As A Birthparent…


When I talk to individuals about adoption, one of the first things that people ask is about birth parents changing their minds after making an adoption plan. In some instances, birth parents that have chosen adoptive parents, do decide to parent–as is their right. For those seeking to adopt a child, this can be something that is a stressor to them during the adoption process. Regardless, a child is legally their birth mother and father’s until consent forms are signed and even after that, depending on the state that you live in, birth families have the ability to change their minds. It is important to remember as you navigate this process as one hoping to adopt that ultimately, it’s not up to you who parents the child. Adoption plans are just that: plans. Nothing is final until it is.


My Story

When my husband and I began our adoption process, we met a birth mother with that we kept in contact prior to her giving birth. I was in the delivery room when the baby was born and we cared for a child in our own room overnight. The birth mother opted not to sign the consent forms and left the hospital with the baby. There were some “red flags” that she was leaning towards parenting from wanting to change the openness on the plan to name the baby. (I don’t like the term “red flag” for this because it insinuates something negative and a woman choosing to parent her child is nothing but positive). 

Though it’s a tough thing to navigate for an adoptive parent, the reality is that this is an even more traumatic and difficult scenario for birth parents. They have likely done the research, listened to family members, and gone through counseling. It’s not an easy decision to make an adoption plan.  It’s important to remember in navigating this process that this is their child until they legally choose another parent or parents. 

Birth parents are legally the guardians of their baby until consent forms are signed. Even then, in many states, birth parents have 30 days to change their minds. Just because an adoption plan is made, it doesn’t mean that that’s the ultimate outcome. In many cases as well, a birth father has time to come forward should they have registered on the Punitive Birth Father Registry. 

Understanding Adoption Laws in your State

Both birth parents and potential adoptive parents need to understand the laws in their state regarding adoption. Though there typically is a 30-day window for birth fathers to come forward following a birth mother signing consents, this can vary from state to state, so understanding what is legal in your state is very important. 

Adoption professionals, like those at Adoption Choice Inc., can ensure that everyone understands the laws and that birth parents are protected. 

It is imperative that individuals hoping to adopt fully understand that they don’t have a legal right to a person’s child, despite any adoption plans that were discussed, until consent forms have been signed. Following a legal court hearing, birth parents are unable to change their minds, but until then, depending on the state where the adoption is taking place, birth mothers and birth fathers can-and have the right to change their minds. 

However, proof of adoption coercion can bring on other court cases. Learn more about adoption coercion here and be sure to work with adoption professionals to ensure proper legal adoption proceedings.


Working with Adoption Professionals

Whether birth parents and potential adoptive parents are working with lawyers or adoption agencies, it’s important to make sure that you ask the right questions to ensure that you understand adoption law. This article can help you ask appropriate questions to adoption agencies or lawyers. 

Find a lawyer to help you understand adoption law in your state

With conversations about adoption, openness often comes up. Read more about that here

Overall, doing your research and speaking with adoption professionals in your state is the most important aspect to fully understanding the process.