The excitement of a new family member is intoxicating. For some families, that means going through a pregnancy and having a baby. For others, it requires going through the adoption process. It can be a thrilling time, but it can also be frustrating, too. Here are 10 tips to help you get through the adoption process in Rhode Island.
Adoption Process Requirements in Rhode Island
Going through the adoption process in Rhode Island has a few requirements. The first is that you have to be a permanent resident of the state. In addition, the child that’s being petitioned to be adopted must be younger than 18 years of age. There are no requirements in Rhode Island for being in a marriage, in a relationship, or single. In addition, you may own your home or rent it.
There are several options for adoption. You may choose to find a child that was born in the United States or in a foreign country. Also, you may decide to use a private agency to handle your adoption process. Finally, you could go through the state by becoming a foster parent to open up the road to adoption.
Fostering a Child in Rhode Island
There are a few requirements if you decide to foster a child in Rhode Island. The first is that you have to be 21 or older. You have to have a home or apartment that can pass inspections for fire, safety, and health. You must be able to physically care for the child. In addition, you need to have a background that is free of criminal convictions as well as completing training to be a foster parent. There are no financial requirements to be a foster parent.
Fostering to Adoption Process
After a foster parent has been fostering a child for at least two years consecutively, they are able to petition the court for the right to adopt the child. The courts notify the birth parents. Adoption is granted if the birth parents were given a chance to be involved, and they didn’t exercise their rights. Also, the courts have to determine that the termination of the parent’s right and the subsequent adoption is what is best for the child involved.
Costs of the Adoption Process in Rhode Island
The costs involved in the adoption process in Rhode Island can vary. You may be required to cover certain expenses depending on the adoption route you decide to take. It’s important to carefully read any documentation or contracts that you sign during the adoption process to protect yourself from hidden costs.
Birth Parents and Revoking Consent
Consent for adoption or a final adoption decree cannot come sooner than 180 days after the courts have ordered it. A birth parent that decides to revoke consent will only be approved by the courts if they believe it to be in the best interests of the child or that there is evidence that consent was granted while the birth parent was in distress or by fraudulent means.
Preparing for a Home Study
A home study during the adoption process in Rhode Island is exactly what it sounds like in that your home is accessed for suitability. They are looking to determine if you have a safe environment that’s stable enough for raising a child. In addition to examining the environment of the home, they also examine the suitability of the individuals living in the home. There will be two home visits at least, and everyone involved will be interviewed.
Home Study Red Flags
There are a few red flags that could cause you to fail a home study. The first is a prior history of neglect or child abuse. Also, prior history of alcohol or drug use can result in failing the study. Not being truthful can result in a failing study. There are some crimes that once convicted of can cause you to be disqualified. Evidence that you wouldn’t be able to adequately care for the child can also result in your home study failing.
Once a child has been placed in a home, a post-placement study is performed in a similar manner to the home study. There are at least two home visits required for the adoption to be recommended to be finalized based on the results of the post-placement study.
The adoption process doesn’t necessarily require you to have legal representation. That being said, it’s often in the best interest of the family to speak with an experienced family law firm about their adoption process in Rhode Island. The laws surrounding adoption are tricky, and it’s good to know your rights through this process.
Are you considering going through the adoption process in Rhode Island? A family law attorney can help to give you additional information on how to move through this process. Contact the Law Offices of Susan T. Perkins Esq. today to discuss your adoption situation. Let us help you to navigate the system as best as possible.