How long is the wait for a domestic adoption?
It is very difficult to give an accurate time frame in regard to an adoption potential wait time. It depends on the degree of openness in regard to the race of child you will accept. In most cases, the birthmother chooses the family from a profile (typically done on Shutterfly or a similar site) completed by each waiting family. Some birthmothers are very specific in regard to what they want in an adoptive family. For example, the birthmother may have a specific religious preference, may want the couple to have no children or to already have children, or may prefer a family that lives in the city or in the country. After determining as closely as possible the type of family a birthmother desires, we show her profiles that most closely match. Our goal is to meet the needs of each birthmother and provide an adoptive family that is “perfect” for her.
Are there specific guidelines when designing the family profile to be shown to a birthmother?
Some agencies require couples to follow a designated format. However, at New Beginnings, we want each family’s personality to come through. We ask that you include photos from vacations, your home (inside and out), family gatherings, etc. Design the book so that a birthmother can visualize what life would be like for her child with your family. Many of our families also include a “Dear Birthparent” letter in the front or at the end of their book. You can see some examples of what other families have written in the “Waiting Families” section on our web site.
What about having our information featured on the web site as a “Waiting Family”?
This option gives you more exposure to birthparents. A “Dear Birthparent” letter, as well as a few photos is all that is required. Those can be e-mailed to us in Word (the letter) and jpeg (the photos) formats and they will be added to the website for any of our families who have been approved.
Is there a chance a birthparent can come back and take the child from us after an adoption?
We do our very best with every birthparent during the counseling process to prepare them for the adoption journey – the grief they will endure, the insensitive comments they may hear from family and friends, what will happen in the hospital, the type of openness they desire with the adoptive family and the legal process.
Adoption law is state-specific and the attorneys used by New Beginnings adoption agency are ethical and aware of the adoption law in each state in which we are licensed.
As one of our attorneys stated, “Adoption is a risk.” Unless a DNA test is accomplished, we assume that the birthfather named is actually the birthfather. If he is in agreement with the adoption plan and signs surrenders as well, the adoption is, the most secure. However, there are cases where the birthmother does not know the identity of the birthfather, other than a first name.
We also cannot guarantee the future educational, emotional, psychological or medical stability of any child, so an adoptive family is pledging to the court to love their adopted child as if he/she was born to them. We will take the legal and ethical steps in the adoption process so that your adoption will be as secure as possible. Unless a birthparent can prove that they were coerced into an adoption or promised something of value in exchange for their child, there are not valid grounds for overturning an adoption.
What about an open adoption?
Many families are expressing their willingness to participate in an open adoption. In these cases, the birthmother chooses the family from profiles, they meet (often before the child is born), information is exchanged (specifics to be agreed upon before the meeting occurs) and the level of contact and openness to occur after the adoption takes place is agreed upon at that time.
Some waiting families are hesitant about participating in an open adoption. The families who have chosen open adoption report that they have loved meeting the brave and unselfish birthmother and love being able to communicate with her after placement to keep her informed about the child’s progress. They believe it gives the birthmother a level of comfort with her decision that nothing else can give. In addition, the child will never have to wonder why they were adopted. If the birthmother is a part of the child’s life, they will know she loves them and made the decision based on the best interest of her life and her child’s.
Not every birthmother desires a completely open adoption – some wish to choose and meet the family and then receive all updates through the agency. The key to a smooth and happy outcome for an adoption is for all parties to be comfortable with the level of openness. Birthmothers are young women who have an unplanned pregnancy in their lives and have chosen life for their baby.
There is no greater sacrifice that can be made than when a birthmother chooses to put the needs of her baby above her own emotions and desires. It is a choice a birthmother can be proud of making.
Will I be notified each time my profile is shown to a birthmother?
No. The time involved contacting each potential family to be shown before and after we meet with a birthmother prohibits our ability to do this. The only time you would be called in advance of your profile being shown is if we have a question about the possibility of you not being accepting of the placement. We don’t want to show a profile to a birthmother, have her choose a family and then have the family decline the placement. That would be very difficult emotionally for a birthmother.
How much information will I be able to receive about the birthmother and her health history?
For each adoption completed, a thorough medical and social history is compiled. Our information is gained through interviews with the birthmother and any other family members who may be involved in the process, case notes and hospital records. You will be given a copy of the baby’s hospital records to share with your pediatrician. As a licensed adoption agency, New Beginnings is obligated to disclose any non-identifying information regarding drug or alcohol use, learning abilities, etc. to each adoptive family.