Welcoming a new child to your family can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. One of the most common questions prospective parents have is: how long will the adoption process take? In Hawaii, the timeline for a legal adoption varies from case to case, but on average, it takes between six and twelve months.
Let's break down what happens during this period and what you can do to help move things along.
Waiting Periods and Home Studies
The first step in any adoption process is typically a waiting period. For example, in Hawaii, adoptive parents must wait at least 30 days after the child has been placed with them before they can proceed with a legal adoption. This waiting period is meant to ensure that both parties — the adoptive parent(s) and the biological parents — are completely sure of their decision and that everyone has had enough time to adjust to their new situation.
After the waiting period is complete, prospective parents will begin the home study process. A home study is essentially an evaluation of your ability as a parent by either a social worker or an adoption agency representative. These evaluations involve interviews with both you and your partner (if applicable), background checks and references, financial information gathering, as well as home visits where a representative will observe your living environment. This portion of the process typically takes anywhere from four to eight weeks, depending on each family’s circumstances.
After completing your home study, you will then need to continue on through the process of filing paperwork, obtaining consent, and scheduling your hearing for the finalization of the adoption. This process can take several months to complete, even with the assistance of a trusted adoption attorney.
Family Law Advocates
It is important to remember that every adoption situation is different, so there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to timelines for adoptions in Hawaii. That being said, most adoptions take between six and twelve months on average, and working with an experienced adoption attorney can help you complete the process in as little time as possible for your case.
At Smith & Sturdivant, LLLC, our adoption attorneys are passionate about helping our clients expand their families through adoption. Call our firm today at (808) 201-3898 to schedule a complimentary consultationwith a member of our teamand learn more about how we can support you through this exciting time!