How can adoption be a good choice? Isn’t it unnatural?
For thousands of years birthparents, unable to adequately provide for their children, have made adoption plans. Making a choice to place a child for adoption is a courageous decision made with the child’s best interests in mind. Birthparents are, in fact, making a parenting decision. For a family facing infertility or desiring to raise a child with special needs, adoption can be a fulfilling answer to a lifelong dream. Adopted children are loved by two families and in the best circumstances grow up with that knowledge.
Does a birthparent placing a child for adoption love that child?
Yes! Though motivations for making adoption plans vary, it is almost never due to a lack of love for the child. The choice of adoption shows a tremendous, selfless love for a child.
Can the birthparent(s) choose the adoptive family?
Yes. Many birthparents read letters of introduction or otherwise make their choices known through an adoption agency. Birthparents may choose to meet adoptive parents if desired. In a private (identified) adoption the birthparents directly, or with the help of a facilitator, plan the adoptive placement with the family of their choice prior to approaching an agency.
Does an agency have to be involved?
In Nevada, all non-relative adoptions must be facilitated by a licensed agency. This includes adoptions where the child comes from or goes to another state. Agency involvement ensures all parties make informed choices, receive appropriate support and have access to important information and guidance. When an adopting parent is a relative related to the child within the third degree of consanguinity (parent, grandparent, great grandparents, sibling, aunt/uncle, and niece/nephew) agency involvement may not be necessary. Contact an agency or attorney for clarification.
What kind of fees and costs are associated with adoption?
Adoption service fees vary from agency to agency, as do legal fees. Sometimes adoptive parents assume the responsibility for a birthparent’s medical bills and other pregnancy-related expenses. These costs vary widely. Agency fees for adoptions through Catholic Charities are based on a sliding scale and are discussed at Orientation. Birthparent services are provided at no cost to the birthparents.
Must the birthfather be involved in the adoption decision?
If the biological father is known and can be located his rights are generally equal to the birthmother’s. He must be a party to the adoption plan. In situations where a birthfather is unknown or cannot be located a termination of parental rights will be sought through legal means. All non-relative adoptions must have the parental rights of the birthmother, birthfather and any legal father (birthmother’s husband) relinquished voluntarily or terminated involuntarily through court. The involvement of the birthfather is sometimes difficult for the birthmother; however, the agency social worker will help guide her through this process.
What if the birthparent is under age?
A Nevada birthparent is accorded all legal rights and responsibilities, as an adult, in regard to his/her child. Minor birthparents do not need permission from their parents to make an adoption plan or sign legal documents regarding the child. It is optimal to have family support whenever possible.
Can an adoption plan be made with parties in different states?
Interstate adoption plans are commonplace. Laws regulating these adoptions (Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children) (outline particular requirements that each involved state must follow. The agency will ensure compliance with the ICPC laws.
Are adoptions confidential? What about open adoptions?
YES! All aspects of adoption are private matters for the birth families, adoptive families and children. All information is highly confidential. In open adoptions, the parties involved have chosen to have a direct relationship and may make their own decisions about confidentiality. When a question arises, it is best to remain confidential until the agency facilitating the adoption is able to clarify the situation with all involved parties.
What will the family learn about the birthparent and vice versa?
The adoptive family is provided with as much background information about the birthparents as possible. This includes medical history, social background and the child’s hospital records. Much of the information is self-reported and is provided confidentially. The birthparents have the opportunity to read the adoptive parents’ introductions letters. Generally the information provided by the agency in a non-identifying manner unless it is an open adoption.
Can the birthparents see the baby while at the hospital ~ how about the prospective adoptive parents?
Hospital policies and procedures vary and must be defined by each institution. General guidelines include the fact a birthmother has not yet relinquished her rights and is still responsible for any choice regarding her child. It is considered healthier for a birthmother to see and hold her baby prior to the adoptive placement; however, it is her choice. Prospective adoptive parents may have an open relationship with the birthparent(s) and may be welcome to visit. Again, it is the birthmother’s choice in accordance with hospital policy.
What if the adoption plan falls through?
Either the birthparents or adoptive parent may choose to change their minds about the adoption plan. If the birthparent decides to parent the child, she may take the baby home from the hospital or have the child returned to her from temporary care. In situations where the adoptive parents change their minds, or perhaps were not approved to adopt, the birthparent(s) and/or the agency would have the option of making a secondary adoption plan. Whenever a planned adoption falls through, there is emotional distress and grief for all the parties involved. Understanding is needed and counseling or other support may be helpful. It is recommended prospective adoptive parents take time to work through their feelings of loss before they enter into another adoption plan.
Please call 702-385-3351 to learn more about your options.