Deciding to place a baby for adoption may be one of the most stressful and grievous decisions a person has to make. The decision to do so is the first step. The decision should be made after speaking with a counselor and confiding in trusted family members and friends. Visiting a support group and hearing from other birth parents who placed their children for adoption can help give you a realistic sense of the process and the emotions that are involved. Adoption agencies can also be helpful in explaining the process, but they may be biased in pushing mothers and fathers towards adoption.
How do I place my child in the state of California?
Once you decide that adoption is right for you, find a reputable agency that will follow all rules and regulations and will respect your rights as a birth parent. Many agencies will explain all rules, will help the birth parents financially, provide prenatal medical visits, and allow the birth parents to decide if they want a closed or open adoption. After that, the prospective adoptive family will be chosen. A reputable agency will provide training courses for adoptive parents, do a background check, perform a home study before and after the adoption, and complete all legal paperwork to finalize the adoption. A good agency will also respect your wishes about the birth plan; they should respect who you want in the room during the birth, whether or not you want to hold your baby before you surrender him or her, and whether or not you want to meet the adoptive family during the pregnancy, birth, or after surrender.
In order to be able to legally place your child for adoption, the father must consent to the adoption if the couple is married or if the father’s name is on the birth certificate. A father who is not married or whose name is not on the birth certificate does not have to consent to the adoption as long as he is made aware of the adoption or the court deems the consent not necessary. A child’s custodial parent can place a child for adoption if the other parent has not been involved in the child’s life for a year or more, or if the parent does not respond to an adoption notice. A child over the age of 12 must consent to an adoption.
For adoptions through an agency, surrender papers may be signed at any time after the birth of a child and before discharge from the hospital. In an independent adoption, surrender papers can be signed after discharge from the hospital.
If the adoption is done through an agency, birth parents have 10 days to change their minds about an adoption after surrender papers have been signed. Birth parents have 30 days to change their mind in an independent adoption.
Adoption is a huge decision. Make sure you are well informed of your options and rights as a birth parent.