Information about adoptions
Q: What is open adoption? A: It's where the birth mother (and/or father) chooses the adoptive parents for the child. When birthparents work with an agency, they typically view profiles of prospective adoptive families and narrow their selections ...
Q: What is open adoption?
A: It's where the birth mother (and/or father) chooses the adoptive parents for the child. When birthparents work with an agency, they typically view profiles of prospective adoptive families and narrow their selections to a few families to meet.
In open adoption, the birthparents can keep in touch with the child and the adoptive family through such things as visits, letters and photos. This type of adoption has become the norm for domestic adoptions in recent years.
Through adoption, the child becomes a permanent and legal member of the adoptive family.
Q: What is a closed adoption?
A: It's where the names of the birthparents and adoptive parents remain confidential. This was how adoptions traditionally were done. They're rarely done this way anymore.
Q: What is the typical age of birth mothers who choose adoption?
A: The Duluth office of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota has worked with birth mothers from about age 15 to women in their 40s. The average age is 22 for women who make an adoption placement through LSS statewide.
Q: What about the birth father's rights?
A: The birth father can protect his rights by signing up on the Fathers Adoption Registry while the birth mother is pregnant or until 30 days after the child's birth. An adoption agency will check the listing on the 31st day and contact the father about his rights.
Q: What is a birth plan?
A: The birthparents and the adoptive parents agree on expectations for the hospital stay, ranging from who is in the delivery room to who will provide the baby's going-home outfit.
Q: What is a cooperative agreement?
A: The birthparents and adoptive parents agree on the level of involvement after the baby is born. It could include the frequency of exchanging letters, photos and visits. The agreement isn't legally binding but is based on trust.
Q: What is a contact agreement?
A: It also spells out such things as the frequency of exchanging letters, photos and visits, but it is a legal document. If one side isn't doing what is spelled out in the agreement, the other side can go to court to make them do it.
Q: Can the birthparents change their minds about the adoption?
A: Seventy-two hours after a child's birth, birthparents in Minnesota can sign consent papers for the adoption. They have 10 business days from the time they sign to change their minds.
Q: Do the birthparents receive money?
A: In Minnesota, birthparents can request money to pay for things associated with the pregnancy, such as if they need to take time off work for medical appointments or groceries to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Q: How often does a birth mother change her mind about going through with the adoption?
A: When a birth mother has gone through birthparent counseling and is more prepared, and if she has support from people around her, she is less likely to change her mind.
Last year, LSS reported that statewide out of 50 women who had chosen adoptive parents, seven changed their minds. They changed their minds either before the baby was born or before the baby went home with the adoptive parents.
SOURCE: Kjerstin Larson, pregnancy and birthparent worker for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.