Adoption is one of the greatest but legally complicated things on earth. The road to adoption and even after placement is fraught with misseteps, potholes, and seemingly endless legal wrangling and jargon. But you put yourself through it because you know there is a child that you need and that needs you. You do this because this is one of the most important decisions you will ever face. You know all these things make sense but it doesn’t make it easier as you go through all the steps to bring your child home and to keep your child home. We’re at the phase of enduring the waiting period of the Termination of Parental Rights (known as a TPR.) In short it’s:
When a court approves a termination of parental rights, the parent-child relationship is completely extinguished and all the rights and responsibilities of parenthood are terminated. This means the ex-parent no longer has an obligation to provide care or financial support. They also forfeit any right to have input regarding the child’s education, religion, place of residence or other child rearing decisions.
This is a big step in the adoption process because our birth parents were in Maryland before a TPR can officially go into effect there is a 30 day waiting period. There isn’t a standard waiting period across the nation some are as short as instant (once the TPR has been signed) like Arizona, then there is Florida where there is a 3 day revocation period, or Maryland where the birth parents have 30 days to revoke the TPR.
That’s the conundrum of adoption — you know or at least empathize with the loss that the birth parents are feeling yet you are rejoicing in what you have gained. You always have to keep that balance because for every victory and milestone that you witness the other side of that joy could be people who are going through agonizing emotional pain. While we are happy we have survived the revocation period apart of me knows that there is an emptiness that birth parents feel. We have an open adoption so we will make sure that we send pictures so they can see Mila.
Today on 12/21/15 we celebrate that our daughter Mila is one more step closer to becoming legally ours. She has been our daughter in our hearts instantly but now we are that much closer to make her officially ours. The final step is next which is finalization of the adoption where we go before a judge in Maryland and he legally grants Mila to us. Today is an emotional day for us — we survived these 30 days by constantly looking over shoulder and praying that ‘that call’ would never come. Lucky for us, it never did. Mila is home and soon to be officially a Georgia peach.