Are you facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption for your baby? After much thought and considering all options, adoption is a positive choice and can be a loving and beautiful experience. If you are exploring this option or looking to learn more about the process, you may be wondering: When do I need to make a final decision? What is the timeframe for making an adoption plan? or Can I ever change my mind?
As a private, non-profit adoption agency working with expectant/birth mothers all over the United States, Adoptions Choices of Texas wants you to be prepared for the road ahead. In this article, we will help you understand your timeline for making an adoption plan and a final decision for you and your baby.
To understand the timeline of an adoption, it is important to first understand the legal considerations involved. During the adoption process, the birth parents, you and the biological father (if known), will need to relinquish their parental rights. A birth mother can only do this after her baby is born. The last legal step is the finalization of adoption in court. Before an adoption can be finalized, some state qualifications must be met.
No adoption is final until an adoption relinquishment is signed. This is a legal document in which the birth parent agrees and consents to the adoption of the child. The laws vary by state on when exactly this can happen, but all states require birth mothers to wait until after birth to finalize their decision and sign legal paperwork. This gives the birth mother time to rest, meet her baby, and think about her decision again before terminating her parental rights. No decisions made before the birth of her baby are binding in any way.
Some states allow birth mothers to sign surrender forms for adoption immediately following the baby’s birth. Other states, however, require a certain number of hours or days to pass before the birth mother can sign anything official. In some states, official papers must be signed before a judge.
Once the adoption consent forms are signed, the birth parent no longer has any rights to the child and cannot change her or his mind. Adoption is a lifelong decision. This is why it is important to speak with an attorney and social worker about the legal procedure in your state, as well as your rights as an expectant/birth mom. Adoptions Choices of Texas provides all birth mothers with free access to attorneys who specialize in adoption.
Adoption is a lifelong choice; Adoptions Choices of Texas wants to be sure that you feel comfortable and confident in your adoption decision. We place no pressure to make an immediate plan. No matter where you live, there is plenty of time to finalize your decision about adoption. You could make your decision from the hospital bed, or you may choose to wait a bit longer. There is no right or wrong here. This is your plan.
Serving Expectant Parents Statewide: Expectant Parent Hotline (24/7): 855-304-4673 (HOPE)