Placing a child for adoption can be one of the hardest decisions of your life.  Even when it is the right decision, it is always a difficult decision.  Many clients do not want to place their child, but they know that their child may have a better life with another family.  This is a selfless and brave decision to make, when it is the right decision for you.  If you are considering adoption, remember that in some cases, you may be able to maintain a relationship with your child or with the child’s adoptive parents.

What questions should you ask yourself before placing your baby for adoption to make sure that it is the best decision for you and the child?

What Type of Adoption Do I Want?

The first question you should ask yourself is what type of adoption that you want to have. A closed adoption generally means that after the placement is made, you will not receive any ongoing communication from the child and/or his new parents.  Some clients prefer this type of adoption because they feel it will allow them to move forward with their own lives.  Sometimes with a closed adoption you may meet the adoptive family before or at the time of placement.  This can help you feel more comfortable with the selected adoptive family.

In an open adoption, both the birth mother and the adoptive parents know about each other, and the adoptive parents will send updates and pictures on a regular basis.  An open adoption can also include visits and verbal communication with the child.  An open adoption may be best if you think that you would like your child to know who you are at some point in the future.

Where Can I Turn for Support?

It is never easy to place a baby for adoption. You may feel emotions such as guilt, sadness or loss after the event occurs. While these feelings may be perfectly natural, it is important to understand that giving your child to a loving and stable family is one of the best ways to prove how much you care about your child. Going to therapy or joining a support group can help you connect with others who will listen or share their own experiences and help you feel less isolated and alone before, during and after the adoption occurs.  Your adoption attorney will help connect you with an experienced adoption counselor and/or birth parent support group.

What If the Baby’s Father Doesn’t Agree?

This is not an easy question to answer and it depends on several factors.  If you are married (even if your husband is not the father) your husband must either consent to the adoption or his rights may need to be terminated by the Courts.  If you are not married but you know who the potential birth father is, then he must be served with a Potential Father’s Notice.  This puts the burden on him to take legal action to establish his paternal rights within thirty days.  If he cannot be located, sometimes the Court will give permission to publish his Notice.

Every situation is different and you should discuss the birth father situation openly and honestly with your attorney to learn more about your options.

Will You Change Your Mind?

As giving up your child is one of the hardest things that you will ever do, it is only natural that you may have second thoughts about doing so.  You can change your mind up until you sign a Consent for Adoption.  In Arizona, you cannot sign a Consent for Adoption until the baby is at least 72 hours old.   You should not sign the Consent for Adoption until you are sure about your decision, because once you sign it is irrevocable and you cannot change your mind.  Your attorney will discuss this with you and answer all your questions.  She or he will not let you sign until you’re ready.

You don’t always get to plan when you will get pregnant. There are times when keeping your child isn’t in your best interest or the best interest of the child. That is why there is a system in place that allows others to adopt babies and give them a loving and stable home. If you are thinking about placing your child, give us a call at Stuart & Blackwell and we can help answer your questions so you can make the right decision for your baby.