THE ADOPTION PROCESS
Many who are new to the world of adoption have preconceived ideas about who a birth mother is and why she chooses adoption. Our clients come from all walks of life and have different, selfless reasons for choosing adoption. For example, we work with women who:
- are struggling financially and cannot support a child or an additional child
- want their child raised in a two-parent home
- have other goals that they want to accomplish before entering motherhood
- simply aren’t ready for the responsibility of parenthood
It takes courage, strength, and deep, unconditional love to make an adoption plan. Whatever your reasons for choosing adoption for your baby, we can help you provide the life you want for your child.
Step 1: Contact Us to Learn About Adoption
Even if you’re still unsure whether you want to place your baby for adoption, call or email us today. Our supportive attorneys will explain the adoption process and answer any initial questions you may have. Before you commit to adoption, let us provide the information you need to make an informed decision. There is never any pressure. This is your decision.
Stuart & Blackwell
Step 2: In-Person Visit
We’ll come to you. You’re always welcome here, but we know it’s not always easy to come to our office. Our caring team of attorneys, counselors, and caseworkers are all here in Arizona and available to meet with you in person. They will help you design an adoption plan that reflects your unique wants and needs during this pregnancy. You get to choose the family you want for your child, choose how much contact you would like with the adoptive family and child, and choose your hospital plan. There is no one way adoption can look, and we want to make sure you are aware of all the choices available to you on your path to adoption.
Step 3: Develop a Plan
Help us put together a plan to support your needs during the pregnancy, both financial and emotional. Making an adoption plan for your child can be extremely difficult, even when it’s the right decision. We can help provide support for living expenses, food, transportation, and medical expenses.
An adoption plan includes taking care of you and your baby. We know it’s an incredibly personal and emotional journey. Therefore, one of the most important aspects of an adoption is counseling. For birthmothers, a counselor is their main line of support, a person they can go to with no agenda other than to help you navigate this emotional time. From working through the decision to adopt in the first place to telling friends and family or forming a relationship with an adoptive family and coming up with a birth plan, your counselor will be there to prepare you for each step.
Step 4: Know Your Rights
Knowing your rights as a Birthmother under Arizona adoption law is key to protecting yourself and your baby during this time. Working with a private adoption attorney will give you peace of mind knowing your rights are protected.
While many large adoption agencies can feel impersonal, Kristy and Cory are both private adoption attorneys devoted to you and your child. They will walk you through the legal processes and paperwork in person to make sure you are fully knowledgeable of the legal action taking place. Unlike agencies that also represent the adoptive family, we never represent both sides of an adoption. When you make an adoption plan at Stuart & Blackwell, we will ONLY represent you. We will ensure this adoption proceeds with you in mind, every step of the way.
Step 5: Create Birthing & Hospital Plan
When the time comes for your baby to be born, we will already have a birthing and hospital plan in place. We will make sure you have the support you need at the hospital and can work with the nursing and hospital staff to ensure your plan is fulfilled. The adoptive family will arrive to begin bonding with the baby and would love to get to know you as much as you are comfortable, but the choice is yours.
Upon discharge from the hospital, the baby will go directly home from the hospital with the adoptive family and never into foster care. Nothing will happen without your consent. As a Birthmother, your child is yours. It is up to you to decide what is best for him or her. The final paperwork cannot be signed until 3 days after your child is born. At that time, you will make the final decision. Once the papers are signed, your child is legally under the custody and responsibility of his or her new family. You can relax knowing that you have the time to make a decision that is right for you and your baby.
Step 6: Create Post-Placement Plan
At Stuart & Blackwell, we know adoption is hard, but it doesn’t end there. After you have placed your baby in his or her new family, by law you are entitled to 6 weeks of post-pregnancy care in the form of living expenses and counseling. Post-adoption support is often just as important in terms of maintaining a healthy emotional state. We encourage Birthmothers to look ahead to this time and plan what your life may look like after the pregnancy. Will you join a Birthparent support group? Will you go back to school or work? At Stuart & Blackwell, we are here to help you think through and plan more than just your adoption. We want your story to be a success and we will support you as best we can.