What are my rights?
Is adoption right for me and my child?
If you are considering adoption, you have the right to:
- Free counseling that helps you assess your options including choosing to parent your child.
- Access prenatal care and to deliver in the state where you live.
- Sign relinquishments ONLY after you have delivered.
- Receive financial help in states where it is legal, such as Virginia.
- Decide not to proceed with the adoption even if you have been given financial support.
What kind of adoption do I want?
If you are considering different types of adoption, you have the right to:
- Choose the family who will raise your child.
- Specify the amount of open contact you have with your child while he/she is growing up.
- Obtain a written agreement that is legally binding in states like Maryland, Virginia and D.C.
- Place your child with a family in the state where you live.
- Have your child placed immediately with the family you choose.
- Select a family with a completed home study and background clearances.
What are my legal rights during the adoption process?
As a birth parent, if you decide to proceed with an adoption, you have the right to:
- Your own attorney, paid for by the adoptive family.
- Work with a qualified adoption professional. Make sure that you are working with an agency that is regulated by the state.
- Revoke your consent within the legally allowed timeframe.
- Know if there is a medical emergency concerning your child.
- Receive or not receive notice of the legal process.
- Obtain copies of any paperwork you sign.
What am I entitled to at the hospital?
While you are at the hospital giving birth to your child, you have the right to:
- Choose your child’s name and receive a copy of the original birth certificate.
- Spend as much or as little time as you want with your child.
- Request your child be placed in temporary care if you need more time to think about your options.
- Make your decision without pressure from any professional or hospital staff.
You have the right to be informed about the impact of adoption on yourself and your child. You are also entitled to and to counseling and support.
If you want to talk to a counselor or an attorney about adoption, please call 1-800-439-0233.
Adoption laws vary from state to state. If you are considering adoption make sure you are aware of the laws in your state and what rights you are entitled to.
If you are concerned about birth father rights please check out this link.