Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption For Birth Parents
Is adoption the right choice for me and my child? Should I give my baby up for adoption? The decision to make an adoption plan is a personal decision and one that only you, the parent, can make. You are the only one who knows what is important to you and your child in planning your future and the child’s future. The adoption decision is unselfish and requires deep love for your child and respect for yourself.
How do I tell the father about my adoption plan?
While talking to the birth father in person is preferable, if for whatever reason you are unable to do so, inform him as soon as possible via phone call or letter to initiate a conversation between the two of you as well as encourage his participation in the adoption plan. It may also be possible for your adoption counselor to inform him for you.
In whatever form of communication you decide on, it is important to be honest with him and as descriptive as possible. Explain why you are choosing adoption, why you believe that adoption is best for your baby, what the next steps of the adoption process are and what kind of relationship you are seeking with the adoptive family.
Can I choose who adopts my baby? Can I meet them?
Yes! You can choose to be very active or not at all active when choosing the adoptive parents for your child. Adoption Choice, Inc. encourages all of their expectant mothers to carefully review our parent profiles to select a family that matches exactly what you are looking for. You will be able to learn about each adoptive family and can spend time with them to get to know them. Or you can make your choice without meeting them. Open adoption in Wisconsin allows you to decide how open or how private you want your relationship to be with the family you choose.
What rights does a Birth father have?
The birth father has the same rights as a birth mother. If the birth father chooses, he can also receive birth parent counseling through our agency. The birth mother is required by the court to provide as much information as possible about the identity of the birth father so that legal notice can be given to him prior to the Termination of Parental Rights hearing. The birth father does not have to be present at any point. However, he will need to be legally notified. If he does not appear at the court hearing, and he has not declared paternal interest before the hearing, his rights may be terminated by default.
Will my child hate me for placing him/her for adoption?
A child who grows up with loving parents, a comfortable home, a good school and is provided with numerous opportunities is probably going to be a pretty happy kid. Why would this child have any ill feelings toward his or her birth parents for making such an awesome decision? Most adopted children love and respect their birth parents for the selfless decision they have made, which provided them with the best life possible.
Will My Child Know About Me?
During the adoption process, the family you choose to parent your child will be given non-identifying information about you which includes: family and medical history, social history and background information. They will be given additional information according to your level of openness. In addition, as the child grows, the adoptive family will learn when and how to share this information with your child in a loving and sensitive way. They will explain the very difficult and unselfish decision you made when you decided adoption would be best for your child.
After your TPR hearing, you have the option of signing an affidavit giving the state your permission to release information to your child when they are old enough to receive it. Adoption Choice, Inc. will be able to assist you with this process and file the papers for you.
If I do place my child for adoption, will the feelings of sadness and loss ever go away?
While every birth mother is unique and experiences the adoption process differently, initially there will be a sense of sadness and loss. However, as time moves forward, birth mothers who have placed their children for adoption have told us that feelings of loss will be replaced with joy, love, warmth, and security knowing that the adoptive family will provide everything you want for your child. You are able to look toward the future secure in the knowledge that you made the right choice for your child.
What is Termination of Parental Rights?
In Wisconsin, the procedure for permanently ending the legal relationship between parents and their child is called a Termination of Parental Rights hearing (TPR). This takes place in court, in front of a judge. The birth parent signs a petition that is filed with the court after the child is born. In the State of Wisconsin, this hearing usually takes place within 4 weeks after the birth of the child. Your adoption counselor will prepare you for the court hearing and will be present at the hearing.
What is Open Adoption?
Open adoption is an adoption which involves some level of initial and/or ongoing contact between birth and adoptive families, ranging from sending letters to exchanging names and/or scheduling visits after the adoption occurs. Most birth parents prefer this type of adoption.
How much does adoption cost?
Whether you are looking for information on the adoption process or considering placing for adoption, our services are completely free and confidential to birth parents. We provide options counseling to help you explore the decisions you have to make.
Are medical costs paid if I place my baby for adoption?
Usually medical costs are covered by your insurance. If that is not the case, adoptive parents may pay for your birthing expenses depending on the amount of the medical bills and the amount of expenses they are willing to pay for.
Do birth mothers get paid for adoption?
Expenses can be paid on behalf of the birth mother and child by the adoptive parents, according to adoption laws in the State of Wisconsin. This can include birth parent counseling, legal services, medical and hospital care, services provided by the agency in connection with the adoption, transportation costs, living expenses not to exceed $5000, birthing classes, maternity clothes not to exceed $300 or gifts to the birth mother not to exceed $100.
Can you see your child after adoption?
Over the past several years, adoption has become increasingly “open” in that birth parents have more opportunities than ever to continue a relationship with their child and the adoptive family.
If contact before and/or after the adoption are important to you there are many prospective adoptive families who are seeking the same level of contact with you. Contact with the adoptive family may include: email exchanges, pictures and letters and/or visits.
Adoptive families are as unique as birth families and may want the same amount of contact you are looking for. The choice is yours.
How do I cope with giving my baby up for adoption?
There is no doubt that placing a child for adoption is one of the most difficult decisions you can make. Everyone has a different experience and experiences a range of emotions. Most birth parents will go through a grieving process during and after pregnancy. You might feel anger, sadness, numbness, and shame while still feeling that you have made the right decision for yourself and your child.
Talking to people around you and participating in support groups or talking to people who have also placed their children for adoption are ways that you can help support yourself during this time. Many birth parents also state that getting to know the adoptive family helped them cope because they knew that their child was in a safe and loving home of their choosing.
