There are a lot of questions about adoption in today’s world. Adoption has changed over the years, and we now have access to better and more varied options than in decades past. The choice to give your baby up for adoption – or to adopt a baby – is an important and life-changing one. If you are considering this option, here are some common adoption FAQs.
Is Adoption Still An Option Today?
Yes, adoption remains a brave and selfless option. Adoption is a good choice for women who face an unplanned pregnancy but want to provide their baby with the best possible lifewhich they may feel they cannot offer at this time in their lives. There are different ways to approach adoption, like using a lawyer to facilitate a private adoption or going through an adoption agency. Each process has separate legal ramifications, so it’s essential to think through your options carefully.
Types of Adoption
There are several different approaches you can take when considering adoption. One path to consider is private adoption. This type of adoption works well if you have already chosen a family privately who is interested in adopting your baby. In a private adoption, both you and the adoptive parents agree to the terms of the adoption together without a third party involved. This often happens when relatives or close family members wish to adopt the child. Both parties must have adequate legal representation to ensure the process is facilitated legally. The process must be in the best interest of the child and all parties involved.
Another option to consider is an agency-based adoption in which you would contact an adoption agency. They would provide you with an adoption representative to help work with you and the adoptive parents throughout the process. Adoption agencies often have wrap-around services such as support groups, counseling, and material support to help you along the way. This is a helpful option if you do not know anyone who is willing or able to adopt your child.
What are “Closed” vs. “Open” Adoptions?
Closed adoptions are agreements in which the birth parents relinquish all rights to any contact with their baby. When a baby is adopted through a closed adoption agreement, they will likely have no information about the adoptive parents. The baby is not able to reach out to their birth parents or get to know them until adulthood. Closed adoptions were the normative adoptive experience up until the last 10-20 years. Today, open or semi-open adoptions are much more common. In these adoptions, the birth mother and the adoptive family work together to develop the arrangements and terms. Both parties can choose a fully open adoption, where the birth mother is known by the child and provided the opportunity to be a part of the child’s life. They can also choose more limited contact, where the birth mother may just receive pictures and updates throughout the years. The amount of communication and involvement depends on the stipulations agreed upon with the adoptive family.
How Long Does It Take?
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption, consider your options as soon as possible. The legal adoption process can take several months, so the sooner you start the process, the better.
Rights and Relationships
Is the baby’s father unsure about adoption? Are you concerned about how his rights might interfere with the adoption process? It is important to know that the birth father has a role. This is true whether or not he is an active part of the adoption journey. Giving a baby up for adoption without the father’s consent requires special legal processes that vary depending on the state where the adoption occurs. Typically, if the baby’s father wishes to keep the child, he must demonstrate financial stability and other factors. It is best to seek guidance on these issues with a legal representative.
Can You Change Your Mind?
Are you concerned that you might want to change your mind after the baby is born? That is a common concern and a very reasonable one. It is a very difficult decision and one that happens quite frequently. Because of this, most states have laws that require a timeframe from birth to the relinquishing of parental rights. This is to allow the birth mother the time to make this decision once the baby is born. Adoptive families receive counsel on the possibility of this occurring. It is very important to develop a support system, including with the adoptive family, to help you feel comfortable and confident in your decision. Once the paperwork is signed, the decision becomes final.
We hope these answers to adoption FAQs have been helpful. Schedule a free, confidential visit with Clearway Clinic today if you have questions about adoption and options.