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Expectant Mothers – Considering Adoption for My Baby
Not everyone who becomes pregnant is ready to raise a child. Unplanned pregnancies can happen. They are not limited to single women as many women who are married or in long-term committed relationships consider adoption if they are simply not ready to parent their child or another child.
The decision to give birth to the child and then give it to another family to raise is a difficult one. Considering adoption for your baby is probably not something you ever thought you would have to put your mind to. However, you need not go through the process alone. You can work with friends, family, or members of your church or other civic organization to sort through your adoption options. Or, you can find the right family for your child on your own or in collaboration with your spouse or partner and an adoption attorney.
Hopeful Adoptive Parents
If you are looking to adopt a baby, then you should consider self-matching rather than going through an adoption agency. Self-matching is the best option for those who prefer to know the birth mother of the child they plan to adopt and are open to involving her in their life.
Self-matching contains little risk when the proper safeguards are put into place. It can be done through networking with friends, church, or other civic and community organizations. It can also be done through various internet sites. The latter carries more risk because you don’t know who is at the other end until you meet them in person.
No matter the means used to contact an expectant mother, you should get an adoption attorney involved the very moment you have found a good match.
Tips for Adoptive Parents
1. Take Things Slowly
Finding an expectant mother who seems interested in giving you her baby can be exciting. After a few exchanges, it may seem as though you have found the perfect match. You must nevertheless be cautious. You still do not know the person and you should refrain from sharing important details about yourself and your family. Do not give the birth mother your home address. Nor should you tell her where you work. Protect your identity and personal information until you have had them speak with your adoption attorney.
2. Ask Simple Questions
When getting to know the birth mother online, you should ask simple questions that will give you some idea of the kind of person she is and what the circumstances of her life might be. All questions should be asked in the spirit of prudence, respect, and compassion. Here are some of the questions you may want to ask:
- Her name and the city and state where she resides
- Her marital status
- Whether her pregnancy has been confirmed by a doctor or midwife
- Whether the father of the baby knows she is considering adoption
- Whether she is working through an agency or an attorney
- Whether she is considering another family for the adoption
- Why she is considering adoption
She may not want to answer all these questions, and you should not push her. Remember, she is also wary of whom to trust. If the match is right, you will come to divulge more and more information about one another. The adoption plan can be discussed once you have both reached the point of trust.
3. Never Discuss Money
There are laws in many states about giving a birth mother money in exchange for their baby. In many states, prospective adoptive parents can give birth mother money for prenatal and postnatal living expenses. However, this must be worked out with your adoption attorney and the birth mother may be required to sign certain disclosures regarding accepting charity aid.
4. Get a Home Study
An adoption home study is an overview of your life that is used by the courts to determine the stability of your home to make sure it’s a safe environment for a child to potentially be placed there. It’s a lengthy process but you and your family must undergo a home study before you can adopt. In most states, it is illegal to place a child in a home without a favorable home study.
Why You Need a Lawyer
If you believe you have a potential match, you should hire an adoption attorney immediately. An unplanned pregnancy can lead some people to say and do anything to relieve themselves of the burden of parenthood. There are also people who use well-off people who are desperate for a child of their own to their advantage. To avoid getting caught up in anything untoward, you will need the advice and experience of a legal advocate.
An adoption attorney will investigate the birth mother, verify her pregnancy, and gather her family, social, and medical history through an interview. Your attorney will also help keep you within the adoption laws of the state where the birth mother resides. They will file the documents necessary to inform the court of your intention to adopt and provide the necessary disclosures that may allow you to give the birth mother charitable aid living and medical expenses.
Adoption law can be very complex. You never know when you will run up against an unforeseen obstacle or pitfall. For example, some states require the consent of the father before the adoption can go through. If the birth mother is not in touch with the father and has no means of reaching him, then you will need to turn to your lawyer for help. Law firms that specialize in adoption have in-house investigation teams who know how to find people—even those who don’t want to be found. Your lawyer will be able to find the father and help you get his consent to the adoption.
Your lawyer can also help you and the birth mother work out the arrangements for how she will be involved. What is important to remember here is that once the adoption has been finalized, the adoptive parents assume all parental rights. From that moment forward, any involvement of the birth mother is strictly voluntary and will go on only if you consent to it.
Have you self-matched with an expectant mother, or are you an expectant mother considering adoption? Gulf Coast Adoptions can help! Call us at (850) 999-7977 or fill out our contact form.