Does the State You Adopt in Effect your Adoption Process??

Does the State You Adopt in Effect your Adoption Process??

ABSOLUTELY! When I first began my adoption journey years ago, I was naïve and unaware of everything involved in the adoption process as well as things that could ultimately affect it. One of those “things” was the revocation period. The revocation period is the amount of time a birth parent, who has already signed the consent form, can go back to the adoption entity and revoke their consent to adopt. For example, I quickly learned that we did not want to complete an adoption in our home state [Georgia] because the revocation period was 10 days! Furthermore, if the 10th day is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the period extends to next business day. I couldn’t handle it; rather my heart couldn’t handle it!

When going through the adoption process, many things go through your mind; however, if you are anything like me, the worst fear, the one that constantly plagues you will be “what if our birth parents change their mind and want the baby back?” Don’t get me wrong, if they changed their mind before the baby arrived, I would have been devastated. However, I cannot imagine anything more difficult and heartbreaking than seeing, holding, loving a new little one, and then losing the baby. So back to my point- I quickly researched state laws and trusted my consultant’s guidance and knowledge of adoption friendly states.

On a side note, my business partner and I provide information to our clients that details adoption laws in each state. Not only does this information include revocation laws, but it also includes items such as when consents can be signed, what expenses can be paid, how much and in what time period, and finalization laws– yeah, it’s awesome!

My personal story with revocation laws:

Baby #1: We were matched with my son for almost 4 months. I anxiously waited and worried daily, hoping the match would remain intact. When he was born and I held him, I was completely in love, but my heart was in my throat as I silently and continuously prayed that his birth parents would not change their mind. Fortunately, in the state where my son was born, the law was great, very favorable for adoptive families – the birth parents could sign consents terminating their parental rights 12 hours after birth (12 hours!!) and it was irrevocable upon signing. The longest 12 hours ever, of course, but just like that it was done! First adoption complete!

Baby #2: We were matched with my daughter for not even a month before her arrival; however, this state’s adoption laws were quite different than our first adoption. In this adoption, when the time was added up for both consents and the revocation period, it was a total of 168 hours (7 days). The birthparents had to wait 3 days (72 hours) before they could sign and then they had an additional 4 days (96 hours) to change their mind. If you have read my previous blog, “A Consultant’s Adoption Story,” you would recall that at the end of day 3, but before the time to sign consents, our birth mother asked to see the baby. (I invite you to read that blog if you haven’t.) In that moment, I can’t explain all my emotions and I can’t describe exactly what I was feeling. I’m pretty sure I probably could have required heart medication though! Also, a nurse came in to check on me! Spoiler alert if you haven’t read my previous blog, everything was fine (yay!). I have a beautiful little girl, but those 7 days was more stressful and heart wrenching than I ever thought possible.

Obviously, there is a HUGE difference between 12 hours and 168 hours (7 days)! I recapped my previous blog for the big purpose of explaining the differences between state laws and how it can shape the experience for the adoptive parents. I would encourage you to research your own state laws if you are considering adoption. What is the revocation period? How much could you potentially pay in birthmother expenses? Think about it – this not only effects your adoption budget, but also your sanity! At By Your Side Adoption Consultants, we ONLY work with adoption friendly states. Don’t know the law in every state? Don’t worry, we do! Not only do we provide the state law resource mentioned above, but we also analyze each situation and provide a quick review of the state from which the potential adoption situation came from. This is a lot to think about! Don’t panic, but hire someone who not only knows the law, but who can also help you make a connection in an adoption friendly state. 😊

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