For adoptive parents in Georgia, ten days is a long time to wait for birth parents to change their mind. But a new law will speed up the process.
Stephanie Maupin and her 14-year-old daughter, Kate, remember the twenty newborns they have had in their care. Their home is the first stop for adopted babies before they’re placed with a new family.
“We change diapers, we’re feeding babies constantly and just loving this child,” Maupin said.
The babies stay with the family — a Caring Home Family for Open Door Adoption — for ten days. That’s how long birth parents have to change their minds.
“It’s ten days to say, I don’t know what I did. Why did I do it? No questions asked. Revoked,” says adoption attorney Birney Bull.
A new Georgia Law reduces the number of days to four. It’s a move Bull says puts too much pressure on birth parents.
“If the birth parents feel like they are trusted, respected and honored in the relationship, trust can grow,” he said. “If they feel like they’re disrespected and shrugged off under the rug, it’s harder for trust to grow.”
Other states already have shorter waiting periods. Lawmakers say this law will encourage more people to adopt in Georgia.
“Four days as opposed to ten. Is that respecting them? Is that asking them to trust the process? No.” said Bull. “It’s saying, hurry up and give us your child and get out of the way. Please, so we can get on with our lives.”
For the Maupins, the change is music to their ears.
“We’re very happy about the reduced revocation period because as a caring home, our primary interest is the health and wellbeing of the child. So the earlier we can begin facilitating that bond with the parent — whether that’s a birth parent or an adoptive parent — the better,” said Maupin.