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The Adoption Process: What Birth Parents Should Know About Adoption

The Adoption Process: What Birth Parents Should Know About Adoption

A parent’s rights are among some of the most protected by law in the U.S. A parent must consent to adoption before their child is placed with another family (with very few exceptions). If you’re a parent considering adoption for your child, there are certain things you should know. If you are interested in the adoption process for your child, but still have questions, start with the common questions and answers below to make sure you know what to expect.

What Birth Parents Should Know About Adoption:

What happens if the birth father opposes the adoption? If the father has established paternity, he must give consent/relinquish his parental rights prior to the adoption of the child. In Arizona, there is a 72 hour waiting period before consent may be executed. Unwed fathers who do not file a notice of paternity claim may lose their right of consent. Similarly, if unwed fathers do not respond to an adoption notice, they could lose their right of consent. The only exception to this rule is if the court has terminated the parental rights due to the best interests of the child.

Do the birth parents choose the adoptive parents for their child? Yes, birth parents can choose the adoptive parents of their child in a private adoption. If there is an agency assisting them with the adoption, they can ask the agency to assist them with this matter.

What if the grandparents (parents of a birth parent) oppose the adoption? The grandparents (parents of a birth parent) cannot prevent an adoption plan from going forward.

If the birth parent is under 18, do their parents (i.e. baby’s grandparents) need to sign in order for the birth parent to place their child for adoption? A minor birth parent’s parents are not required to sign in order for the birth parent to place the child for adoption in most cases. For information specific to your situation, contact an experienced adoption attorney.

Once a birth parent signs the adoption paperwork, can they change their mind? After a birth parent consents to adoption, it can be difficult to rescind. A birth parent may revoke consent to adoption only in very limited circumstances. For instance, if consent for adoption was obtained through fraud or duress.

Can the birth parent name the baby? And will the adoptive parents keep that name? The birth parents can name the baby and receive a copy of the original birth certificate, but the adoptive parents are not required to keep the same name. In some adoptions, the birth parents and the adoptive parents will work together to name the baby.

Are the birth parents/grandparents, etc. be allowed to see the baby? The birth mother can see the baby while the baby is in the hospital up until she signs the paperwork. Once the birth mother signs the adoption paperwork she no longer has custody of the child. The birth father, grandparents, etc. are allowed to see the baby at the birth mother’s discretion up until she signs the paperwork.

May the birth parent keep a picture of the baby? Yes, birth parents can take photos of their baby in the hospital. In open adoptions, the adoptive parents provide status letters/photos to birth parents regularly. With a Post-Adoption Communication Agreement they can even make provisions to visit the baby after the adoption.

If you have additional questions regarding the adoption process and what you should know before you decide that adoption is the best choice for your child, contact the Arizona family law attorneys at Arizona Family Law Attorneys.
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