Frequently Asked Questions for Birth Mothers
Why Choose Adoption?
The choice of adoption is a positive and admirable alternative to an unplanned pregnancy. Many women who find themselves in a an unplanned pregnancy situation do not research all of their options. We are dedicated to help you create an adoption plan that is best suited for your individual needs.
Who will help me understand and deal with the loss of my child?
The decision to choose adoption is not an easy one to make on your own. However, we will help you with any issues or concerns you may have. We will provide counseling at no cost to you. Our Staff has extensive experience in the adoption field. We will help you understand the many emotions involved in the adoption process.
Can I choose the adoptive family of my child?
Yes, you have the option of selecting the parent(s) who will be adopting your baby. The family will make a profile (scrapbook) that will tell you about their lives together. The profiles we present you will be filled with photos of the family, their vacations, their home and lots more. The family will also include a “Dear Birth Mother” letter addressing other questions such as religious preferences, their likes and dislikes, hobbies etc.
How do I know the adoptive family can provide a safe environment to raise my child?
All of our prospective adoptive parents go through extensive background checks. A social worker will meet them in their homes to interview them, The couples are required to provide a State Bureau of Investigation report and a child abuse clearance report. They must provide birth certificates, a copy of their marriage license, physicians report that includes HIV test results, etc. We screen the adoptive families extensively for any sign that they would or could abuse/neglect a child.
Will I be able to meet the adoptive couple?
Every adoption plan is unique. You will get to make the decisions regarding the amount of openness of the relationship you want with the adoptive couple. If you wish they can meet you before the baby is born. You also have the opportunity to speak with them over the phone throughout the pregnancy. You can call to let them know how your doctor’s visits are going, etc. Please keep in mind we will give you as much information about the adoptive couple as we can without revealing their last name or address. You may also choose to have a closed adoption, having no relationship with the adoptive couple.
Can I make an Adoption Plan without the Birth Father’s consent?
Yes, if the birth father will not give his consent or if you are unable to locate him, our attorney will initiate termination of his rights. You will then be able to make the adoption plan on your own.
Will I be able to receive help with transportation if I need it?
A member of our staff can help you get to and from the doctor’s visits as well as take you to pick up prescriptions. Our staff will also be happy to help you with trips to the grocery store, rides to work, etc. We want you to be healthy and well taken care of.
How do I pay for the medical costs related to the pregnancy?
There are never any costs for the birth mother during the adoption process. The portion of medical expenses not covered by private insurance or state funds will be provided by the adoptive family.
Can I have contact with the baby while I am in the hospital?
You can see the baby as often as you like while you are in the hospital. If you would like, we can guide you in making the decision regarding how much time you want to have. We will help you prepare a hospital plan that will include all of your intentions during the hospital stay.
When will the adoptive family take the baby home?
In most situations the adoptive couple is at the hospital while you are in labor and delivery. We suggest they come to Oklahoma a day or two before your estimated due date. If you deliver before your estimated due date, they will be on the next flight out of their home state. After the baby is discharged from the hospital, the adoptive family will take the baby to their home.
Is transitional care ever involved?
In extreme cases, when the adoptive couple is unable to arrive in Oklahoma before the baby is released from the hospital, we will place the baby in transitional care. The family that will watch the child for this short time is screened as extensively as the adoptive family.
Do I have to go in front of a judge to give my consent?
Yes, the consent to the adoption must be given before a judge. The process takes place within 1-2 weeks after giving birth and will take between 45 minute to an hour. The court system needs to make sure you are not being pressured into this decision.
Will I have to find my own attorney for the consent?
We will provide an attorney for you as well as pay their fees. We will cover all legal fees for the adoption.
Can the agency help me with living expenses if I am unable to work?
We will provide court approved living expenses to those birth mothers in need of help.
Will I be able to know about my child’s health and well-being after his/her birth?
Ongoing correspondence is definitely an option for you as a birth mother. We ask that the adoptive family be open to sending pictures and letters at least once a year until the baby reaches the age of 18. You are also able to send the adoptive family letters and pictures. The exchange of letters, pictures and gifts are through the agency, maintaining the confidentiality of the parents’ last name and address.
Adoption or Motherhood?
When a teenager or unmarried girl becomes pregnant, the entire family is affected and everyone must deal with the consequences. But, in the end, deciding whether to keep the baby or give it up for adoption falls squarely on the shoulders of its mother. It can be a difficult choice to make. Here are several questions an expecting mother can ask to make the right decision for herself and child.
1.Is the decision best for you or your child?
2.Are you making a choice that you will regret?
3.Are you doing what others expect rather than what you believe?
4.Do you have any moral or religious beliefs that will haunt you?
5.What can an adoptive couple provide for the child that you cannot?
