Whenever an unexpected pregnancy happens, it can be a daunting life event. You can feel immensely overwhelmed by not knowing what to do. No matter the uniqueness of your situation, choosing adoption for a child can always serve as an excellent opportunity for all parties involved.
The child can grow up in a loving home. The adoptive parents who could never have children, have their dreams come true. And you can be assured that the adoption agency helped make this journey go from arduous to a rewarding opportunity.
However, there are situations in which the birth parents wish to keep the child to raise themselves. It is a real possibility that has happened. There is nothing wrong when that situation arises – as we at Adoption by Gentle Care ultimately want to provide every child with a home filled with love. This experience can be taxing, especially if no one has explained your options and your rights as the biological parents when contemplating giving your child up for adoption.
According to the National Council for Adoption, there are 10 rights that Expectant Parents must have provided to them from the moment they consider adoption to whatever the outcome.
10 Rights as an Expectant Parents Regarding Adoption
1. Adoption Counseling Services
As a pregnant mother considering adoption, having an experienced counselor who specializes in adoption is your right. With Adoption by Gentle Care, we provide every Expectant Parent with a certified adoption social worker to guide you through your options. Our staff also meets with expectant mothers in person and introduces you to Adoptive Families that have been extensively screened and interviewed by us.
While we help you understand the benefits of adoption for the child, Adoption by Gentle Care is a full-service adoption agency – not an adoption facilitator. As you consider adoption for your child, you reserve the right to counseling in the state of Ohio.
2. Retain the Right to have Full Disclosure Adoption Services and Costs
When choosing adoption for a baby, Expectant Parents reserve the right to disclosure of adoption services and the costs of adoption. Adoption by Gentle Care outlines in a written agreement between the adoption service provider (in this case, Adoption by Gentle Care) and Expectant Parent all services and costs inherited. This written agreement should outline the following:
- Expectations of each party involved
- Counseling options for the Expectant Parents
- Services available if they choose to parent the child
- Ability to choose a family, meet with a family and create their own unique adoption plan
- Services available during labor and post-adoption
Expectant Parents always reserve these rights to disclosure of services and costs, and they are allowed the right to meet with a variety of counselors, attorneys, facilitators and adoption agencies.
3. Expectant Parents Should Not Be Pressured
Adoption by Gentle Care never aims to make expectants parents or Adoptive Families feel pressured into choosing adoption. As a full-service adoption agency, we want Expectant Parents and Adoptive Families to feel empowered, informed and cared for – not pressured into believing their decisions are being swung in favor of another option.
Adoption Council recommends for adoption agencies to employ a strategy of involving numerous workers and advocates to meet with both the Expectant Parents and Adoptive Families. Having these separate workers will help each party not feel pressured and help keep them informed of the opportunities that will ultimately provide for a great life for the child.
4. As the Expectant Mother, You Can Change Your Mind about Adoption
Expectant Parents do retain the right to change their mind about adoption, as long as it is within the legal time periods permitted, and the parents deserve to have it presented as nothing less. The birth mother is allowed to see the baby in the hospital and/or visit with the baby elsewhere prior to signing the adoption papers, according to the Ohio State Bar Association.
5. Expectant Parents can Choose the Adoptive Parents
Parents expecting a child and choosing adoption can choose the adoptive parents. Adoption by Gentle Care always extensively interviews, screens and gives the Expectant Parents a variety of adoptive parents from which to choose. When Expectant Parents decide to choose adoption for their child, we strive to provide them with the most perfect match so that the child is raised in a caring, loving and supportive home.
6. Right to Legal Counsel & Understanding Adoption Laws in Ohio
From the moment you start considering adoption for your child to post-labor, the Expectant Parents always reserve the right to expert legal counsel to help you navigate your options and help you understand the adoption laws in the state of Ohio. These laws regarding adoption in Ohio should:
- Be explained to Expectant Parents both verbally and in writing (including a summary of Ohio’s adoption code)
- The Expectant Parents rights regarding signing the consent/relinquishment
- The right and protections for post-placement contact
- The expectant father’s rights
7. Right to Choose Extent of their Confidentiality in an Adoptive Placement
Clear expectations must be set for all parties involved in the adoption process regarding confidentiality and level of openness for those involved. As more open adoptions have been practiced more often in the last few decades, it can still be a difficult or stressful option for Adoptive Families. An agreement must be established by each party involved that determines how open the adoptive parents are accepting of letting the Expectant Parents being in contact with the child they gave up for adoption.
8. Maternity-related Expenses can be Covered
To help with the expenses involved in an unexpected pregnancy, most states and some private health plans allow for coverage of these medical expenses. Expenses related to pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum care can be covered. As adoption experts, Adoption by Gentle Care works to provide each party involved with assistance to ensure the best quality of health for the child and for the expectant mother.
9. Expectant Fathers do have the Right to be Involved, When Appropriate
Another person involved is the biological father of the child, and they too have rights. Expectant fathers has the right to be involved in pre-birth counsel and education, help with choosing an Adoptive Family and post-birth counsel and openness. Adoption by Gentle Care will help to educate expectant mothers on expectant father involvement.
10. Right to Post-Adoption Care
Post-adoption care services are a right for Expectant Parents to pursue. Such services included, at a minimum, assistance in navigating the open relationship with the child and Adoptive Family (if deemed appropriate), grief counseling and connection to other birthparents who have gone through the adoption process. Overall health and well-being of Expectant Parents is important throughout the adoption process and post-adoption.
It’s crucial to know your rights every step of the adoption process as an Expectant Parent. When you consider choose adoption, choose to work with a friendly, knowledgeable and supportive adoption agency like Adoption by Gentle Care.