What Is Adoption?
Frequently Asked Questions about Adoption
If you are pregnant and considering adoption for your baby, it is likely you have a lot of questions. When researching adoption questions and answers, you want to find an unbiased, reliable resource you can trust.
To ensure you have the best information, we’ve gathered some of the most commonly asked questions about adoption by pregnant women and organized them below.
How Much Does Adoption Cost?
This is one of the most common adoption questions we hear.
Women who choose adoption never suffer any financial hardship, as the adoptive family and any eligible insurance will cover all adoption services and expenses. This includes legal services to complete the adoption, medical expenses to pay for the labor and delivery, any counseling you may require, and much more.
Not only is adoption free, but you will also likely be eligible to receive financial assistance, commonly known as living expenses. Depending on your situation and state laws, living expenses may be provided by the adoptive family to cover your pregnancy-related expenses, such as your rent, car payment, utilities, groceries, maternity clothes, and more.
Read the following to learn more about each state’s adoption financial assistance laws.
How Do I Choose an Adoptive Family?
Although the questions people ask about adoption vary, often, the top adoption questions asked have to do with finding an adoptive family. One of the most important aspects of the adoption process is making sure you find the best adoptive family for you and your child. This includes where they live, how big their family is, what types of things they enjoy, how they plan on raising your child, and how much contact they want to share with you.
If you work with an adoption agency, they will work with you to understand the type of family you want to raise your baby. They will then provide you with adoption profiles of families who match your preferences. When you find a family and select them to follow the same adoption plan, you will then enter into what’s referred to as a “match.”
If you do not work with an adoption agency, you will likely have to find an adoptive family on your own. This can be achieved possibly through a family friend, a friend of a friend, or any other person you may know from your work, school, church, extra-curricular activities or in your community. However, it’s highly recommended that you work with an agency — they complete thorough screening on every family they work with to ensure you and your child will be safe working with them.
If you’d like to start looking for adoptive families on your own, you can browse waiting families’ profiles here.
Will I See My Child Again?
We hear frequently asked questions from expectant mothers about adoption and the relationship they will have with their child. The most common post-adoption questions focus on if birth mothers will see their child again. The greatest thing about modern-day adoptions is that you have the final say in most of the decisions – including whether you will see your child again.
When you begin looking for adoptive families, whether it is with the help of an adoption social worker or on your own, make sure you only entertain the families who are willing to enter into an open adoption. You may receive pictures of your child periodically throughout the year, you may talk to your child on the phone, and you may even visit your child on special days during the year.
Remember, there is always a hopeful couple somewhere out there interested in the same type of relationship as you are. Now it is your job to find them!
Do I Have to Tell the Birth Father About My Decision?
Some of the most popular questions about adoption have to do with the birth father. If you have a relationship with the birth father or if you know who he is, you will likely need to tell him about your adoption decision. An adoption professional can help you prepare for this conversation and ensure you are following the appropriate laws before talking to the birth father.
However, if you do not feel comfortable talking to him yourself or if he is difficult to reach, you may arrange to have your adoption agency or adoption attorney inform him about the adoption.
The reason this is so important is because he is the father of the child and has parental rights too. For the adoption to proceed legally, he needs to consent to the adoption plan or otherwise have his parental rights terminated.
Birth father rights and involvement in adoption can vary greatly based on a number of factors. If you do not know the birth father or if you cannot reach him, reach out to an adoption agency or attorney about next steps.
Can I Keep My Adoption Decision Secret?
Your pregnancy and your adoption decision are your personal business. Because of this, we are frequently asked questions about privacy in adoption. While it may be tricky to hide your pregnancy, concessions can absolutely be made to help you keep these next months a secret.
Firstly, you are not legally obligated to tell anyone about your decision, not even your parents (except for in a handful of states if you are under a certain age). The birth father will likely need to be notified in order to consent to the adoption, but otherwise, you do not have to tell anyone else in your life about your adoption plan if you don’t want ot. Therefore, this is 100 percent your decision.
Secondly, if you really want this part of your life kept secret, many adoption agencies will offer you solutions. One of the most popular solutions is to offer you temporary housing whenever it starts becoming more difficult to hide your pregnancy with baggy clothing. Some adoption agencies even have their own facilities for women just like you to stay at for free until the adoption is completed.
Can I Change My Mind About My Adoption Decision?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions from expectant mothers about adoption. Of course you can change your mind – this is your baby and your decision after all.
