Finalization hearings usually take place within a year of the time the child is placed in the home. Before scheduling a hearing, check with the agency to make sure you have completed all necessary paperwork, otherwise the finalization could be delayed. Your adoption is not legally complete until you have gone through the finalization process.
Hearings usually last from 30-60 minutes and establish the new legal relationship, and confirm your willingness and ability to provide for your new child.
The court will seek to establish that the child has been placed in a loving, secure home. You should be prepared to present all information included in your adoption petition, and to answer questions about why you want to adopt, how you will care for your child, how your family is and will continue adjusting, and anything else the court feels is relevant.
And when the judge signs the adoption order, you gain permanent, legal custody of your child! Finalization is the last formal step of the adoption process, but just the beginning of your new family. Post-adoption services and support should be the next step in your family life.
Additional Reading:Adoptive Parenting
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.