Birth Parents

The process of adopting a child or making an adoption plan for a child is important to understand. Many families have been richly blessed because of the decision to adopt a child and the decision to make an adoption plan for a child. Before making a decision to adopt a child or to make an adoption plan, it will be helpful to understand the process.

The process for birth parents:

-The decision to make an adoption plan for your child can be a difficult decision, but becoming fully informed of your options will make your decision easier.

  • Educate yourself and your family members about the options of parenting and adoption. Visit this link to read other birth parents’ experiences: http://www.ichooseadoption.org/birthmothers.php
  • Understand that this decision is yours to make and the decision to make an adoption plan is typically in your child’s best interests
  • Determine your own expenses for prenatal care, delivering a child, and your child’s ongoing medical care after his/her birth
  • Determine how much it will cost you to parent your child (diapers, food, bed/crib, car seats, medical care, formula, baby products, clothes, toys, etc).
  • Determine how much assistance you will receive from the child’s other parent for child support, co-parenting, health insurance, daily living expenses, etc.
  • Investigate how much it will cost for daycare if you will work outside of the home
  • Find an adoption agency/mediator to review your options
  • Complete an adoption application if you decide to make an adoption plan for your child

Options:

-In most cases, there are many options and decisions that birth and adoptive family members can make before an adoption is finalized. These options include the following levels of openness between families:

  • Closed adoptions: birth parents and adoptive parents choose to not have any contact with each other.
  • Semi-open adoptions: birth parents and adoptive parents decide on the amount of communication and type of relationship each family will have with one another. Typically, a third party, such as an attorney or an adoption
  • agency, receives information from one family and provides non-identifying information (photos, drawings, health information) to each family.
  • In open adoptions, birth parents and adoptive parents agree on the amount of  contact between each family and the child. Some choose to talk on the telephone, others celebrate birthdays together and meet regularly, and others choose to only exchange information for special occasions.

-In most infant adoption cases, the decision regarding what type of contact will occur between the birth and adoptive family members is a decision made between the families. Other types of adoption have similar options, but in some cases, such as foster care adoptions, the court decides on the level of openness between families.

Costs:

-Birth parents who make an adoption plan for their child typically do not incur any costs. Hospital bills for the child (and sometimes the birth mother) are typically covered by either insurance payments or by the prospective adoptive parents. Legal fees and court costs are not paid for by the birth parents. Also, once the adoption is finalized, birth parents are not financially responsible for the child (no child support, etc.).

Home Study:

-To ensure that your child is being adopted by a loving, financially-stable, and permanent family, a home study must be conducted to review all prospective adoptive families’ statuses. Every state requires that prospective adoptive parents undergo a home study by a licensed home study investigator. The home study will include interviews of members of the family who live in the home, a lengthy evaluation and report, follow-up interviews and visits with family members, and recommendations to a court regarding the family’s overall capabilities to parent your child. A home study report outlines an adoptive family’s parenting techniques, financial stability, education, employment, age, relationships with others, stability, mental health, and legal history to ensure the family’s readiness to adopt a child.

Reuniting with birth family members:

-Visit our tab entitled, “Find Family Members”  to determine how to find family members who are members of the adoption triad.