The following are questions often asked by women considering adoption. If you have any additional questions please contact us and we will discuss with you any of your concerns.
1. Can I be involved in choosing the family for my baby?
Yes! Heart to Heart offers you the option to choose your adoptive couple or individual if you want to. As well, you will have the option to spend time and get to know them or remain completely anonymous. It is up to you! Many of the Birthparents with whom Heart to Heart has worked with in the past have chosen to meet the adoptive family or individual for dinner, or converse on the telephone. If you want to do this as well, you can. If not just say so and we will make sure the adoption happens the way you want it. Heart to Heart’s open adoption policy allows you to make the decision as to how open or confidential you want your relationship with the adoptive family to be. The bottom line is that you decide!
2. How much contact can I have with the family after the birth?
Planning ahead of time will ensure that both you and the adoptive family or individual are comfortable with the level of contact that will be maintained after the birth of the child. Many of the Birthparents with whom Heart to Heart has worked with in the past have chosen to receive letters and photos of their child from the adoptive parents. This occurrs on an ongoing basis or periodically (decided by you). Other Birth Parents have chosen to maintain phone conversations and a few even visit the adoptive family or individual. Make sure that as you begin the process of selecting an adoptive family that you choose an adoptive family or individual with similar ideas about ongoing contact. As well, you always have the option to choose no contact.
3. Why do people choose adoption?
There are many different explanations as to why Birth Parents choose to place their child for adoption. For instance, a single mother may desire for her child to have two stable parents, believe they are too young, or may not have the financial resources necessary to raise a child. The situation changes with every Birth Parent because every situation is unique. Heart to Heart wishes you the best as you struggle with this decision and is willing to help in any way possible. At Heart to Heart we will be sensitive to your needs and respectful of your desires.
4. How will I know that my baby is with a good family?
You will have the assurance of knowing that they are a great choice because you will choose them, and if you so desire you can meet and take the time to get to know them! Even if you choose to have little or no contact with the adoptive family or individual, Heart to Heart will carefully evaluated adoptive family or individual you choose through the home study process. The home study process will include an assessment of their marital stability, financial situation, lifestyle, and medical history, and many other important factor to evaluate their suitability as adoptive parents. A criminal background check will also be conducted to ensure that there are no child abuse or child maltreatment charges in the past. A Heart to Heart or other adoption professional will personally visit the home of the prospective adoptive family to ensure that it is a secure, warm, and loving environment in which your child can be raised. Finally, the adoptive family or individual must go before an adoption judge to be declared a permanent family. In these many ways Heart to Heart ensures that your child will be place with the most appropriate, loving, secure family or individual available.
5. What about my medical bills and other expenses?
Heart to Heart has many adoptive families who can assist you with your living expenses and/or other costs related to your pregnancy if you decide to come to Utah. If you reside or deliver in a state other than Utah throughout the duration of your pregnancy, Heart to Heart will review that states laws and assist you in any way possible. Each state is different, but rest assured we will do all legally possible to support you in your time of need. As well, Heart to Heart will help you apply for any public assistance or insurance benefits to which you are entitled.
6. What if I need housing?
Heart to Heart provides clean, warm, secure housing for Birth Parents who have chosen adoption and wish to come to Utah. We currently have several single and shared apartments available to Birth Parents who need a place to stay.
7. If I choose adoption is my decision final?
Under Utah law, your adoption placement agreement can signed 24 hours after the birth of your child. It is a good idea to think about your plans as early in your pregnancy as possible. A professional social worker will be assigned to help you make this plan. Once you have signed the Adoption Placement Agreement, the adoption is final and becomes irrevocable. Your counselor will discuss this with you if you choose adoption. If you place your child in another state it will depend on the laws of that state and the laws that you choose if that is possible.
8. What will my child be told about me and the adoption?
The adoptive couple or individual who adopts your child will be given non-identifying information about your background, family, medical history, interests, hobbies, and what you are like as a person. As well, the adoptive family or individual will be instructed on how and when to share this information, and how to answer your child’s questions with love and sensitivity. For more information about the types of communication that can occure after you place your child see the section on Post Placement Communication.
9. How involved does the biological father have to be and what are his rights?
This really depends on TWO separate criteria. First, If you are married to any man, that man, your legal husband has rights to the child regardless if he is the biological father. He must be notified. He may or may not give his consent to the adoption but he has a right to know about it. This rule is valid in every state. Second, depending on the state where you reside, the biological father may have more or less rights than some other states. For instance, in the state of Utah the birth mother has the right to privacy and can choose if she wishes to disclose the biological father’s name, but this right is not granted to birth mothers in some states other than Utah. The biological father has a process that he must follow to assert his rights. Heart to Heart will work with you to ensure that all legal requirements of notification as well as your desires for or against notification are upheld within the constraints of the adoption laws for the state in which you reside.
10. What are my rights?
Different states have different laws. We can help you understand the adoption law in your state. To learn more about birthparents’ rights and responsibilities in Illinois, click here.
In all states you may change your mind at any time during the adoption process up until the legal documents are signed. You have full parental rights until those documents are signed. However, once the legal documents are signed, your adoption decision is final and permanent in most states. We will explain to you all of your rights and what is meant by each legal document before you sign anything.