Can I Put My Baby Up For Adoption After Birth?
Yes. You can place your child for adoption after you’ve given birth. You can also make an adoption plan at the last minute, even while you are in labor. Read on for more information and some answers to questions you may have about last minute adoption and how it works.
I'm in labor, can I make an adoption plan now?
Yes. If you are in labor and for any reason feel you can’t take care of your baby, you have two options.
You can call an adoption agency or adoption law center. They will be able to find a family who will be thrilled to adopt your child and provide an immediate, permanent, loving home for him or her. They may even be able to send you links to several families' profiles so that you can still chose the perfect family for your baby. The adoptive parents will come to the hospital as quickly as possible to pick up your baby and meet with you if you want that.
You can also call Social Services (or the hospital will contact them) and your child will be placed in foster care. If this happens, you may or may not be able to regain custody of your child at a later time. If you can’t regain custody, your child will remain in foster care until the courts officially terminate your parental rights and he or she becomes eligible for adoption.
I already had my baby, can I make an adoption plan now?
Yes. If you are still in the hospital or even at home with your child and feel that you cannot take care of him or her, you have two options.
Even if your baby is a little older, you can still call an adoption agency or adoption law center. They most likely have a number of families who are interested in adopting an older child (up to around 2-years-old). If you like, you will be able to choose the right family for you, and both you and your child will have the opportunity to meet the family to make the transition as easy and smooth as possible for your child.
Or, you can work with Social Services and they will find a foster family who can take your child in temporarily. Your child may be transferred between several homes or taken to a children’s home for care. Again, you may or may not be able to regain custody of your child.
What if I Choose Foster Care for my Child?
Foster Care Placements can be planned for prior to birth, but the final decision to place a child into foster care is made after the birth of the child, unless children's services has determined it would be a danger for the child to go home with you. In that case, the child is placed directly into a foster care home and long range planning begins. Whether your decision or not, if your child is placed in foster care, you will receive counseling on what that means in terms of your rights, visitation and planning for adoption or to take your child home.
What about the baby’s father? Does he need to know?
The baby’s father has rights that need to be terminated before any adoption can be finalized, and under certain circumstances, this can be done without his consent. It's important to work with an adoption entity familiar with Birth Fathers' rights that can help to protect you, your baby, the adopting family and the birth father.
What if my family doesn't want me to give up my baby?
While it is always easier to have a support system, this is completely your decision. Your adoption advisor can help you with this, or even speak to your family about your choice.
Can I get help with the hospital bills?
Yes. The adopting family can help with your pregnancy and medical expenses, and your adoption advisor can work with you and the hospital to determine if you are eligible for Medicaid or other insurance benefits.
Call an adoption law firm, adoption agency, or your local Social Services office to speak with someone who knows the ins and outs of last minute adoption as well as your other options. They can answer the questions that are specific to you and your situation, and help you figure out the best option for you and your baby, whether it’s adoption or something else. As you know, the most important part of this equation is your child and his or her well being.
Safe Haven is a national program that allows you to place your infant in the hands of a "safe haven" location without having to provide your name or sign any papers. The infant must be in good physical condition. You have a specified period of time to return and ask for custody of the infant. If you do not do so, the local court will terminate your parental rights and locate a permanent adoptive home for the infant. State regulations vary in terms of the age of the infant and the time period to return and ask for custody. Safe Haven can also refer you to services during your pregnancy or after the birth of your child.