24 Apr Your Rights When Placing a Child for Adoption In Dc, MD and VA
Placing a baby for adoption can seem like a complicated process, especially when you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy. When you consider adoption, you will always have certain undeniable parental adoption rights. As a prospective birth mother, you will always have the right to do what is best for you and your baby, no matter what anyone else says. Cradle of Hope provides objective, helpful information to women facing unplanned pregnancies to help them make the decision that is best for them. You can speak with us for free and with no obligation to choose adoption when you call our office at 301-587-4400 or text us at 301-905-9999.
When you choose to pursue adoption, you become a prospective birth mother. A woman’s right to place a child for adoption includes more than just your right to give your adoption consent — it also encompasses all the rights you have to plan your own adoption journey. When you work with Cradle of Hope, you will have these protected rights in the process:
1.The Right to Change Your Mind at any Point in the Process
As part of a mother’s legal rights in “giving a baby up” for adoption, you have the right to change your mind about your decision before giving your adoption consent. This means that you have the right to choose to parent your child, whether it’s early in your pregnancy, after you have met adoptive parents, or even after you have given birth. You are never obligated to choose adoption, no matter how far along you are in your adoption plan, and we will always respect these inherent legal rights behind putting a baby up for adoption.
2.The Right to Receive Free Unplanned Pregnancy Counseling
You will receive objective information about your unplanned pregnancy choices from Cradle of Hope. Contacting our agency doesn’t mean you must choose adoption; it just means you’re seeking the information you need to make the best decision for you and your baby. Adoption is not an easy choice to make, and most prospective birth mothers experience difficult feelings before, during and after the adoption process. Cradle of Hope is available 24/7 to provide free counseling services to help you to sort through your feelings, explore your options, and ultimately make a decision that you feel good about.
3.The Right to Create Your Own Adoption Plan
Your adoption rights as a prospective birth mother mean that YOU determine the path of your own adoption journey. You decide whether to meet the adopting family you’ve selected, what kind of relationship you want with them, who will be present at the hospital when the baby is born, what kind of contact you’d like after the baby is placed, and many other details of the adoption. You are in the driver’s seat and we will respect and honor the choices you make.
4. The Right to Choose Your Child’s Adoptive Family
You have the right to choose the family that you want to adopt your baby. Cradle of Hope will speak with you about your desires for an adoptive family and present you with profiles of families who meet those preferences. If you like, you will have the chance to meet with and get to know the family prior to selecting them for your baby. You can take as long as you want to find the perfect family for your child, and Cradle of Hope will support you through this decision.
5. The Right to Choose Your Post-Placement Relationship
Another of your rights is choosing the kind of contact you want to have with the adoptive family before and after your adoption is complete. You get to choose what kind of relationship you want — whether it’s a closed, semi-open or open adoption. Open and semi-open adoption allows you to remain a part of your child’s life. Cradle of Hope will be there to coordinate contact and communication and to make sure the adoptive family maintains their communication with you.
6. Your Adoption Rights When Consenting to an Adoption
You may have a lot of questions about your legal rights when giving a baby up for adoption, such as: Can you give your child up for adoption without giving up your rights? Can someone adopt my child if I don’t sign my rights over? Can someone adopt my child without my permission?
Before you place your baby for adoption, a local adoption attorney will explain your adoption rights in the process. Keep in mind that adoption is a permanent choice that will terminate your parental rights, and no one can adopt your child without your permission.
7. The Right to Choose When to Give Your Adoption Consent
You will never be asked to give your adoption consent until you are 100% comfortable with your decision. Every state has different adoption consent laws, but you can take as much time as you need to make the decision that is best for you and your family.
8. The Right to Legal Representation When Signing Your Documents
Before you sign any adoption documents, we can arrange for an adoption attorney to explain your parental adoption rights now and after you place a child for adoption. You will always have the chance to ask any questions you may have about your legal rights of giving a baby up for adoption in your situation.
9. The Right to Revoke Your Consent, Depending on Your State Laws
In some cases, birth mothers have a change of heart after placing their child for adoption. Each state has its own revocation period to allow a woman to take back her parental rights in these situations. In Virginia, you have a ten day revocation window. In DC, you have two weeks and in Maryland you have 30 days from the date of signing adoption documents to change your mind. Cradle of Hope will discuss your state’s revocation policy to you before you sign your consent and will guide you through the necessary steps if you decide this is the best choice for you.
To learn more about your legal rights in the adoption process and the support that is available to you, call 301-587-4400 to speak with a Cradle of Hope adoption specialist.