Birthmother Questions about Adoption

ABC 5Here are answers to some “Frequently Asked Questions”…

Do I get to choose the family for my baby?
Yes. We will ask you about the sort of family you would like your baby to have. Your preferences are important to us!  If you would rather not participate in making a decision, that is okay, too.  It’s up to you.

How will I know that family I choose will be good parents?
All adoptive parents go through a screening and preparation process. They must be interviewed and evaluated by a social worker who meets with them in person.  In every case, families must pass criminal background and child abuse clearance checks before they can be recommended as an adoptive family.

Will I get to meet the family?
If you wish to meet the family, usually a meeting can be arranged and, if the adoptive family lives close-by, it may be possible to have more than one meeting.

ABC 2What information will the adoptive parents be given about me?
We will provide information about your health, family history and pregnancy.  We encourage you to share information about your personality, likes and dislikes, talents and skills, too.  The more your share, the better the adoptive family will be able to care for your baby.

What information will I receive about the adoptive parents?
First, the family profile!  This give you a look into the family’s life, home, activities, education and lifestyle, with lots of photos.  We can share information about the adoptive family’s work, pets, religious preference, and other things you may wish to know.

What information do you need about the biological father? What if I don’t know who he is or where he is?
This is not uncommon. It is required by law to search for and attempt to obtain the consent of any known possible biological father. If you do not know the identity or whereabouts of the biological father then we will publish a notice.  The ideal situation is where both the birthmother and birthfather are in agreement with the adoption plan, but that is not always the case. The law provides for you to make a plan for your child if the birthfather is unknown, if it is not possible to locate him, or if he is unwilling to participate.

Will someone at the agency be able to provide me with emotional support during my pregnancy and after the birth of my baby?
Yes!  Our counselors are non-judgmental, kind, honest and open-minded. You will have your birthmother counselor’s direct number as well as the agency number. She will help you with pregnancy planning, discuss your options and provide post-adoption resources, as well. Plus, we will introduce you to other birthmothers who are mentors and form a support group.

When will I sign consent papers and how long do I have to change my mind?
In the state of Arizona you must wait three days to consider your placement decision after the birth of your baby, before signing the adoption consents. If you change your mind during these three days, you can. After you sign consents your decision becomes final and irrevocable.

ABC 3Will I need to pay anything in order to make an adoption plan for my baby?
No. Expenses are paid by insurance or AHCCCS or the adoptive family, as allowable by law. However, you may need to follow-through on applying for AHCCCS, for coverage of medical and hospital expenses.

Will the family be able to help me with living and medical expenses?
Yes. Arizona allows up to $1,000 of living and pregnancy-related expenses to be paid by the adoptive family.  Expenses in excess of $1,000 must be approved by court. The Judge will generally allow reasonable living and pregnancy-related expenses, such as rent and household expenses, through your pregnancy and for a month after delivery.

Will my baby have to go into foster care?
In ordinary circumstances the baby will go to his or her adoptive family’s home directly from the hospital. However, it is possible the baby may stay with a qualified foster parent for a few days, in the event that there was little time to prepare for the placement.

Will I be able to give the baby a name?
Yes, if you would like to name your baby, you may. The adoptive family may choose their own name for the baby, as well, but this will not occur the adoption is finalized in court.  Or, you may choose a name together!

What information will I be able to receive about the baby as he or she grows?
In most cases, the adoptive family agrees to provide pictures and letter updates on a regular basis. In-person contact with the family and child depends upon whether you have agreed upon an open or semi-open or closed adoption.

Birthmother Questions What is the difference between open and closed adoption?
Open adoption is when birthparents  remain in contact with their child after the child has been placed with the adoptive family.

Semi-open adoption involves the adoptive family periodically providing letters and photos.

Closed adoption is when the birthparents prefer to close the door after the adoption is completed, without contact with the child or adoptive family.

Do I need to have a lawyer?
You have the right to consult with a lawyer at any point that you feel it would be helpful for you. It is not necessary for you to have a lawyer in order to complete your adoption plan.