1. Are you prepared to end your adolescence, early adulthood or social life?
2. Are you prepared to make sacrifices over the next 20 years?
3. Do you have a financial plan for the baby?
4. Are you the best parent for this child?
5. What is the impact of raising a child on the people you love?
6. If social financial resources (food stamps, medical card, child support, daycare assistance, WIC, subsidized housing, welfare, etc.) all ended tomorrow, could you still meet the needs of the child?
7. Is motherhood the best decision for you or the child?
The reality of 1am, 3am, 5am feedings; changing 10,000 diapers and the fact that a baby born in 2010 will cost upwards of $250,000 by age 18. Are you ready to sign up for this?
A child should be wanted not needed.
Remember everyone loves puppies, but they do become dogs! Likewise adorable babies grow up. Make sure you are not fixated on the infancy stage of a child’s life and are in it for the long haul.
Both you and the father of the child need to be comfortable with having a child. Don’t force your partner into parenthood. It could lead to resentment, threaten your relationship and be bad for the child.
Are you willing to downgrade your lifestyle in order to afford a child?
Don’t feel guilty if your desire to keep your baby isn’t there. You are making a choice in the best interest for the child.
No matter how much you estimate the sacrifices and demands of a child will be, you’re not even close.
Life is about choices. You choose your behavior and therefore you choose your consequences. Babies are a lot easier to make than they are to raise.
Adoption is the most loving, unselfish decision and act a mother could make for her child.
How to choose an Adoption Agency…
The opportunity to choose the right adoption agency is a very important decision. Obtaining some important information first can help make your experience a positive one.
If you are a couple wanting to adopt a child, or, a mother that wants to give her child a chance of living an enhanced life in a loving environment, selecting quality adoption services will require special thought and attention. Knowing what to look for and what to ask will help you choose an agency that provides the best services to meet your needs. The following questions can help you get the answers to finding the right agency.
1. Is the agency required to have a licensed or a qualified personnel staff?
You should verify that the agency you are working with is licensed by the state, Also, verify that the required staff working with the agency complies with the appropriate personnel requirements. An agency should have an Executive Director in place with a minimum of a Master’s Degree, knowledge in personnel management and two years experience in children’s services. They should also have a Child Placement Supervisor with a Masters degree in behavioral or social science field and at least two years experience in children’s services. A staff member with specialized training is also a key element to the agency. The Social Services staff should have a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work.
2. How will I know the ethical standards of an agency?
Ask the agency if they have a written mission statement for you to review. This will give you a better sense of what the agency has to offer and the ethical standards they apply in the adoption process.
3. Does the agency provide orientation to the adoptive applicants?
The agency should provide orientation about their services and the adoption process to couples seeking to adopt. Orientation includes the following:
◾The agency’s eligibility requirements
◾Characteristics of children available
◾Agency’s policy on openness in adoptions
◾Adoption fess, refund policy and other related fees
◾Availability of the Adoption Assistance Program administered through the Department of Human Services
4. What services does the agency provide to parents considering giving their child up for adoption?
The agency should have a written policy and procedure setting out services to be provided to relinquishing parents. Services include, but are not limited to: ◾Counseling and social services to help the parent(s) reach a decision regarding plans for the child ◾Social services to help the parent(s) as individuals meet their physical, emotional and material needs. When needed, the agency assists the mother in obtaining:◾Living arrangements for her home ◾Medical care, including prenatal, obstetrical, dental and hospital care ◾Vocational planning ◾Legal aid ◾Financial assistance ◾Counseling and social services to ensure the relinquishing parent(s) understand the agency’s policy on open and closed adoptions.
5. What services can the agency provide to relinquishing parents, adoptees and adoptive parents after the adoption has already taken place?
The agency should be able to provide post-placement services that include referrals or direct services to community resources.
Questions Your Unborn Child Might Ask
Are you wandering if you are ready to have a baby? There are many questions that girls need to ask themselves before becoming a parent. Have you ever wondered what your unborn child might want to ask? Here are some questions from an unborn child’s point of view:
1. What is your motive? Why do you want to have me?
2. Look at your answers. Are they all about satisfying your needs? Or do they take my needs into account?
3. Why would I want to be in your family?
4. Do you want to have me just so you can give me a job-to have someone who will love you, to save your relationship with my father, etc? Do you think its fair to give me a job before I’m even born?
5. Does my other parent want me? Will I be raised by a single parent? What can a single parent offer me versus a two-parent family? Am I going to strain relationships and family in a way that will make you regret having me?
6. What are your qualifications to parent me? Are you mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially stable enough to keep me.
7. Are you and/or the family already struggling to provide the financial and emotional needs of the children who are already here. Would I diminish the quality of life for them?