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10:45 a.m. - November 03, 2005
Procrastinate THIS!
I received a very important phone call yesterday at work. It was from the office of our adoption attorneys.

There had been a spot open on the court docket for November 9, and the family who was in that spot had to cancel, so they wondered if we would be available that day for court, so Kristin could be legally adopted by us.

Would we ever? If we had to cancel an audience with the Pope, Bono, and John Stewart, we would be there!

This also gets all of this done in this calendar year, so we can get Kristin her birth certificate, her social security number, and all that other good stuff. Plus, we can take the adoption tax credit this year (which will be used to seed Kristin’s college fund).

Mind you, Kristin was born on June 9, so this process has taken a while.

To provide a review for you (consider this Domestic Adoption 101, at least in Indiana, and at least for us):

• First off, you need to have a birth mother select you, have a home study done by a social worker, and have 5 references by your friends and family sent vouching for your fitness as parents.
• After the birth mother has given birth to the child, she signs paperwork consenting to the adoption. This is basically irrevocable.
• If the birth father is named, then he needs to sign the consent form. If he is not named by the birth mother, then he has 30 days after the child is born to assert his parental rights. Basically, the law in Indiana is that if you have sex that results in pregnancy, you are hereby informed that the birth mother is pregnant with your child the moment you zip up your trousers and look for your car keys.
• Once the consents are signed, your attorney goes before a judge that grants you temporary custody of the child.
• You then have post-placement visits by the social worker.
• The social worker files a report to the attorney and judge, and a court date is set.
• Yippee, you’re parents!

For Katie, who was born on December 14, the court date was May 1. Her adoption was a bit unusual, since we had 48 hours notice that we were going to be parents, and had to do all of our home study work post-placement. So we didn’t think that 4 ˝ months was so bad.

Well, with only one post placement visit, this time it’s been almost five months.

The reason?

I assume it’s due to procrastination.

Mind you, everyone procrastinates once in a while. I have some minor projects sitting around my desk that I should be getting on sometime in the next few weeks, but they’re rather unglorious grunt work and I have a hard time gearing up for them.

However, if there’s a deadline to be met, I meet it. I tend to under-promise and over-deliver. So if a request for a report comes my way, I usually say it’ll be 2-3 days and try to have it done within 24 hours. I’m then feted as a demi-God, and hails of Hosanna and kisses are thrown my way. Livestock is sacrificed, and we feast… (Sorry, got carried away there…)

However, there are some jobs that should be procrastination free.

And I think filing the paperwork for adopting a child should be one of them.

The thing is, we were very patient. When we last saw our social worker, she said that she’d have this all wrapped up in a four to six weeks.

Of course, she also related that when she adopted her second child, she got a call from her attorneys after about nine months asking if she was ever going to file the papers so they could go to court and finalize it. It just slipped her mind.

That’s a tad bit disconcerting.

So we waited, and after about two months we sent an email. She’d get right on the paperwork, she said.

About three weeks ago, we contacted our attorneys. Nope, no report yet.

Argh!

So, this past week we sent an email to our social worker with pictures of Katie and Kristin in their Halloween costumes with a little note that didn’t mention anything about the delay in the paperwork (though I thought it should have asked some sort of question about it).

I guess that did it – because out of the blue here comes this call, and Kristin will be formally adopted on the 9th.

And let’s hope the judge doesn’t procrastinate and drops the gavel at the appropriate time!


 

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