Adoptive Parent FAQs

Nationally recognized for my expertise in adoption matters, I understand that the three most important qualities you need in your adoption attorney are experience, compassion, and trust.

How do I find a birth mother who wants to place her child for adoption?
Our firm helps you develop a strategy including networking and marketing steps to locate an expectant mother anywhere in the United States who is considering an adoption plan. The networking plan typically includes on-line and social media advertising, Google ad words, as well as advertising in newspapers nationwide.
Our clients create a “parent profile,” an autobiographical booklet (produced both in print and digitally), that shares their story in both words and pictures. We send this profile to expectant parents so they can learn more about you.
Once I locate a birth mother, how do I know it’s the right adoption situation for me?
Our firm assists you in gathering all available information to assess potential adoption situations. We ask the prospective birth mother and birth father to provide information about their family, social, and health histories.

We request from the obstetrician:

  • pre-natal records
  • sonogram reports
  • test results (including drug, alcohol and HIV screens)
  • available relevant information about the biological mother’s pregnancy and the health of the baby

During this information gathering stage, we estimate the financial obligations that may arise in connection with the anticipated adoption. In reviewing all the available information, you will make a decision as to whether a particular match is best for you.

What is open adoption and do you encourage it?
Basically, “open” refers to communication and the term “open” in the adoption world is not universally defined. Many people assume an open adoption means birth parents know the full names and address of the adoptive parents and can visit throughout the child’s life. Open adoption may sometimes be defined in this way, but this is neither the only definition nor the typical interpretation of open adoption by our clients.
The majority of independent/private adoptions are open to a certain degree – this is what often appeals to all parties involved. In most private adoptions, you speak with birth parents on the phone, text, and email and often meet in person, either before or soon after the birth of the child. The birth mother provides you with information about her social and medical history and you share a comfortable level of information about yourself with the birth mother. In this style of open adoption, adoptive parents may maintain confidentiality but still have a connection/relationship with the birth parents.
Together, the adoptive parents and birth parents determine the degree of openness post-birth that will work for them. Some adoptive parents and birth parents have no contact after the birth mother transfers custody of the child to the adoptive parents. Some adoptive parents agree to send pictures and updates of the child to the birth parents at scheduled intervals over time. Some birth parents and adoptive parents maintain contact for years. It is a matter of discussion and compromise as to what degree of post-birth communication is acceptable to all parties. We do encourage open adoption at whatever level of communication the adoptive family and the birth parents agree to as a group.
How long will it take to adopt a child?
Although there are no guarantees, the private adoption process, from the time our clients begin searching for a birth mother until the time they take custody of their child, is approximately 12 to 18 months.
Does your firm recommend that birth mothers receive counseling?
Our firm always encourages expectant mothers to receive counseling. We firmly believe that birth mother counseling enables her to work through the emotions involved in placing her child for adoption and helps to ensure a successful outcome for everyone. The adoptive parents pay for the cost of counseling, if it is not covered by the birth mother’s medical insurance.
What is the average cost of a private domestic adoption?
The average cost of a private domestic adoption, excluding the costs for your home study, advertising, and travel expenses, ranges between $18,000 and $35,000. The cost varies depending on whether your birth mother has medical insurance, for example, and how much financial assistance, if any, she may require and the applicable law allows.

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As adoption and reproductive law attorneys, The Law Offices of Laurie B. Goldheim serve as a primary resource, counsel and partner to clients who seek to grow their families by contemporary means and methods, as recognized by the courts of New York and New Jersey.