Parental placement refers to any adoption case in which the parent chooses with whom to place the child where that placement does not involve a stepparent or close relative adoption.
In a parental placement adoption, the birth parent consents directly to the adoption of his or her child and then both legal custody and ultimately, all parental rights, pass directly from the birth parent(s) to the adoptive parents. An agency is involved to assist the court in determining whether the parent’s consent is valid or whether the adoptive placement is suitable. While most parental placements involve infants, parental placements may occur with children of all ages.
Where a child is placed with adoptive parents by a birth parent, the case begins in juvenile and domestic relations court. The court accepts the birth parent(s) consent or finds the consent is not required. A home study is required. Only after the juvenile court issues an order accepting the consents can the case be finalized in circuit court.
While the procedures do not change based on the age of a child, a birth mother’s consent cannot be accepted by the juvenile court until after the child’s birth. Moreover, adoptive parents must comply with certain due process protections and disclosures to get the juvenile court order.