What Happens When Birth Parents Contest an Adoption Order?

Written by neal litherland
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Adoption is an option for birth parents who can't or won't take care of their children. When an adoption order is put through the court, one or both of the birth parents have the option of opposing the order and attempting to keep the child. However, like any other court case, it's important that you have some legal ground to stand on and, if possible, experienced legal representation.

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One of the important considerations about contesting an adoption order is how long it's been in place. Generally speaking, most states will not allow birth parents to make any sort of contest past a single year after the child was placed. Also, the earlier birth parents make their contest known to the court the better because the longer a child is placed, the more harmful it's considered to take that child away.


It's important that, if a birth parent's case is to be taken seriously, the parent put forth a reason she is contesting the adoption as the birth parent. Even if the argument is as simple as there is nothing wrong with the birth parent's ability to parent or the home she can provide, that is still a reason to allow a birth parent to keep her child. Other reasons, such as the adoptive parents being unfit or the adoption being handled in a misleading fashion, are cases you could bring up to contest an adoption's legitimacy.


If a birth parent is going to contest an adoption, it's important that he provide an alternative course in his contest. For instance, if a birth parent disagrees that the child should be adopted by one particular family, he could suggest the alternative that another family be allowed to adopt. He also could suggest that the child be placed in temporary care to allow the him to fix any problems with his home or the living environment it offers so that he would be a more fit parent to the child.


If a birth parent puts a child up for adoption but the adoption papers haven't yet been signed, the parent can have a change of heart. However, if the paperwork has been signed and the adoption process has begun, the birth parents have to fill out additional forms that lay out the contest case. It can be easier for the birth parents to hire legal representation to help with all the necessary forms and sheets, but it isn't necessary.

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