Frequently Asked Questions for Birth Parents

Can I really do this?

It might be hard to imagine that you could love your baby for nine months and then let him or her be raised by someone else, but hundreds of brave women do it every year. It’s not an easy decision, but it is a responsible and courageous act of love. Many of our birth mothers chose adoption because they wanted to give their babies opportunities that they couldn’t provide themselves. If you decide that adoption is the best choice for your child, you will be able to do it. While there will be feelings of sadness and loss, there will also be feelings of joy, awe, and pride in what your have done for your child.

What happens during my first call with the agency?

When you call AAI at 1-800-966-HOPE, you can expect to talk confidentially with an experienced person who understands what you’re going through, who listens to you, and who can answer your questions. Our counselors are open-minded, and we can help you understand all of your options, not just adoption. We can give you the facts and information you need to plan your child’s future, even if you do not choose adoption.

What is an open adoption?

An open adoption means that you get to choose the adoptive parents, and you can maintain some degree of contact with them. In an open adoption, you will always be honored as the child’s birth parent, because that’s who you are. About half of our placements are fully disclosed adoptions. This means that the birth parents and adoptive parents decided to exchange names, addresses, and phone numbers. This is left entirely up to the adoptive parents and the birth parents. In almost all adoption plans, the adoptive parents provide pictures and letters and exchange phone calls with birth parents. Depending on the relationship that develops between you and your adoptive parents, sometimes there is visitation. In adoptions that are not fully disclosed, AAI serves as the “middle man” to arrange future meetings and exchange letters. The most important thing to remember is that an open adoption is what the participants jointly decide that it should be. Open adoption is an informal agreement based on trust and respect.

What if no one wants my baby?

There is a loving adoptive family for every child. There may be factors about your pregnancy that might make for a more difficult placement, but don’t worry. AAI has experience in dealing with all kinds of issues. There is a family for your baby.

Who are the adoptive families?

The adoptive families are caring people who want a child more than anything in the world. If you chose to have an open adoption with AAI, you will be the one who picks the family who will adopt your baby. Our adoptive families come from all walks of life, but they have several things in common:

  • A commitment to provide love, honesty, and respect to you and your child
  • Admiration for your strength and courage
  • Recognition of how difficult this time is for you
  • A commitment to honor the biological bond between the child and his or her birth parents
  • Education and preparation for adoptive parenthood
  • Acceptance only after AAI’s extensive inquiry, application, and home study are approved
  • Financial stability and a strong commitment to providing your child with all financial needs

What about the birth father?

Each situation is unique, legally and emotionally. When you call AAI, your caseworker will help you figure out the particulars of your case. The birth father has some rights in relation to the child, and AAI is happy to provide him with free counseling or support to help him through this difficult time. But, if your relationship with him is not friendly, don’t worry. AAI can handle all communications with the birth father so you don’t have to.

What happens at the hospital at placement?

Your counselor will meet with you after you have the baby. You will choose the time, place, and date for relinquishment. State law requires that you wait at least 48 hours after the baby is born, and you will be the one to decide how the relinquishment will take place. Typically the baby is released to the adoptive parents from the hospital. Your counselor will be there to help you with post-placement counseling. You are in charge of your hospital experience. Your counselor will help you decide how you want your hospital experience to be. You choose: 1.) who is in the delivery room. 2.) the baby’s name on the original birth certificate 3.) how much time you will spend with your baby and 4.) how much time the adoptive parents spend with you and/or the baby.

What about my medical costs and other expenses?

Adoption Advocates can assist you with counseling, medical, legal, and living expenses during and after your pregnancy. When you speak to your adoption counselor, she will help you figure out exactly what kind of assistance you need. Assistance varies from case to case, and is based on your specific needs.* AAI will work hard to assist you and prevent out-of-pocket expenses.

*State law regarding financial assistance to birthparents vary from state to state.

Will the adoptive parents keep in touch?

Parents who adopt from AAI are educated to respect the special bond between the child and the birth mother. By knowing you and receiving information from you, they can raise the child with the truth inherent in his or her beginnings. Although there is no legal guarantee that the adoptive parents will keep in touch, chances are that you will choose a family who you like and trust, and they will be committed to honoring their agreement with you.

What happens next?

When you call us at 1-800-966-HOPE, you’ll have your own counselor assigned to help you. She’ll be available to you on the phone or in person. Your personal counselor isn’t going to tell you what to do or push you in any direction. She’s not going to make any decisions for you. She will give you the information and advice you need to make the choices that are right for you, every step of the way. She can send you an information packet so that your emotional and financial needs can be assessed and you can receive assistance if you want it.* Ultimately, if you decide on an adoption plan for your child, your counselor will help you complete paperwork and assist you with choosing your adoptive parents.

*State law regarding financial assistance to birthparents vary from state to state.