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Modern Adoption: Your Rights and Choices

Modern Adoption: Your Rights and Choices

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If you have recently found out that you are pregnant, you may be feeling all kinds of things. You may be feeling anxious about what the next few months and years will be like. You might also feel afraid that you are not ready to be a parent. It can feel as if your life has come to a halt because of an unplanned pregnancy.

Having a baby changes your life, and so it is okay to admit that it is not something that you are ready for. If this is true for you, adoption can be a wonderful option.  Adoption can be a very wise and loving choice — not only for you but for your baby as well.

Sometimes, pregnant women contact a Family Law attorney to help them with the adoption process. In most cases, the adoptive parents you’ve chosen to adopt your baby may pay some or all of your lawyer’s fees. An adoption lawyer can help you with the adoption paperwork, answer any questions you have about adoption, and perform the legal steps necessary to release your parental rights.

There are a lot of different reasons why birth mothers decide that adoption is the best option for them and their baby. For example, some women choose adoption because they’re in an abusive relationship and realize that it is not safe to bring a baby home. Others are already parenting other children and do not have the time, energy, or resources to devote to a baby while also doing what’s best for their other children.

Whatever your reason for choosing adoption is, it is a very emotional decision. Coming to that conclusion requires a lot of thought and consideration. 

Even though the decision to make an adoption plan for your baby can feel overwhelming, the actual adoption process doesn’t need to be. Your first step is to learn more about modern, open adoption, which we’ll share more about below. Next, we will review your rights in adoption, and your options as you think about a plan for your future.

About Open, Modern Adoption

With open adoption, you are in charge of the adoption process, the adoption plan, and who your baby’s adoptive parents will be. You make the choices, including:

  • Who is involved in your adoption plan
  • Your baby’s parents
  • The type and amount of contact you want after the adoption
  • How things will go at the hospital
  • Whether you need help with pregnancy-related expenses

You are able to select the adoptive parents you feel would be the best for your baby, and you can choose to have contact with them and your child in whatever way you feel comfortable. As you begin looking for the perfect family for your child, think about the lifestyle and values you want for your child. Do you want your child to be raised in a specific faith? Do you want them to grow up in a rural or urban setting? Is it crucial to you that your child have siblings? Once you know what you are looking for, you will feel more prepared to view hopeful adoptive family profiles

When your labor begins and it’s time to travel to the hospital to give birth, you are able to choose how you want things to go. You can determine who you want to be in the hospital with you, how much of a role you want the adoptive family to have, and how much time you want to spend with your baby. You can decide to have the adoptive family in the room with you or not. You can hold and see your baby. You make the choices! 

Open adoption allows you to choose the life you desire for your child, and then be a part of that life too. Creating an open adoption plan lets you talk with adoptive parents before your baby is born. You can get to know them and decide what future contact will look like, so everyone is on the same page. As your child’s birth mother, you will determine how you will stay in touch with your child and their adoptive family as your child grows up.  

Open adoption has many benefits for you, the adoptive parents, and your child. It gives you the opportunity to know that your child is safe, happy, healthy, and loved. This knowledge can give you the peace of mind that you need to place your child into the arms of an adoptive couple who is ready to love and raise a child.

Whatever you decide to do, the important thing to remember is that the choice is yours. As your baby’s mother, you are in charge of the adoption plans. The best way to start your adoption plan is by contacting a qualified adoption agency.

Understand Your Rights in Adoption

You might be wondering what rights you would have if you chose to make an adoption plan. As a birth mother in an open adoption, you have rights that you may not have in other forms of adoption. You are able to make important decisions, both for you and your baby. 

All birth mothers have the right to make a personalized adoption plan. They can choose the adoptive parents and have ongoing contact. In most cases, they are able to choose how things go at the hospital too. Even for women who don’t want to pick the parents, your adoption agency can ask about certain traits like race or geographical location, and select a family that meets her desires.

You also have the right to privacy. As a pregnant woman considering adoption, you don’t have to tell your family about it. You have the right to share only as much information as you are comfortable with sharing. Any and all medical records are protected by what’s known as HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). You can expect complete privacy and confidentiality through the entire adoption planning process.

Women learning about adoption do not have any obligation to complete an adoption. So that she can make the best decision for her baby, a pregnant woman needs to learn what adoption can be like. There is never any pressure or judgment to go forward with adoption — you are the mother, and it is your choice.

Wondering what happens if your baby’s father is against adoption? Laws are different from state to state. Each state will have its own rules for birth fathers who don’t agree with the adoption. As a biological parent, the birth father’s rights can be as important as yours as a birth mother.

Your adoption agency will connect you with an attorney who can talk to you free of charge if you have questions about the birth father’s rights, your rights, or other legal concerns.

Make a Plan for Your Future

Just as you’ve given your child a bright future through open adoption, you deserve a future full of opportunities as well. Adoption can lead to a fresh beginning for many birth mothers. This can be a great time to think about your goals and how to lay the foundation to make your dreams come true. 

To help you achieve your goals, you may need some help along the way. You can meet with a counselor to help you set your goals and form the steps needed for you to reach those goals. You might need some basic necessities as you prepare to start your new life, and you might need some additional training or education.

The Lifetime Adoption Foundation provides a wide range of services for birth mothers after adoption. These services include opportunities for educational scholarships for birth parents. This non-profit can also assist with books, can provide laptop computers, and so much more. 

There are many resources available to you as a birth mother after you place your child. It’s normal to feel experience grief after your baby goes home with their adoptive parents. Every birth mother grieves differently, so it’s important to allow yourself to grieve in your own way. Don’t feel wrong about feeling sad.

You are eligible to receive counseling from a licensed therapist experienced in adoption. Also, you can receive support services after the adoption is complete. You can get peer support from another woman who has made the loving choice to place her child for adoption. Speaking with someone who has walked the adoption journey before can really help. They will address your worries and answer any awkward questions you may have.

Please contact us today for legal assistance.

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