Choosing adoption for your baby is much more than selecting a family. In the past, adoption was not a big topic of discussion and was usually a private matter. Today, adoption is much more open and is widely celebrated and shared. Depending on the degree of openness you are looking for in the adopting family, there are many ways to stay in contact and know that your child is loved and taken care of.
As you make your way through the adoption process, it is important to know your rights as a birth mother. The laws vary from one state to another, and because of this you will need to see what laws are in place for your state so you can get the specific information about birth parent rights pertaining to your case. Knowing your rights can help you better understand the process and the type of experience you are looking to have with your child and the adopting family.
Ask the agency, attorney, or facilitator as many questions as possible, even if you might think itís a silly question. Every aspect should be covered so you have no reason to doubt that you are making the best choice for your baby. Having a placement plan will give you structure and help point out those questions you may not have even considered. A placement plan is an outline of what youíre hoping to get out of your adoption experience and your needs as a birth parent. This may include; what types of families to look at, if you plan to spend time with your baby before placing, what kind of contact you want after placement, and many other details.
Some general questions to ask areó
- What are my privacy rights?
- Who is able to access all the documents and forms I sign?
- What information am I required to give the adoptive family?
- What kind of contact can I have with my baby after I place?
- What are the laws of an open adoption?
- What rights does a birth father have before and after placement?
- Do I have to tell my Dr. Iím placing for adoption?
Legal forms will need to be signed to give the adoptive family the rights to parent your baby. These forms are used when the family goes before a judge to finalize the adoption and for legal documentation. Ask to see these forms and have a case worker or attorney read them with you. Having a pen and paper on hand will be helpful for you to jot down any questions you have as the forms are read to you.
When signing the forms for termination of parental rights, remember that it is a legal document and therefore is straight to the point. Until you sign this, you have all the rights to your child as a regular parent would. When signed, those rights are terminated. A notary will be present as well as witnesses so that it is a valid legal document. These forms do not mean you are erased from the picture and that you are no longer a birth parent. You love your baby so much that you are willing to give them a better life despite your wants and desires to parent. It is a selfless and heroic act that not everyone is capable of. If it were so easy, there would not be so many adoptive couples out there still waiting to adopt.
Making your placement plan will help you indentify the rights that will come in to play before and after you sign these forms. Find a family that has not only the beliefs and qualities youíre looking for, but the same ideas about openness. When you have found your adoptive family, openness will be discussed and you can finally be at ease. Talk to those who are supporting you in the process and reach out to birth motherís who have placed. Hearing others stories can give you hope and help you find a way to relate personally.
If you are just starting out in the process and want to research ahead of time, you can visit http://adopting.adoption.com/child/l...-adoption.html to review detailed laws and what to expect when you place for adoption. Be proud of the choice you are making and try to approach it with an open mind and a positive attitude. Adoption can change your life in so many positive ways and can open the door to lasting relationships and amazing opportunities.