Frequently Asked Questions
- What if I’m not sure yet? I don’t want to waste your time.If you don’t choose adoption, that doesn’t mean you’ve wasted our time! Counseling people about their options is a service that Adoptions Together provides as part of our mission to help build healthy families. 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!
- If this is adoption is for a teen pregnancy, will you tell my parents? Can my parents force me? Can they stop me? You are not legally required to tell your parents about your pregnancy or adoption plan, even if you are under 18 and this adoption is for a teenage pregnancy. They have no legal right to make this decision for you, nor do they have the right to assume legal guardianship of your child if that is not what you want.
- Does the father of the baby have to know? What if I’m not sure who he is?We are legally required to tell the birth father about the adoption. We understand that this may be difficult and painful for you, and we are here to help, not to pass judgment. If we are unable to find and contact him, other legal means can be used to complete the adoption.
- How do I look for someone to adopt my child? We will provide you with multiple photo albums of families, all of whom have had a thorough home study and background check, and you can choose — and even meet — the family if you want to. If you don’t want to choose, we will carefully select a family for you from our diverse pool of waiting families.
- Will there be a family to adopt my baby if my baby has a medical problem? We will find a loving family who is able to handle the special needs your child may have. We have never been unable to find a home for a child.
- Will I get to see my baby at the hospital?The choice is completely yours. Some mothers choose to spend a short time with the baby or to have no contact at all, while others choose to spend every minute with the baby while in the hospital. Your Adoptions Together counselor will work with you and the hospital staff to ensure that you feel comfortable no matter what you decide.
- Will I have to take the baby home first?Not if you don’t want to. Most birth parents with whom we work prefer for the adoptive or temporary foster care family to take the baby home from the hospital.
- What do I say to people who ask, “How can you give up your baby?” The idea of a pregnant woman “giving her baby up” for adoption is, frankly, ridiculous — people who plan for adoption are making a careful choice to ensure that their child’s needs are met, and often it’s a decision made out of deep love for that child. Unfortunately, you may run into people who say things like, “I could never put my baby up for adoption,” and it’s up to you to decide how you will respond. Pregnancy decisions are private and personal, and you do not owe anyone an explanation. If — and only if — you feel comfortable responding to someone who asks you this question, you can say, “I did not give up my baby. I placed my baby into the arms of a loving family who could take care of them since parenting wasn’t the right choice for me at that time.” No matter how you decide to handle comments like these, remember that your feelings about your unplanned pregnancy decision matter more than any other individual’s feelings about it.
- What if I change my mind about “giving up” custody of my baby? You will not be asked to sign any legal paperwork until after you give birth. Once you do sign, you have 7-30 more days to change your mind (depending on where you live). We can place your baby with a loving temporary family during this time if you still need to process your feelings before the adoption becomes final.
- Do I have to have an “open” adoption?No. We talk to everyone about open adoption because it has been shown to help birth parents work through the grief and loss that accompany the adoption process, but we also understand that each birth parent is different. You are in charge of your adoption process, and we will keep your name and contact information anonymous if that is what you prefer.
- What about me after the baby leaves? How will I feel?It is normal to feel very sad after placing a baby for adoption, even if you thought of this as an adoption for an “unwanted pregnancy.” It is important to make sure you have the support you need for this difficult time (that’s what we’re here for). Birth parents who participate in finding a family for their newborn child and who have open adoptions tend to process their feelings of grief and loss more smoothly and quickly than those with closed adoptions, because it helps to be able to see how well their child is doing. You will probably have some bad days and some good days, some where you may feel regretful and others where you feel relieved and hopeful. No matter how you are feeling on any given day during your healing process, we will be here for you with support and counseling for as long as you need us. You can also check out our birth parent blog to connect with other birth parents who have placed (or “put their babies up”) for adoption.
- Will my child be “messed up” or grow up to hate me?Don’t believe everything you see on TV! Research has shown that adopted children are just as well-adjusted as children raised by their birth parents. Also, if you have an open adoption, you will be able to explain your adoption decision to your child yourself when the time is right.
I’m not giving up or giving away my baby. I’m being the best mother I can be now…and that’s to plan adoption. Charise, 15-year-old birth mother