Birth Parents FAQ’s
What is private adoption?
In a private adoption, birthparents have complete control in choosing a family to parent their child. Birthparents can choose from approved Adoption Options’ families. You are able to meet the family, exchange information, and maintain some form of contact. All private adoptions are open – open means full disclosure of identities.
If I come to Adoption Options will the focus be on placing my baby for adoption?
We believe that adoption only works when the decision to place is based on education and choice. Our adoption counsellors will never pressure you to place or to parent but will provide you with information on all available options so you can make an informed decision that is right for you and your child.
How long does the adoption process take?
The length of time for the process varies, but much of the planning and activity centres around your due date. Adoption is a life-altering decision that affects everyone involved, so the more time you allow yourself to gather information and explore your options the better equipped you will be to make a decision. Adoption Options has worked with birthparents at all stages, from the moment pregnancy is confirmed to those who are close to their due date or have already delivered their baby. We have also worked with parents looking to place an older child.
If I am pregnant but no one knows, can I come in alone?
You are welcome to come in alone, but we recommend that you find someone you trust to support you through the process. Many birthmothers come in with the birthfather, their boyfriend, their mother and/or father, a friend or an outside counsellor. Adoption Options can help you decide if and how you want to involve your family and/or others.
What control do I have when choosing a family for my child?
You have complete control in choosing the family for your child. You may specify religion, lifestyle, number of children in the family, location, age, or any other factors that are important to you. All prospective adoptive parents must meet certain requirements before they are approved by AO. Couples and single applicants are required to participate in an extensive educational weekend. They must complete a homestudy process to assess their suitability as adoptive parents. To complete the assessment process they must provide criminal record checks, child abuse registry checks, references and medical reports.
How often would I have contact with the child?
The type and frequency of the contact varies depending on the wishes of both the birthmother and the adoptive parents. It is up to you to decide the amount of contact that you are comfortable with. Adoptive families and birthparents usually make an agreement before the adoption is complete regarding letters, pictures and visits.
How much will the adoptive family know about me?
As much as possible. You will be filling out a Social and Medical History Form which is shared with the prospective adoptive family. When you meet the prospective adoptive parents you will be able to share as much information with them as you are comfortable sharing.
How much will I know about the adoptive parents?
You will know as much information about the adoptive parents as you would like: their occupations, education, ethnic origin, ages, religious affiliation, town or city of residence, interests and activities, and more. You will read a letter and view photographs that will give you a glimpse into the family’s life. More detailed information is provided on the family you have chosen. At the introductory meeting you can directly share information and ask questions.
Will my child know about me?
Yes, that is one of the great benefits of open adoption. In addition to the agreed upon contact, you may write a letter to your child, and it has been our experience that these letters are highly valued by the adoptive parents and are eventually shared with the child. Adoptive families welcome keepsakes and special gifts from birthparents.
Does the birthfather have to know?
The birthfather needs to be informed of the pregnancy, as he must be served documents that notify him of the placement plan. He does not have to sign consent, but Manitoba law will not allow an adoption unless the birthfather has been notified. Under very special circumstances, a lawyer may get permission from the court to waive notice if the identity of the birthfather is unknown. In some cases, the birthfather is an active participant in the adoption process and provides us with the same information that you provide: a social and medical history.
Will the adoption agency and/or the adoptive parent help with my expenses?
All Adoption Options’ services are free to birthmothers. The adoptive couple will be responsible for paying your legal and counselling fees. It is illegal for the adoptive couple to give or even offer to give you financial support or payment of any kind.
Can I change my mind after the baby is born?
Once the child is placed with the adoptive parents, you have 21 days in which to revoke consent. The possibility that you might change your mind is a risk that adoptive parents accept when entering into a private adoption arrangement.
Can I see my baby when he or she is born?
It’s hard to say goodbye if you have never said hello, so we recommend that you care for your baby during your hospital stay. Once the baby is transferred to the adoptive couple, you may visit during the 21-day period and we recommend you use this time to gradually let go. Adoption Options will help you and the adoptive parents create your openness agreement which will outline what form of contact you will have in the future.
Private Adoption FAQ’s
How long is the wait?
At Adoption Options it is the birthparents who choose the family. Adoption Options can not guarantee that you will be chosen. Some of our families are chosen within months of approval while some have waited over six years.
Can a birthmother change her mind about her decision to place her baby for adoption?
A birthmother can only consent to an adoption 48 hours after the baby is born and can change her mind about placing prior to signing her consent. Once a birthmother signs her legal consent she has 21 days in which to revoke it. This is a risk that adoptive parents must accept when entering into a private adoption arrangement. Following the 21-day revocation period, the birthparents may no longer revoke their consent.
Does an open adoption mean that there is unlimited contact between adoptive families and birthparents
All private adoptions are open which means full disclosure of identities. The amount and type of contact varies from adoption to adoption;from sending a letter and pictures once a year to ongoing physical visits. Adoption Options will help the adoptive families and the birthparents create an Openness Agreement that outlines the form and amount of contact.
What will the birthparents know about us?
Birthparents will read the letter and photographs of those families that match based on the double match system. After reviewing the letters and photographs, the birthparents will narrow their choice to two or three families and will read more detailed information on those families. Once the birthparents have selected one family, an introductory meeting will be scheduled so more information will be shared directly.
What will we know about the birthparents?
As much as possible! Prior to meeting the birthparents, the prospective adoptive parent(s) will review their medical and social history and some other details about their desire to pursue adoption. In some cases, the only birthfather information you may receive is what the birthmother can supply.
Are there legal fees?
Yes, adoptive parent(s) pay for their legal fees as well as the birthparent(s) legal fees.
Intercountry Adoption FAQs
What factors should I consider in making a decision to adopt from another country?
You must be able to accept the counties culture and have the patience to deal with possible frustrations of the inter-country adoption process, such as uncertain time frames and seemingly endless paperwork.
Are there restrictions to who can apply?
Each country has its own requirements. There are requirements and restrictions on such things as age, marital status, family size, income and health.
What will we know about the child’s history?
When you receive a referral you will receive pictures and the child’s known medical and social history. With some countries you may be able to meet the birthfamily.
Can we adopt more than one child?
Only in the case of twins or siblings would applicants be able to adopt more than one child at a time.
Who are the children available for adoption?
The ages of the children available for adoption varies with each intercountry adoption program. Most children are over 3 years with the exception of Florida where the children are newborns. Some children have minor or correctable medical conditions. Sibling groups may also be available depending on the country.
How long will I have to wait to adopt a child?
This depends on the country and often cannot be predicted.
Do we have to travel to the country?
Yes, travel is required. The length of stay and amount of trips depends on the specific country requirements.