What Your Adoption Decree Should and Should Not Include

July 14, 2015 § Leave a comment

DO include …

  • An adjudication that the six-month interlocutory, or waiting, period is not necessary or required for the benefit of the court, if that is waived by the judge.
  • If a home study is ordered, specify a date to return to court for completion of the adoption.
  • If an interlocutory order is entered, spell out its terms. [MCA 93-17-11]
  • That the child shall inherit from and through the adopting parent(s) and their children, and they shall inherit from the child, all as if the child had been born to the adopting parties.
  • That the child, adopting parents, and kindred are vested with all rights, duties, and obligations as if the child had been born to the adopting parents.
  • If the name of the child is to be changed, the name that will appear on the new birth certificate.
  • That the natural parents and natural kindred of the child shall not inherit from the child, except as to a parent who is the spouse of the adopting parent. The right of the child to inherit from the natural parents is not required to be terminated.
  • That the parental rights of the natural parent(s) are terminated, except as to a natural parent who is the spouse of the adopting parent. [All per MCA 93-17-13]

Do NOT include …

  • The name of the natural parent or parents who are giving up the child.
  • The original name of the child. [Both per MCA 93-17-27]
  • And while we’re at it, never list the name of the child or natural parent(s) in the style of the case; refer only to “the child named in the petition.” Only the names of the petitioners should be in the style of the case. [MCA 93-17-27]

All of the above is summary, shorthand language for the specific statutory mandates. As always, you should track the language of the statutes in your decrees to ensure that you meet their requirements.

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