These steps may vary from state to state.
As such, it is important that you pursue this process with an agency/legal firm that is licensed within your state.
Complete Your Home Study
A home study is a state-required report about you, your family, your background and your motivation for newborn adoption. It takes approximately three months to complete a home study from the time all of the required paperwork has been received. Prospective adoptive parents will be assigned a social worker who will provide adoption information throughout the home study process.
Entering the Waiting Parent Program
After you are approved to adopt a newborn, the next step in the adoption process is to meet with a domestic family specialist. The specialist will welcome you into the program and work with you to complete the adoptive family profile. You will be able to identify and clarify the kind of child you would like to adopt. You will also have the opportunity to create an album and letter that can be presented to birth parents who may be considering placement for their child. During this step in the adoption process adoptive parents are required to pay the placement fee deposit to cover adoption services.
The Selection and Waiting Period
The choice of adoptive parents rests with the birth parents and because we rely on their preferences during the adoption process (though we offer assistance when needed) we are unable to predict how long an adoptive family may be waiting.
Please know that it can be sad and frustrating if you have a long wait. For those families struggling with a lengthy adoption process, look for support group meetings, social gatherings, updates, and seminars that bring adoptive families together. This will help you and others ease through the waiting period.
Families are encouraged to create a support plan, with coaching available in a variety of forms, to help identify potential birth parents looking for prospective adoptive parents.
In some rare instances, birth parents may ask that their agency choose the family for them to make the adoption process easier. Some do provide this adoption assistance, and may choose the longest waiting family with a matching compatible profile.
When you are matched with a birth parent and the new baby is born, the baby can be placed with you and your family as soon as the birth parents indicate that they are ready to move forward. This can happen immediately at the hospital.
In some states, biological parents have the right to revoke their consent for adoption within 30 days following the birth of the child and legal paperwork is signed. In Virginia, however, the revocation period is 10 days from birth. While this does pose some legal risk with adoptions, agencies will encourage immediate placement so the infant is with the family that will be raising him or her as soon as possible.
Post Placement and Finalization
The post placement period of the adoption process lasts for 6-9 months. During this period, your agency, state or other entity remains the guardian of the baby. The social worker that completed your study will be visiting you to check on how you are adjusting to life with your newborn.
Adoption information and assistance is still made available (and will continue to be). Adoptive parents will use this time to complete the Parent Preparation training that began during the waiting period of the adoption process.