While it is uncommon, there are occurrences where an adoption doesn't seem to be working out. The question is – what happens if you've adopted a child you cannot afford or feel as though you are unable to keep him/her for one reason or another? Is it possible for an adoption to be reversed? Here's everything you need to know.
What is a Reversal of Adoption?
The reversal is also called an annulment or vacation from adoption. If the birth parents desire to regain parental rights, the adoptive parents must consent to the procedure. However, some states will not allow this to occur, even if everyone is in agreement.
What are the State Regulations for a Reversal?
The laws are strict for adoption reversals and can vary from state to state or within the same state, depending on the circumstances. The laws can frequently change through new legislature or from other cases where decisions were made, and new precedence was granted. The laws can also be different within the state depending on whether it is a private adoption or one handled through an agency.
For example, Maryland will allow the birth parents to consent to adoption, but the birth parents can have thirty days to revoke the consent. Whereas Virginia laws indicate the consent to adopt cannot be taken back until seventy-two hours after the birth of the child and can be revocable for an additional seven days. However, if the child is ten days old in Virginia, the birth mother can sign the consent and can waive the seven day revocation time period.
What Is The Best Interest of the Child?
If the child isn't a good fit or the child's best interest is not being covered, it must be shown why the annulment is requested. For example, a child might not be a good fit or is having too many difficulties adjusting to life with the adoptive parents. The reversal could also be considered necessary if the parents aren't financially or physically able to care for the child.
Can the Child Reverse the Adoption?
Until the child reaches the age of majority at 18 years old (most states), he or she is still considered a child and should remain under the care of a guardian or parent. However, certain criteria can be reached which could allow the child to become emancipated. If the child is financially independent or is legally married, this is a qualification. If a parent is abusive or neglectful of the child, this would also qualify.
You now see, birth and adoptive parent's rights are a complicated procedure and can vary depending on many factors. It is advisable to hire an attorney like one from Grenadier, Starace, Duffett & Levi, P.C. who deals with adoption on a regular basis. However, keep in mind, the courts will make the decision based on what the best interest of the child involves.