8 Important Adoption Rights You'll Have as a Birth Mother
Your Legal Rights When Pursuing This Journey
Placing a baby for adoption can often seem like a complicated process, especially when you’re already facing an unplanned pregnancy. If you’re in this situation, you may be worried about adoption professionals coercing you into a decision before you’re ready, giving you biased information to get you to place your baby, or just taking advantage of you in your vulnerable state.
These are completely normal fears to have. But, know this: When you consider adoption for your baby, you will always have certain undeniable parental adoption rights. As a prospective birth mother, you will always have the right to do what is best for you and your baby, no matter what anyone else says.
If you’re asking, “What are my rights to give my child up for adoption?” you’ve come to the right place. At American Adoptions, we are dedicated to providing objective, helpful information to all women facing unplanned pregnancies (including those considering adoption) to help them make the decision that is best for them. You can always speak to an adoption specialist for free and with no obligation to choose adoption when you call 1-800-ADOPTION.
Your Adoption Rights During Your Pregnancy
When you choose to pursue adoption, you become a prospective birth mother. As a prospective birth mother, you will have certain rights during your journey. At American Adoptions, we will always protect those rights and make sure you feel comfortable during your adoption process.
A woman’s right to give a baby up for adoption includes more than just her right to give her adoption consent — it also encompasses all the rights she has to plan her own adoption journey. When you work with our agency, you can know you will have these protected rights along the way:
The Right to Change Your Mind at any Point in the Process
As part of a mother’s legal rights in “giving a baby up” for adoption, she always has the right to change her mind about her decision before giving her adoption consent. This means that you will always have the right to choose to parent your child, whether it’s early in your pregnancy, after you have met adoptive parents, or even once you have given birth. You are never obligated to choose adoption, no matter how far along you are in your adoption plan, and your adoption specialist will always respect these inherent legal rights behind putting a baby up for adoption.
If you are a teenager, you may ask, “If I decide to give my baby up for adoption, do grandparents have a say so?” In most cases, no — adoption is only a decision that you can make, as the mother of the child. However, we encourage you to reach out to an adoption specialist for more information on placing a baby for adoption as a minor.
The Right to Receive Free, Objective Unplanned Pregnancy Counseling
Because you will never be obligated to choose adoption for your baby, you will always receive objective information about all of your unplanned pregnancy choices from our adoption counselors. Contacting our agency never means you have to choose adoption; it just means you’re taking the brave step to receive the information you need to make the best decision for you.
Adoption is rarely an easy choice to make, and most prospective birth mothers experience difficult feelings before, during and after the adoption process. Your adoption specialist is available 24/7 to provide the free, professional counseling services you need to sort through your feelings, explore your options, and ultimately make a decision that you feel good about.
The Right to Create Your Own Adoption Plan
Your adoption rights as a prospective birth mother mean that you run the show of your own adoption journey — that is, you create your own adoption plan detailing every step from start to finish. You are always in charge, although your adoption specialist will be there to support you the whole way. You will never be forced into decisions you are uncomfortable with, and you will have all the time you need to make important decisions in your adoption plan.
The Right to Choose Your Child’s Adoptive Family
One of your prospective birth mother rights in open adoption is being able to choose the family that you wish to place your child with. This is a big decision to make, and you will always be the one in charge of choosing the family who is right for your baby. To aid you in this decision, your adoption specialist will speak with you at length about your desires for an adoptive family and present to you profiles of families who meet those preferences.
You will have the chance to meet with and get to know the family prior to selecting them for your baby. You can take as long as you want to find the perfect family for your child, and American Adoptions will support you through this decision. You will always have this right, no matter how late in your pregnancy you are choosing adoption.
The Right to Choose Your Post-Placement Relationship
Another of your prospective birth mother rights in open adoption is choosing the kind of contact you want to have with the adoptive family before and after your adoption is complete. You always get to choose what kind of relationship you want — whether it’s a closed, semi-open or open adoption. You can even have a relationship with your birth child as they grow up!
While you will have no legal parental rights after you give a child up for adoption, open adoption allows you to remain a part of your child’s life. Your adoption specialist will always be there to coordinate communication and make sure the adoptive family maintains their communication with you.
Your Adoption Rights When Giving Your Legal Consent
When it comes to giving your legal consent for adoption, you may have a lot of questions about a mother’s legal rights when giving a baby up for adoption, such as:
- Can you give your child up for adoption without giving up your rights?
- Can someone adopt my child if I don’t sign the rights over?
- Can someone adopt my child without my permission?
Before you place your baby for adoption, a local adoption attorney will always explain your adoption rights in the process. However, know this: Adoption is a permanent choice that will terminate your parental rights, and no one can adopt your child without your permission if you are pregnant.
Here are the adoption rights you will have in this legal process:
The Right to Choose When to Give Your Adoption Consent
You will never be forced into giving your adoption consent until you are 100 percent comfortable with your decision. Every state has different adoption consent laws, which means you may have to wait a few hours or days after giving birth to give your consent. You will not be able to give your consent before state laws allow, but you can always take as much time as you need to make the decision that is best for you and your family. Our agency respects a woman’s right to give a baby up for adoption, and our specialists will not pressure you into a decision.
The Right to Legal Representation When Signing Your Documents
Before you complete the termination of parental rights (TPR) when giving up for adoption at birth, an adoption attorney will always explain your parental adoption rights now and your parental rights after you give up a child for adoption. This way, you will completely understand this life-changing decision before you make it. You will always have the chance to ask any questions you may have about your legal rights of giving a baby up for adoption in your situation.
The Right to Revoke Your Consent, Depending On Your State Laws
In some cases, birth mothers decide they have made the wrong decision after placing their child for adoption. Certain states have revocation periods to allow a woman to take back her parental rights in these situations. However, this legal process can be complicated. Your adoption attorney will explain your state revocation policy to you before you sign your consent and guide you through the necessary steps if you decide this is the best choice for you.
Remember, if your baby has not yet been born and you have not signed your adoption consent, you always have the choice to change your mind, should you wish to. When you choose to place your baby for adoption voluntarily, someone cannot adopt your child without your consent, no matter where you are in your adoption plan.
To learn more about your legal rights in the adoption process and the support that is available to you, call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an adoption specialist, for free and with zero obligation.
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