Now, it is also recommended that you do not commit to an adoption plan unless you are sure this is right for you and your child. The reason is because an adoptive family has already struggled for months or even years with infertility and perhaps even miscarriages, and a failed adoption often feels like another miscarriage to them. And then of course they have to wait another several months to become parents after going through the entire adoption process once again.
However, that being said, this is your decision. If you pursue adoption, but later change your mind – even while you are at the hospital – that is entirely up to you. Everyone involved in the adoption wants to make sure you are 100 percent comfortable with the adoption before you complete the paperwork.
You will be asked to complete the adoption paperwork and legally terminate your parental rights sometime after the birth of your baby (often after a waiting period of at least 24-72 hours). You may of course change your mind before you sign these documents.
Who Will be on the Birth Certificate?
Another of the commonly asked questions about adoption deals with the birth certificate. If you put a baby up for adoption, is your name on the birth certificate or that of the adopting parent? The answer is both.
As the birth mother, your name must be on the original birth certificate. This may make you nervous — some women ask, “If I’m putting my baby up for adoption, do I have to put my name on the birth certificate?” The answer is yes; you will need to put your name on the birth certificate that you sign at the hospital. However, in many states, the original birth certificate, which is the one listing your name, will be sealed and made private after the adoption.
Since your name is required to be on the birth certificate, you may be asking, “Can you put a baby up for adoption if dad isn’t on the birth certificate?” The birth father’s name does not have to be on the certificate, but if you prefer, it can be. We suggest speaking with your attorney to determine whether you should include the birth father’s name or not.
Now, you may be wondering, what about the adoptive family? If a child is adopted from birth, are the adoptive parents on the birth certificate?
The answer is yes. The adoptive parents will be listed as parents, but it will most likely be on an amended birth certificate.
After your child is placed with their adoptive family, the parents will go through the adoption finalization process. During this process, a judge will issue their final decree of adoption. At this point, the parents will receive an amended birth certificate.
This new birth certificate is the one the child will use throughout their life. Anytime the child needs to provide official documentation, they will use the amended birth certificate, which will list the adoptive parents’ names.
Who Names the Child?
As the prospective birth mother, you are in control of the majority of decisions made throughout the adoption process. One of the most important decisions you will make is choosing the adoptive family for your baby. With that said, you may be wondering, whenever you give a baby up for adoption, do you decide a name or do they?
You are in control of whether or not you want to name your baby. That being said, the adoptive family does have the ability to change the name after their adoption finalization takes place and an amended birth certificate will be issued.
In some situations, the birth mother has already named her child. This leaves her questioning, “Can I still give my baby up for adoption and have an open adoption if I already named the baby?” Every adoption is unique, as is every open adoption relationship. Naming your child should have little to no impact on your ability to find them an adoptive family. Pre-placement contact in an open adoption can be a great time to work out naming.
Will an Adoptive Family Really Love My Child as Much as Their Own Child?
Some of the most frequently asked adoption questions are questions that both pregnant mothers and adoptive couples have. As common of a question as it is, it is also a bit silly.
For example, if you ask any adoptive parent – even ones who have both adopted and biological children – they will all tell you they love their adopted child as much as they’d ever love a biological child.
You see, there comes a point in an adoptive parent’s life where they look at their child and don’t even think of him or her being adopted. All that matters is the child is a part of their family – it doesn’t matter how they got there. All of the experience, memories, lessons and fun times together build that love, all of which have nothing to do with whether or not her or she was adopted.
And if you think about it, we love our spouses whom we aren’t related to as much as we love our blood relatives. So, why would loving an adopted child be any different?
How Do I Know I’ve Chosen the Right Family?
If you work with an adoption agency, your adoption social worker will help you choose a family who matches the type of life you want for your baby. However, how can you be sure you chose the right family?
Today’s adoptions allow for you to get to know the adoptive parents before the adoption occurs. You can speak with them over the phone, through email or in person – all with or without the mediation of your adoption agency.
Actually, speaking with the adoptive family is when you will truly know whether they match the life you dream of for your baby.
Have More Questions?
Good adoption questions are ones that you have been concerned with over for a long period of time, or that may help guide you towards a decision during your pregnancy.
If you have more questions, we suggest you contact an adoption professional. They will be able to provide more information and ease any concerns you may have.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.