An unplanned pregnancy can be tough for birth mothers. There are undoubtedly hundreds of questions running through their minds at any given time. And some of them may be centered around one topic in particular – adoption. How do you know if it’s the right choice? Where do you learn more about the process? What’s next?
In this blog post, we will attempt to answer some common adoption questions asked by birth mothers. Of course, if you don’t find the answer(s) you are looking for, our adoption counselors are available 24/7 to help you through this difficult time. And this brings us to our first question.
1) At What Point Should I Contact an Adoption Agency?
Let’s get one thing straight. No one expects you to have all the answers before contacting an adoption agency. You don’t even need to know if adoption is the path you are choosing. “It’s important to research all of your options to understand what may be the best option for you,” says Felicia Curcuru, Huffington Post, and an adoption counselor is a great resource. They will help educate you on all your options, not just adoption.
Adoption Makes Family is here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland. Our experienced professionals can answer your questions and counsel you so that you make the best decisions for your future.
Call Us Now at (410) 683-2100
2) How Much Will Adoption Cost Me?
The short answer is nothing. “In domestic infant adoption, when a pregnant woman is making an adoption plan for her unborn child, the hopeful adoptive parents will often pay certain expenses on behalf of the pregnant mother,” writes Stacy Stark, Adoption.com. These expenses are regulated by state law and vary from state to state, says Colleen Marea Quinn, Adoptive Families.
Here in Maryland, House Bill 563, signed into law in 2013, allows adoptive families to help cover certain expenses, including:
- ALL medical expenses and hospital costs
- ALL legal expenses
- Reasonable charge or fee for adoption counseling
- Reasonable expenses for transportation for medical care
- Reasonable expenses associated with any required court appearance relating to the adoption
“In some circumstances, living expenses are also paid,” says Dean Kirschner, Ph.D., LCSW-C, “if you can not work because of a condition directly related to the pregnancy – and prescribed by your physician.”
3) Do I Get to Choose the Adoptive Family?
Yes. At your initial meeting with your adoption counselor, you can start to review potential adoptive parent profiles and even select one if you would like. You may even decide to meet the potential adoptive parents. This is entirely up to you. It all depends on your comfort level and your desired level of openness in the adoption.
There are generally three types of adoption. In an Open Adoption, both parents and adoptive parents exchange identifying information about each other and have ongoing contact. In a Semi-Open Adoption, most or all communications between the adoptive parents and birth parents is facilitated by an adoption agency to preserve identifying information. And in a Closed Adoption, birth parents and adoptive parents do not meet and do not share any identifying information.
4) Can I Have a Relationship With My Baby?
Well, that is entirely up to you. Again, it all depends on the openness of your adoption. If you choose an Open or Semi-Open adoption, you can continue to have some degree of contact with your child.
“The confidentiality that once defined adoption is no longer the norm,” says Eliza Newlin Carney, Adoptive Families. Nowadays, open adoptions are becoming more and more prevalent. According to Jennifer Fairfax LLC, 95 percent of adoptions today are either open or semi-open.
5) Does the Birth Father Have to Consent to Adoption?
Yes. Maryland law stipulates that the birth father must be notified before an adoption can occur. This is true even if you are unsure who the birth father is. “A birth father has a Constitutional right to be notified that he might be the father of a child who is being put up for adoption,” says Kourosh Akhbari, LegalMatch Legal Writer. However, once the birth father consents, he does not need to be involved after that. But it is important to note that a birth father can have his own relationship with the adoptive family.
Start Your Adoption Plan
If you determine that adoption is the right option for you, the next step is to create an adoption plan. The professionals at Adoption Makes Family have many years of experience in adoption services, and will walk you through every step of the adoption process, helping you make the best decisions for both you and your baby. And we will be there with you every step of the way, from the adoption plan to the birth and beyond. Our adoption counselors are here for you whenever you need us.
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form.