Understanding the consent process and contracts for adoptions

When you are adopting a child, there are a lot of uncertainties that you will likely think about until the day that the adoption is finalized. One of the main issues that you might have to deal with is the uncertainty of whether the birth parents will allow the adoption to proceed or if they will try to stop it at the last minute. There are some critical points that you must understand about this point.

Birth parents must sign a consent for the child to be given up for adoption. Both parents must sign the consent. If the father isn’t known or if the father can’t be contacted, notice must be given about the adoption.

When the birth parents sign a consent for adoption, they have 30 days to revoke that consent. If notice has to be given for the father, he has 30 to 60 days, depending on the circumstances, to object to the termination of his parental rights. If he doesn’t object within the time period, his rights are terminated. That termination is considered a voluntary consent.

If you agreed to an open adoption and signed a contract, that contract is an enforceable contract. This means that the court can have you follow the contract. If you don’t follow the contract, you won’t be at risk of losing your adopted child. A finalized adoption can’t be overturned simply because the adoptive parents don’t follow the open adoption agreement.

It is critical that you understand all of your rights and responsibilities throughout the adoption process. This can help ensure that you are doing what you are supposed to do. It can also help facilitate the proper sequence of events.


 Adoptions Together, “Adopt a Child in Maryland,” accessed Jan. 14, 2016

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