Birth Parent FAQs
I’ve been privileged during my years of practice as an adoption attorney to represent hundreds of birth parents who have placed their children for adoption with loving adoptive families. I have the utmost admiration and respect for biological parents who make the incredibly selfless and courageous decision to place their child for adoption.
Can I choose the parents for my baby?
Yes, you choose the adoptive family for your baby. Our office will work with you to help you decide on the best family to raise your child.
How much can I find out about the adoptive parents?
Prospective adoptive parents usually prepare a “profile” which is an autobiography together with photographs. The profile shares personal information about themselves including their extended family and friends, other children, parenting philosophy and their hopes and dreams for a family. You can also connect with the prospective adoptive parents over the phone, Skype, email or text, as often as you wish, and can even arrange to meet in person. As a birth parent, you are asked to provide background information to share wth your chosen adoptive family. The information includes your family history, children, birth father information (if available), and medical history. The information you provide has lifelong benefits for your child.
In addition to my personal opinion about whether a particular family is the right one to adopt my child, what other assurances do I have that the prospective adoptive parents are suitable parents?
All prospective adoptive parents must undergo an investigation by either a licensed social worker or licensed adoption agency prior to adopting a child. Prospective adoptive parents must provide the agency or social worker with their fingerprints, detailed financial, social, and employment histories, copies of tax returns, reports of medical examinations, and letters of reference. The agency or social worker must also visit the prospective adoptive parents in their home to make sure that their home is suitable for a child. The agency or social worker also checks the prospective adoptive parents’ backgrounds to determine if they have any criminal records or history of child abuse before they recommend them as adoptive parents. As your attorney, I will ensure that the agency or social worker has approved your prospective adoptive parents for adoption before you move forward with an adoption plan for your child.
I have living expenses and medical bills. Who will help me with my bills?
All states have specific laws in connection with adoption regulating the payment of a birth mother’s living expenses and medical bills. In many states, laws allow prospective adoptive parents to provide you with reasonable financial assistance that is directly related to your pregnancy and delivery of your child. We can provide you with more specific information about the financial assistance you may receive when we know what states are involved in the adoption and those states’ laws regarding payment of your expenses.
Does the birth father have rights? What if I don’t know where he is or who he is?
Your child’s birth father may have legal rights. The state laws where the adoption proceeding occurs determine how the legal rights of the birth father are handled. If you know who the birth father is, we may need to try to contact him and inform him of your adoption plan. It may be best for your child if the birth father is able and willing to participate in the adoption process in a constructive manner. If he can be reached we may ask him to provide as much background information about himself as possible, including his medical history, which is a great benefit to your child.
Each and every adoption situation is different and we will help you find the most appropriate way to handle your situation with the birth father of your child so that you are protected and all laws are upheld.
How much contact will I have with the adoptive parents and my child after I place my child for adoption?
You, together with the adoptive parents of your child, will decide how much contact you will have with them and the child after the child is placed for adoption. We will encourage you to decide what degree of contact you want and the frequency of that contact before you select an adoptive family. Some birth parents decide that they do not want to have any contact after the adoptive parents take custody of the child. Other birth parents would like periodic pictures and updates about the child’s development and progress. Some birth parents and adoptive parents maintain contact for years. We will help you select adoptive parents who are willing to provide the level of contact you want. It’s sometimes a matter of compromise as to what degree of contact is acceptable to all the parties so that everyone is comfortable with the openness of the adoption.
Can I receive counseling regarding my decision to place my child for adoption?
We always encourage birth parents to receive options counseling about the decision to place their child for adoption. Some states, in fact, require counseling for you. We believe that counseling enables a biological parent to work through the emotions involved with placing his/her child for adoption and helps better ensure a positive adoption experience. The cost of adoption counseling, if not covered by your insurance or Medicaid (if you have either), may be paid for by the adoptive parents.
Can I place my child with a family that lives in another state?
Yes. The adoptive parents you choose can live anywhere within the United States. The prospective adoptive parents will come to your state to meet you and to take custody of the baby you place for adoption. If you wish, they can even try to be present for the delivery. There are certain laws with which we must comply in order for a baby to leave the state of birth and enter into another state. We will make sure that the adoptive parents adhere to the laws of all the states involved in the adoption.
I do not have money to pay for an attorney. Can I still retain you to represent me in the adoption?
You do not have to pay my legal fee for me to represent you. The adoptive family who will adopt your child is responsible for the payment of my legal fees in connection with your adoption plan.