Open adoption means that you’ll be able to choose which family adopts your child. Birth parents also determine how much they’d like to stay in touch with their child and his or her new family after the adoption.
There are a few questions about birth parent rights after adoption that we wanted to address today. Read on to get answers to a few commonly asked questions about the adoption rights of birth parents!
Q: How much contact can I have after the adoption happens?
A: After the open adoption is final, a birth parent’s rights include visits, which can happen as often as you like. Keep in mind that you’ll make an arrangement with the adoptive parents about contact. Lifetime encourages conversations and agreements with the adoptive parents before the adoption taking place.
In addition, birth mothers will choose how things go when it’s time to give birth. You have the right to decide who’s allowed in the delivery room, who gets to cut the cord, and how much skin-to-skin contact you want with your baby after delivery.
A birth mother has power over many decisions having to do with her child, both before and after delivery.
Please keep in mind that many states don’t have laws that can enforce open adoption contact agreements. We’d be happy to discuss this in greater detail with you; just call Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784.
According to FindLaw.com, “While the current trend for adoptions is to allow open adoptions that encourage birth parents and adoptive parents and the children to maintain contact, there is not much a birth parent can do if the adoptive parents do not want them in their adopted child’s life. To protect against this, birth parents may wish to enter into an agreement with the adoptive parents allowing for such things as visitation or regular updates. These agreements can be wrought with pitfalls and should be considered carefully by both adoptive parents and birth parents before being entered into.”
Q: What happens if I change my mind and want to keep my baby?
A: Adoption laws vary in each state. Generally speaking, a birth mother can decide not to sign the legal papers transferring her parental rights to the adoptive family. This action is called a “reclaim.” In some states, a birth mother has around six weeks to change her mind. In other states, it’s 48 hours.
This is why open adoption is so important; it allows birth parents remain in the driver’s seat of their baby’s adoption, but it also allows them to get to know the adoptive family. Getting to know the family you picked for your baby can make it less likely that you’ll have second thoughts about them, adoption process, or the termination of parental rights once the adoption is finalized in court.
Remember, you’ll always get the support of Lifetime’s adoption professionals, peer support, and licensed counseling if you need it.
As one of the top adoption agencies in the nation, Lifetime has over 30 years’ worth of experience with managing adoptions. We make sure to evaluate adoptive parents during the home study process thoroughly, so you’ll know your baby will be safe and loved.
It’s because of this that the reclaim rate at Lifetime is very low. Usually, the biological parents are happy that they decided on adoption. (And nearly all the time, the adoptive parents agree!)
Q: What are my rights if my baby’s father is against adoption?
A: Adoption laws vary from state to state. But in every state, adoption laws are centered on the interest of the child. However, there remain some difficult questions on adoption and birth fathers.
As a biological parent, if the birth father doesn’t agree to the adoption, he can fight it. Every state has processes in place which allow birth fathers to contest an adoption. The time he has to contest the adoption varies by state. If you have questions, your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime can arrange a free meeting with an adoption attorney to get legal advice.
We’re here to answer your questions about adoption. Text us or call us today at 1-800-923-6784 to get one-on-one adoption help.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is a nationally-recognized adoption expert and the Founder of Lifetime Adoption Agency. She has been working in adoption since 1986 and is also an award-winning author and speaker.
Mardie knows the sorrow of coping with infertility, and is an adoptive parent who experienced many of the challenges adoptive families might face. In various media appearances worldwide, publications, and her podcast, Mardie important steps that must be taken to complete a safe and secure adoption. Having adopted her son, Mardie knows firsthand the joys of raising an adopted child.
Mardie’s life mission is to help adoptive parents and birth parents find each other. With Lifetime Adoption Agency, she seeks to build happy families and provide precious infants and children with a loving and secure future.