It's next to impossible to overturn an adoption once it's been finalized. But with legal help and strong evidence of fraud or duress, it is possible to have a judge revoke the adoption consent and re-establish parental rights.
- Step 1: Show that the adoption consent was signed under duress. If the birth parent can prove they were pressured into signing a consent and were threatened with foul play or injury, the judge may rule that the consent is invalid and uphold parental rights.
- Step 2: Invoke your rights as the birth father. Establish that you were never informed of the adoption and the judge may overturn the adoption and return parental rights to you.
- FACT: Some airlines offer special adoption fares for families traveling overseas to adopt children internationally.
- Step 3: Prove fraud was committed during the adoption process. Fraud is a legally valid reason to overturn an adoption. If the adoption agency or lawyer was dishonest about aspects of the adoption, then the birth mother or father may be able to prove fraud and convince the courts to revoke consent, overturning the adoption.
- TIP: Some states permit legal risk adoption, where a child is placed with an adoptive family before a judge terminates the parental rights of the birth parents or before they sign the voluntary adoption consent form.
- TIP: Adoption laws very from state to state. The proof necessary to overturn an adoption may differ by jurisdiction.
- Step 4: Take back your consent to adopt within the the legally-designated waiting period before the adoption is finalized. The timeframe is generally 48 to 72 hours after birth. If you wish to repeal your consent, you'll need to inform the court in writing.
- Step 5: Hire legal representation knowledgeable in family law. It's critical that your attorney be well-versed in your state's adoption process and file the necessary paperwork in a timely manner.