72 hours, 10 days, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days… Oh My! Whether you are a prospective adoptive family or an expectant parent just starting to consider adoption, hearing an overview of the process, and the numbers involved, can feel overwhelming. There are a lot of timeframes within the adoption process, and it can be easy to get them mixed up. It gets even more confusing when some of these different timeframes overlap with one another. As you learn more about adoption, and decide if it is right for you, it may be helpful to understand these different timeframes and what they mean.
Each state has their own adoption laws. We want to provide a simplified explanation of the timeframes that apply in Minnesota, but know that if you, or another party of the adoption, lives in another state, these numbers may be different.
72 Hours – 60 Days
The first timeframe happens after the birth of the child and refers to the time when the birth parents can sign their consents to the adoption. After the baby is born but before the birth mom or the baby are discharged from the hospital, the birth mom can sign paperwork allowing the baby to go home with the prospective adoptive family in a legal risk placement or foster to adopt. This paperwork allows the prospective adoptive family to take the baby home and care for the baby, but it does not change the birth parents’ legal rights as the parents of the child. This is where the first timeframe comes in. The birth parents have between 72 hours after the birth of the child up to 60 days after a legal risk placement to sign their voluntary consents to the adoption. This time allows the birth parents to continue to think through their adoption plan after the baby is born and to be sure about their plan before continuing. Once these consents are signed, it leads us to the next timeframe – 10 days.
The birth parents have 10 working (business) days from when they sign their voluntary consents to the adoption until the consents become final. This is called the “revocation period” where there is still time to revoke their consents to the adoption. During this time, if a birth parent changes their mind, or is unsure of their decision, they may submit a written statement to the agency to revoke the consents.
Prospective birth fathers can register on the Minnesota Fathers’ Adoption Registry up until 30 days after the birth of the child. Minnesota law states that before an adoption becomes final, adoption agencies and attorneys must check the registry to see if a birth father has registered. If an alleged father has registered on the registry, he must be given notice of the adoption plan, and he is given 30 more days to commence a paternity action if he is not in agreement with the adoption.
The last number that you hear during the adoption process is 90 days. This is the Post Placement Supervision time period. Minnesota law requires an adoption agency to supervise an adoptive placement for 90 days from the day the baby is placed in the prospective adoptive family’s home before the placement can be finalized. In this time, the adoptive family’s social worker will have visits with them to monitor how the placement is going including the child’s growth and development, and bonding and attachment between parents and baby. Once these 90 days are over, the next steps of submitting paperwork to court, scheduling a court hearing, and completing the adoption finalization can all take place.
It is common to get all of these numbers and timeframes confused, so don’t worry! Your social worker will guide you through the process and answer any questions you have along the way. If you have not started the adoption process yet and want to learn more, contact us today!