prior to taking a child into their home all Adoptive Parents must go through a lengthy process commonly referred to as a “ Homestudy” through a licensed adoption agency or licensed counselors approved by the Court to declare that the adoptive parents are deemed “fit” to adopt a child. Prior to this approval, prospective adoptive parents may conduct a search for birth mothers considering adoption and engage in the preparation of an adoption plan.
The adoption normally takes place in the adoptive parent’s home state but it is not absolutely necessary if another state is preferred that will assume jurisdiction. Mr. Miskowski’s preference is for the birth mother to give birth in the state were the birth parents reside for their convenience and legal issues. In all interstate adoptions prior to bringing home you must get approval from your state and the state where the baby is born. This is required by the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC). Most law firms prepare the documents before the child is born and the approval normally takes less that a week.
Once the baby is home a Complaint for Adoption will be filed with the Court; the Child will be made a ward of the Court; a date will be set for a hearing; and post placement reports will be prepared as to how the child is doing in the home and whether the child is medically fine to proceed with the Adoption. The Adoptive parents will appear and testify at the hearing. Once the adoption is finalized a new birth certificate will be issued with the child’s new name. The Adoptive Parents will be the legal parents of the child for all legal purposes as if the child was naturally born unto them.
The cost for an adoption varies depending on the needs of the birth mother. No expenses may be given to a birth father. As stated above, the birth mother’s needs normally consist of pregnancy related expenses including uncovered medical expenses, food, clothing, shelter, transportation, counseling, and legal fees. Naturally if your birth mother lives on the West Coast flight arrangements must be made in order that you can pick the baby up directly from the hospital upon his/her discharge from the hospital. Also you may need to make hotel arrangements until ICPC governed by each state, grant’s permission for you to bring the baby back home. This will be reviewed in-depth at your initial consultation.
The good news is the Federal Government will pick up a significant portion of your expenses by way of a Federal Tax Credit. The maximum dollar amount for the tax year 2014 is set at $13,190 per child. The adoption tax credit begins to phase out for those families with modified adjusted gross incomes for the applicable year in excess of $197,880 and is phased out all together for those with modified adjusted gross income in excess of $ 237,880. The Adoption tax credit is commonly taken by the adoptive families in the years the adoption is finalized.
Where do we go from here? The first step is to contact our offices as set forth in the final section of this website. The initial consultation will take approximately an hour or more. Once retained, we will provide you with all you need for a successful journey through adoption.