Laws require a myriad of filings, reports and studies before a child can be adopted. Generally, a social worker must interview the prospective parent(s) and prepare a home study that is filed with the court. Additionally, health, social, educational, and genetic history reports are prepared and filed. The adoption cannot be completed until the necessary reports are presented to the court.

Sidebar: The adoptive parents' criminal record, if any, is searched and a criminal history report is prepared.

The court will grant the adoption if the court finds that the adoption is in the best interests of the child at an adoption hearing. Some laws permit the court to terminate the parental rights of the natural parents at the same time that the baby is adopted.

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