Stopping An Adoption In Its Tracks: What You Need To Know

19 November 2019
 Categories: Law, Blog

While an adoption is supposed to be a joyous occasion, some adoptive parents run into snags in their quest to give a child a home. The chances of halting the adoption process depend on how far into the process you are. It also depends, in part, on the laws of the state in which you are adopting. While more and more adoptive parents are choosing to avoid the long wait and the inconvenience of a stateside adoption and seek adoption on foreign soil, the below information assumes a US adoption. Read on to find out more.

Why Stop an Adoption?

The motivations to adopt a child are as varied as the reasons to halt the process. In most cases, adoptive parents can stop an adoption without having to provide a reason as long as the adoption is not final. Most adoptive parents think long and hard about adopting in the first place and only in extreme circumstances seek to undo the process before it's final. Disappointing a child is never easy, but some adoptive parents have no choice but to stop the process. Take a look at just a few of potential motivations for stopping an adoption process:

  • You or your partner is dealing with serious mental health or addiction issues and cannot take on the additional burden of parenthood now.
  • You or your partner is dealing with unforeseen health issues.
  • Sudden crippling financial issues have arisen.
  • You and your partner are dealing with relationship issues and a divorce or split is imminent.

If it's clear that the adoption is not going to happen, speak to the agency handling the adoption as soon as you know. You might be giving another parent the chance to adopt the child you have to give up.

When It's Too Late to Stop the Adoption

Unfortunately, things get a lot more complicated if you wait too long to stop the adoption and it's already final. Adoption is a legal act, so the reversal of the adoption requires another legal act. The courts will listen to the reasoning for the reversal and make a decision. Since disturbing the well-being of a child is a serious matter, the judge may order the parents to attend counseling before making a decision. This is particularly the case when the parents don't have a good reason. For example, if the parents didn't understand what they were getting themselves into when they adopted, that is not considered a good reason. Physical health issues, mental health issues, and addiction issues may be considered good reasons to reverse an adoption, however.

To learn more about making changes with an adoption, speak to a family law attorney.