FAQs for Birth Parents
Does meeting with someone from an adoption agency commit me to making an adoption plan for my child?
No. There is no commitment involved in exploring the options involved in the adoption process.
What services does an adoption agency provide?
Adoption agencies are there to provide information, counseling, and support. They also provide legal counsel and help ensure that birth mothers receive appropriate medical care.
If I’m a minor, do I need parental consent to make an adoption plan for my child?
In Rhode Island and Massachusetts, birth parents under age 18 need their parents’ consent to place their child for adoption.
Is the birth father required to be involved in the decision?
In Rhode Island and Massachusetts, birth fathers need to agree to an adoption plan for the child. An adoption agency will provide counseling if support is needed in making this decision.
What if I don’t know who the birth father is?
If this is the case, a Family Court judge will require the advertisement of an Order of Notice for the father, after which a hearing to terminate his parental rights will be held.
How much do I need to tell the agency about myself?
We ask only for information that is important for ensuring the best care for your child. Helpful information might include your family medical history as well as your special talents, abilities, hopes, and dreams.
How do I know that my child will be safe, loved, cared for, and happy?
Our skilled adoption workers make a point of getting to know adoptive parents well enough to understand their ability to love and nurture a child before we consider a placement. We provide careful screening and attention to your preferences about the kind of adoptive family you want for your child to ensure your child’s well-being. Because we are a nonprofit agency, financial motives are not a factor in our placements. Our main goal is providing for the best interest of the child.
Will I meet the adoptive parents?
Adoptions range from fully open, where there is ongoing contact between birth parents and adoptive parents, to closed, where there is no contact at all. Adoption Options will help you select a family that is comfortable with the type of adoption you choose.
What information will my child have about me?
The adoptive family will be provided with any non-identifying information about the birth parents that is available, including medical and social history. If you choose to, you can provide pictures, letters, and other information about yourself to be shared with your child as he or she grows.
How will I be able to find out about how my child is doing?
This depends on the amount of openness you and the adoptive parents choose. Each of you tells us how much contact you want and we match those who share the same feelings. You might choose to meet in person or you can ask for the adoptive family to provide periodic updates and photos, usually yearly. Information can be exchanged through the adoption agency to protect everyone’s privacy.
What if my child has special needs?
We believe there are loving parents available for every child, and we will do our best to find them. We have access to many resources that can provide additional services, if needed.
What if I change my mind after planning for an adoption?
Birth parents have the right to change their mind until the termination of parental rights becomes legal. In Rhode Island, this is done in Family Court no sooner than 15 days after the baby is born. In Massachusetts the parental termination papers are signed no sooner than 4 days after the baby is born.
What happens after I make an adoption plan for my child?
We make sure you have access to skilled counseling or other services you may need. You will have made a difficult decision, choosing a future path for your child. It may take time for you to sort out your feelings, and we are here to help.
If you have other questions or would like more detail, please don’t hesitate to call. In Rhode Island call 401-331-5437, or call toll-free at 1-800-337-6513.