Frequently Asked Questions
We are here to listen and answer any questions and concerns you have about adoption. Please call the toll free 24/7 hotline with any questions, or if you need someone to listen (800) 969-6665. You have lots of options and we want you to be happy and comfortable with whatever you decide.
1. How do I make this decision?
We’ll help you think of all your options, and the pros and cons of each of them. We are always here to listen and sort through your emotions so you are comfortable with the choice you make in the end. Adopt can also give you referrals to other programs, counselors, and connect you to other birth moms.
2. What is open adoption?
Open adoption is when you choose the family who will parent your child, and you have the option to stay in touch with that family. Often times in open adoption you will exchange pictures, letters, and have visits with the family and your child. If you are interested we can share lots of research with you about how this is best for everyone involved, but ultimately you get to make the decision that feels most comfortable to you.
3. How do I pick a family?
Families make picture books about themselves for you to start to get to know them. After you look at the books and have chosen a family you can, if you want to, meet them face to face. If you don’t like the first family you meet it’s perfectly alright to keep looking until you find the best family for you and your baby.
4. I don’t live in Hawaii or California, is that okay?
Yes, we are available 24/7 no matter where you are living. We can work with you to pick one of our waiting families, who are in California and Hawaii, or work with an agency in another state in order to make sure you have the best family and adoption plan for you.
5. What happens at the hospital?
If you are matched with a family before going into labor we will work with you, the adoptive family, and the hospital employees to create a hospital plan that meet your needs. This plan is flexible and can always change depending on how you are feeling at the hospital. We believe this is your time to call the shots and make sure the experience is what you want it to be.
If you are admitted to the hospital and have not been matched yet, don’t worry. With our over 30 years of domestic adoption experience working with birth mothers we are well versed in being flexible, and working quickly in order for you to pick an adoptive family, meet them, and even have the baby go home with them. We can help you fill out the paperwork, or can work with you to get it completed after discharge.
6. Do I have to pick the family?
No, some of our birth mothers don’t want to pick the family, and we are happy to do that for you if you want. We will ask you questions about yourself that help us narrow down who would be a good match for you.
7. What happens after the baby is born?
Every open adoption is different because the relationship between the adoptive family, birth family, and adoptee changes based on how much and what kind of contact the birth family wants. Often birth families are in touch with the adoptive family pretty soon after the baby is born, and receive pictures, letters and even have visits with the child. Before the adoptive parents are able to finalize the adoption they have to wait 6 months. During that time they will meet with a social workers 4 times to check in on the baby, their parenting, and to make sure everything is going smoothly.
8. What if I am due really soon?
Don’t worry. We have been doing this for a long time and no matter how much time we have before the baby comes we will make sure you are supported, and feel comfortable throughout the process. We work with people at all stages of their pregnancy and some women even after they have delivered.
9. Will this cost me?
No, there is never any cost to birth families. Most state laws allow the adoptive family to pay for pregnancy related expenses for the birth mothers a few months before delivery and 1 or 2 months after. This means any maternity clothes you need will be covered, along with the medical bills, as well as a few other expenses. Every state is different but we can help you figure out what is allowed and what isn’t.
10. What if I used some drugs/alcohol?
We will find a loving forever family for your child no matter what your medical history entails. Depending on the type and amount of the drugs used, we will make sure to match you with a family who is prepared to raise a child who may have been impacted by drugs in utero. It is important that you are honest and upfront about the drug use so we can match you with an appropriate family.
11. What happens if I decide to parent?
If you decide to parent your child we are completely supportive of you and the decision you have come to. This is a big and important decision, and we would never want you to feel pressure to place your child for adoption - no one will be upset with you.
12. Will my child be mad at me, or confused when they are older?
One of the benefits of open adoption is that there are no secrets. Children are told about their past and their birth families. They understand the decisions that you made when they were a baby were in the best interest of you and your child. Also, many birth parents enjoy making scrapbooks and albums that document pregnancy, birth, and the early life of their child from the perspective of the birth parent, as well as letting the child know what the birth parent(s) have been up to in the interim (getting married, going to college, moving to different states, etc) and can include family photos for the child to see. We have seen that when children grow up knowing their birth families and are able to ask you questions they do better. They have less confusion, less anger and feelings of resentment and abandonment. Since we have been around for so long we have seen the benefits of open adoption first hand. Children of open adoption enjoy getting to know how they are like their birth families and how they are like their adoptive families.
13. How do I get started?
Call us at (800) 969-6665 and we can answer any questions you have and send you the paperwork to get started. We can also meet with you face to face if you prefer.
14. Do I need a lawyer?
No. An adoption agency, like Adopt, will advocate for you and advise you of your legal rights. That being said, if you want a lawyer we will help get you one.
15. If I place my baby for adoption, can I still choose his/her name?
Yes, a birth certificate will be created that has your name, as the mother, and whatever name you give your child (we will get you an original of this birth certificate). When the family finalizes their adoption a new birth certificate will be made with the adoptive parent’s names, and the name they give the baby. Often both parties talk about it and decide a name together. Many adoptive parents choose to include the name you give the baby as their middle name.
16. How do I know who will be good parents my baby?
In order for us to present a family to you they have to go through a long background check, where we look at their personal history, medical history, criminal history, and finances among other things. They are also required to take classes on parenting, and adoption. Then we approve them to become an adoptive family, this is called the Home Study. When it down to it many birth mothers explain they simply fell in love with the family they chose, and knew in their heart they were the right people to parent their child.
17. How will I feel after the adoptive family takes my baby home?
Placing your child for adoption is a scary, stressful, and very hard thing to do. You will feel sad, there is no way around it. Grieving is a normal process after placing your child, and we are here to support you, listen and help you cope with your emotions at this time. Many people find it helpful to go to counseling or talk to another birth mom who has been through a similar situation.
18. How do you make sure that the adoptive family upholds the open adoption agreement?
Adopt International only works with families who want open adoptions and in California you have the option to make your post adoption agreement legally binding. We can help you figure out exactly what details you want in your agreement, and then make it legally binding if that is what you choose. If you live outside of California but pick a California family you may have the option to still have a legally binding agreement about continuing contact. Many other states have similar laws. We can help you figure out the laws of your state.
“I want to thank Adopt international for all they have done for me and my daughter and her family. They truly know the meaning of open adoption and making it work for us all.”
- Monica (Birth Mother)