Adoption: A Loving Option

1. Will it cost me anything?

No. There is never any cost to meet with a counselor, or to create an adoption plan for your child.

2. Who adopts my baby?

You can choose the adoptive family who will raise your child. Every family that an adoption agency works with is carefully screened and you will be able to view their profile, which includes a biography, photos and additional information about their plans, hopes and dreams. If you choose, you have the right to remain completely anonymous.

4. Can I stay in touch with my child after placement?

Yes if you want to. Part of creating an adoption plan is deciding how much contact you want to have with the adoptive parents and with your child now and in the future. Your counselor will help you to create a communication plan that is comfortable for you.

5. What if I do not want to have any contact with the adoptive family?

That’s fine. Then you can choose to have what is called a “closed adoption”. Your name and contact information will be kept confidential, and not provided to the adopting family. You will still need to provide a confidential anonymous health care history.

6. What about the birth father?

While it is ideal for the birth father to be involved, the adoption agency understands that this isn’t always possible. The father does have certain legal rights, and your counselor can talk with you about all the options available.

7. Can I change my mind?

In agency adoption you can change your mind until you sign the final adoption papers. According to Louisiana law, this legal document cannot be signed by you until 72 hours after the birth of the baby. Until you sign the paper, you can always change your mind.

8. Can my baby go directly to the adoptive parents from the hospital?

Yes, if that is what you request, and the adoptive parents and agency agree. However, there is opportunity for you to spend time with your baby if you would like before leaving the hospital.

9. I used drugs or alcohol before I knew I was pregnant. Does that make a difference?

No – but it IS important to be honest and tell you counselor about your substance use, for your health and the health of your baby.

10. What if my baby is born with severe health problems, what then?

A reputable adoption agency will find loving homes for every baby placed in the agency’s care, including those with special needs or medical conditions. If the adoptive family that you have chosen is unable to move forward, the adoption agency will continue to work with you to find another loving family who can provide the necessary care your child needs.

11. What if my circumstances change later (and I do or don’t want contact)?

If you have chosen a closed adoption and find you want to make contact after all, you can meet with a counselor and explore the options. In any open adoption, when personal circumstances change, so can the amount of contact.

12. If I make an adoption plan, will my child go into the system?

This is a big misunderstanding. Adoption is not the same as foster care. In adoption, you are voluntarily giving your parental rights to the adoptive family. Your child will not be in “the system.”

13. What if I am unsure of my adoption plan after my baby is born?

Adoption is permanent only after you make a final decision and sign your surrender. You can take more than 72-hours if you want to. Many agencies have families who are trained and prepared to care for a child for a few days to a few weeks while you decide if adoption is right for you.

14. Can I place a child who is already born?

Yes. It is never too late to explore adoption. Whether you have just given birth, or have an older child, an adoption agency is there to help you understand and consider adoption.

15. Do I need my parents’ permission if I am under 18?

In agency adoption, the decision to place your baby for adoption is completely up to you. But family support can be very helpful, and if you would like to include them in the process, an adoption agency can help you find the best way to tell them about your decision.

16. What kinds of counseling services are available before and after I make an adoption plan?

Compassionate and experienced adoption counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They will help you at every step of the process: from making the decision to parent or place your child, choosing the adoptive family, even being with you at the hospital when you give birth if that is what you wish. You can continue to work with a counselor for as long as you choose after placement, until you feel ready and able to move forward.

17. Is there compensation for placing my baby for adoption?

There is not compensation for placing your child for adoption, but pregnancy related expenses can be paid for during your pregnancy and delivery.