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The “revocation period” is the period of time birth parents have to revoke their consent to adoption after they have signed the paperwork (which they usually do at the hospital 24-72 hours after delivery). The length of the revocation period depends on the state: in Maryland it’s thirty days and in DC and Virginia it’s ten days. Revocations happen at every adoption agency, but birth parents who change their mind are often worried that they are somehow doing something wrong. Below are the main concerns we hear from birth parents who are revoking their consent.
1. “I’m being selfish and letting everyone down.”
On the contrary, you did something responsible by planning out how you would proceed. A change of plans doesn’t negate the importance of that process. If your baby had already been placed with an adoptive family by the time you revoked your consent, then they are likely to feel sad and disappointed, but those are emotions that the adoption agency will work with them to manage as they move forward in their adoption journey. Your change of heart will not keep them from becoming parents in the future; the agency will continue to work with them to find the right match. Remember, when it comes down to it, no family truly wants to parent a baby whose birth parent wishes they had never made an adoption plan. The greatest service that you can do for an adoptive family is to carefully consider your own feelings and make the decision that is best for you and your baby, even if that decision is not to make an adoption plan.
2. “I wasted the adoption agency’s time.”
Educating people about their pregnancy options is a service that Adoptions Together and other ethical agencies provide as part of their mission to build healthy families through adoption. If we help you explore adoption and you decide it is not right for you, then we have still provided that service and fulfilled our mission – so it’s all good! Educating people about adoption and planning with parents who are considering it is our job, whether or not an adoption plan winds up being the end result.
3. “I should have decided sooner.”
Planning not to parent can be an important step along the way to making the decision to parent. If you were not originally sure whether you wanted to parent, then you owed it to your child and yourself to investigate, research, and think seriously about all of your options. Had you decided to parent without doing so, then you would have been selling yourself short, and you might always have wondered whether you should have considered adoption more seriously.
Did you change your mind at any point during the adoption process? What decision did you end up making? Tell us what you think in the comments!