Our adoption counselors are always available for you and work to support you each step of the way. Even after you place a child for adoption, our counselors are here to help.
Do adopted babies miss their mom?
You may be wondering if your child will miss you after they have been adopted. Your child will never forget you and we encourage and educate adoptive families to share their children’s birth story with them. Typically, children who know about their story and have their questions answered have a much healthier view of adoption. They may wonder how things may have been if they weren’t adopted, but having access to answers about their birth parents or even an open adoption has been proven to be beneficial for adopted children as they grow and start to understand where they came from.
Do babies know if they’re adopted?
Most adoptions today are open adoptions, meaning that the birth parents and adoptive parents have some level of contact or information shared such as meeting prior to birth, ongoing visits after birth, or sharing letters, calls, or photos as the child grows up. Most birth parents prefer this type of adoption and we will help you think about what level of openness you desire and match you with a family that meets that criteria. We encourage and educate adoptive families about sharing a child’s birth story with them as they grow up so that children know their adoption story from the beginning.
Do parents love their adopted child less?
This is a common question when thinking about making an adoption plan for your child. If you ask any adoptive parents how they feel about their child through adoption, they will say that loving an adopted child is just as easy and the same as loving a biological child. Families are looking forward to providing a stable, forever home to a child and are excited to share their love and welcome a child into their family.
Are adoptive families happy?
Every family has their ups and downs, but studies show that most families are happier as a result of adopting. Families come to us with the intention of growing their loving family. Many have gone through infertility or have been trying to grow their family for a long time which makes adopting a child that much more enriching for them. Click here to see families we have helped create.
Can I put my baby up for adoption after giving birth?
Yes, you can make an adoption plan for your child after giving birth, at the hospital, or even after you have been parenting for some time. Making an adoption plan after birth is common as some parents need more time to think through their options or you may not have known adoption was the right choice for you. You can still have a similar experience to making an adoption plan prior to your child being born. You can still decide on the level of contact you wish to have, choose and meet the prospective adoptive family and even see them interact with your child. If you are thinking of placing your child for adoption at the hospital or in the weeks, months, or years after giving birth, contact us so that we can walk you through the process and help you make the plan that you feel is right for you.
How do I know if adoption is right for me?
Making an adoption plan is one of the most difficult decisions you may have to make. You may choose to make an adoption plan or choose to parent and neither of those decisions is wrong. However, one may be better for you. Only you can decide what is ultimately best for you and your child. Adoption may be the right choice for you if you have certain goals in life that you can’t accomplish if you parent, if you want certain opportunities for your child that you can’t provide them, if you aren’t ready to parent at this time in your life, or maybe you are already parenting and don’t think you can parent another child. Ask yourself these questions when considering your options.
When should you tell people you are pregnant?
Telling people you are pregnant and telling people you are considering adoption can feel scary or a bit uncomfortable. You have to decide when the time is right for you. Many expectant parents state that talking to others about their pregnancy or adoption plan was helpful because it is a way to talk through your feelings with someone that knows and understands you. Being able to tell people close to you earlier on may help you work through your feelings surrounding your pregnancy and talk about your options with someone you trust. This can also help with others’ initial reactions as they may need some time to process your news just like you may have needed time in the beginning.
How do I find a family to adopt my baby?
If you decide adoption is right for you, you can view profiles of waiting families. We have many families who have been pre-screened and are approved and ready to become adoptive parents. You will be encouraged to think about what characteristics you want to see in a family such as educational background, race, religion, where they live, sexual orientation, level of openness, and more. Your adoption counselor can also help you put together a list of questions you want to ask the prospective adoptive family such as what their typical day looks like, how they will discipline, family traditions, or anything else you may be curious about. We encourage you to meet with the family to get to know them and ensure that you feel comfortable with them. Just because you meet a family doesn’t mean you are obligated to place your child with them. You can always look through other profiles and meet another family so that you find the perfect match for you and your child.
- Start thinking about what characteristics you may want in an adoptive family (race, religion, sexual orientation, whether they are currently parenting, level of openness)
- Meet with an adoption counselor to discuss your preferences and think of questions you want to ask a prospective adoptive family
- View family profile books to learn about the family’s life, hobbies, extended family, and where they live
- Meet with the prospective adoptive family in person to get to know them and determine if you are comfortable with them.
- If you choose to move forward with that family, determine what type of ongoing contact you want to have with them throughout your pregnancy
- Continue your relationship with the family to keep learning about them and getting to know them
- Why you need to work with a local adoption agency
There are many benefits to working with a local adoption agency. If you are an expectant parent living in Wisconsin and you plan to give birth in Wisconsin, you will need to work with a local adoption agency to counsel you on your rights and assist you during your adoption process. This is because the laws in Wisconsin require you to work with a Wisconsin adoption agency. Working with a local agency also allows you to choose a prospective adoptive family that lives in Wisconsin. Many expectant parents like the idea of choosing a family that lives closer so that they can better maintain contact after the baby is born. If you are planning to place your child with someone you know that lives in another state, don’t worry. We can assist you with that as well and can guide you through every step of the process.
How to start the adoption process?
Are you thinking about placing your child for adoption or just want to know more about the process? Contact us anytime to talk with one of our adoption counselors who will answer any questions you may have and walk you through the process and next steps. Talking with one of our counselors does not obligate you to go through with an adoption plan. We are here to discuss your options and provide you with information you need to make a decision that feels best for you and for your child.