how will an attorney help a birth mom?

How will an attorney help a birth mother?

Being pregnant and considering adoption is scary and overwhelming. Birth mothers have rights and options. Your lawyer will explain your rights and options to you.

Agency or independent?

For example, you can choose an agency adoption, or an independent (private) adoption. In a private adoption, you will get to select adoptive parents.

Open, Closed, Semi-Open?

An open adoption is where you select the adoptive family for your baby. There will be no secrecy, and as your baby grows, he/she will learn about their biological history.

Before you choose your adoptive parents, you will learn about their values, their faith, and the type of home your baby will grow up in. You can decide what type of contact you will have – you can have texts, pictures, letters or visits. Or you can choose to have minimal contact. We can help you draft a written agreement for any future contact, if any, you will have with the adoptive parents.

A majority of private adoptions are now open.

In a semi-open adoption, the birth mother and adoptive parents have contact during her pregnancy, and may even meet in person. However, after the adoption, they may share information through an intermediary (agency or attorney). Photographs and letters are often exchanged, but little to no identifying information is disclosed. In an semi-open adoption, privacy may be protected.

In a closed adoption, no contact informtaion is shared between the birth mother and adoptive parents. A closed adoption is the most protective of birth mother’s privacy.

You will decide which type of adoption you want.

Post-Adoption

The adoption journey does not end after placement. You have just done what seemed like the impossible. The healing may be instant; or it may take time. There are resources, we will help you.

Brave Love Post-Adoptive Resources

How Will an Attorney help birth mom?

Does the father of my baby have rights? adoption

Does the father of my baby have rights?

The rights of the baby’s father is dependent on several factors.

If You Are Married

In general, in California, if you are married to the father within 300 days of baby’s birth, and he objects, the only way the adoption can take place is if his parental rights are terminated. This is accomplished by filing a Petition to Terminate Parental Rights.

If You are NOT Married

If you are NOT married, you are still required to provide notice to them. However, the father will only be able to stop the adoption in one of these situations:

  • The father has received the child into their home and have publicly acknowledged the child as their own.
  • You and the birth father have both signed a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity to have them listed as the father on the baby’s birth certificate. (Hospital staff may present this form for you to sign at time of baby’s birth, but you are not required to do so, and should not sign if you are planning to place the baby for adoption.)

Unless they can meet at least one of the three requirements listed above, a biological father’s consent for adoption in California is not required.

If You Do Not Know Who the Father Is

If you do not know who the father is, or where he is – Don’t worry, this situation is common. Make sure you tell your attorney everything you know about who the possible father is so problems don’t arise in the future.

See Rights of Unmarried Fathers.

Do you work with birth moms outside of California?

Do you work with birth moms outside of California?

Yes. We work with birth moms all over the United States.

Prior to birth, we can meet via Zoom, or depending where you are, I will meet you in person.

Then, you may give birth to your baby in your home state, and adoptive parents from California will travel to your state and be in the hospital with you while you give birth (depending on your adoption plan).

The expenses that your adoptive parents pay for must be acceptable by the law of your state. You will then sign consent papers, and the adoptive parents may not leave the state until both states have approved of the adoption. We may need to work with an attorney or agency in your home state. Our office will coordinate this process for you so you do not need to worry.

Does the Baby's father need to be involved?

Does the Baby’s father need to be involved in the adoption?

Generally no, under California law. The exceptions, where the father would have to be involved and where his consent would be required, are the following:
a. If you and the father are or have been married;
b. If the father has received the child into his home and has publicly acknowledged that the child is his child;
c. If the father and you have both, at the hospital, signed a California state form in which you both agree that he is the father of the child (this form is called a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity); or
d. If the father has done everything he could have done to take responsibility for the child, both emotionally and financially, during the pregnancy, starting within a short time after he knew or should have known of the pregnancy.

If the father has done one or more of these above, then his consent to the adoption is necessary. If he will not consent, the adoption will be very difficult to move forward.

In all other circumstances, the father’s consent is not required, and he does not have the legal power to override the adoption.

There are some exceptions and limitations to these rules, so be sure to discuss the specifics of your situation with us, so that we can make sure that you are properly advised.

Consent is different than notice. Even though we do not need father’s consent, the law requires us to notify him about the adoption. Father’s rights is frequently an issue, so please call us and discuss.