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.