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Birthparent FAQs

You have questions. We have answers.

Our hope is that you know that we are here to help you through this very difficult time. We hope that the following information will answer some of the questions you might have while you make the difficult decision to parent or make an adoption plan for your child. We offer counseling to help birth mothers (and birth fathers, too) with an unplanned pregnancy. Our purpose is to help you in making a positive, thorough plan for you and your baby. We are here to support you. Through counseling, we can assist you in understanding your options as well as helping you take good care of yourself during your pregnancy. Since these questions are as personal and unique as you, we'll be more than happy to help you find your own answers. Remember, the decision is yours!

Q: What is birthparent counseling and why is it a requirement?

A: Counseling is a supportive service designed to meet your individual needs. You are welcome to involve a family member or the birth father in counseling. This is a time to share your fears, pressures, questions and concerns about your pregnancy. You will meet with your caseworker on a regular basis – usually once a week or once every two weeks – dependent on your needs. The focus of counseling is always related to your pregnancy, but ranges from concrete factual information to the more abstract, like your personal feelings and your relationships with your family, friends and the birth father.

Because you must live a lifetime with your decision, you want to make sure your choice is the right one for you. Counseling can help you explore and clarify your values, beliefs, goals and desires, to help you decide:

  • What does adoption mean?
  • What's best for my baby?
  • What's best for me?

We can help you navigate issues like the following:

  • Where do I go for prenatal care sensitive to me and my situation?
  • How do I tell my parents and friends that I'm pregnant?
  • The baby's father acts like he doesn't care anymore.
  • I want to finish school, but not at my present school.
  • I'm worried about the hospital costs.

It's very normal for your decision to vary at different times in your pregnancy, and your caseworker will encourage you to share those feelings as they change. Some birthparents experience this confusion prior to delivery, after delivery or both. Making a permanent plan for you and your child is important work; it takes a lot of soul-searching and we're here to help you through it.

Q: How long does Creative Adoptions provide services to a birthparent?

A: Creative Adoptions' staff will continue to provide ongoing services as long as you wish. We will also help you find outside services, if you desire.

Q: What type of adoption does Creative Adoptions provide?

A: Creative Adoptions is an open adoption agency; however, you and your caseworker will explore and create an adoption plan that best fits your needs.

Q: Can the birthparent choose the adoptive family?

A: Yes. At Creative Adoptions, we believe that you are entitled to help plan for your child's future – we believe in open adoption. This means that in most cases, YOU design the adoption plan for your child. At Creative Adoptions you can:

  • Choose a family for your child from our selection of families that have been screened, educated and are enthusiastic about open adoption.
  • Decide if you would like the adoptive family to be involved in the birth or hospital experience.
  • Arrange for the baby to be placed directly from the hospital into cradle care while you finalize your plans.
  • Decide mutually with the adoptive family what kind of relationship you would like with them and your child in the future. This can range from letters and pictures to ongoing face-to-face contact.

We have many examples of adoption triad relationships that work, and we will help you decide how much and what kind of involvement you would like to have with your child and the adoptive family.

Q: Who are the adoptive families? How do I choose one? And, when will we meet?

A: Our adoptive families are carefully screened and educated about open adoption as a way to build their family. The screening process includes a thoroughSAFE Home Study, open adoption education and a medical evaluation. In the education process, adoptive parents will hear from former birth mothers about their adoption experience. They also experience first hand the pain involved for the birth parent(s) in planning an adoption. Adoptive families learn how important and helpful it is for their adoptive children to have open access to information about their birthparents. Through this process, adoptive parents come to a deeper understanding of the mutual love and concern both they and the birth parents have for their children.

If you think adoption is right for you, your caseworker will ask you to complete the necessary paperwork describing yourself, what your family is like, your health history and your reasons for planning an adoption. This information will eventually be shared with your adoptive family and your child. The next step will be for you to view profiles written by prospective adoptive families (usually you'll view three or four) along with accompanying pictures. These letters will tell you about the history of the couple (how old they are, where they work, what they like to do in their free time), as well as how they feel about adoption, raising children, and how they feel about you. It is common for birthmothers to make a first and second choice after reading the letters. If both you and the family would like to get to know each other better, an initial meeting is arranged.

The initial meeting includes you, the potential adoptive parents and your caseworker. It can include others if that would be helpful to you. It is an opportunity for you and the potential adoptive couple to get to know each other. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. The adoptive couple will probably have some questions for you, too. Everyone is usually nervous at first, but that feeling quickly subsides. We will be there to support you.

After the meeting, both you and the adoptive couple will take some time to decide whether you'd like to continue with a relationship, and what kind of relationship you'd like to have prior to the birth of the baby. Since you are developing a life-long relationship, it's very important that everyone feel comfortable with each other. If you don't feel comfortable with your first choice couple; if for any reason the couple doesn't seem right to you, just tell us and you can go to another choice.

Q: Can the birth parent have contact with the adoptive family?

A: Absolutely. We believe our adoption program is in the best interest of all those involved in the adoption process. You can choose the family that you feel the most comfortable with. You will know and feel positive about the type of home and life they will provide for your child. Your child will be able to have his or her questions answered; questions about who you are and why you planned an adoption. Because the adoptive parents know you personally, they will be able to more accurately answer their child's questions. Adoptive parents also feel a special or extra sense of responsibility knowing you chose them to raise your child. It's important to remember that this is YOUR adoption plan. You and the adoptive family can work out the relationship that feels best for you. There isn't a right amount of contact or a right way to do this. The goal is to find the relationship that best meets your needs, those of the adoptive family, and most importantly, your child.

Q: Does the birth mother have to identify the birth father? And, does the birthfather have to be involved?

A: No. However, when adoption is being considered, the birth father has legal rights as well as the birth mother. These include:

  • The right to counseling.
  • The right to request custody of the child.
  • The right to public assistance to financially support the child (if he were parenting the child).

We try to involve the birth father in counseling either individually or with you. The birth father must agree in writing for an adoption to occur. Sometimes the following circumstances make this impossible:

  • Not knowing where to locate the father.
  • More than one possible birthfather.
  • Not knowing the father's name.
  • The birthfather doesn't want custody, yet refuses to cooperate.

Q: What happens if the birth father is uncooperative or cannot be located? How does legal termination of parental rights take place in this situation?

A: The court is aware of these special circumstances and has various processes to handle them. We can help you with your individual circumstances related to the birth father's legal rights. Should you decide to place your child, we will prepare all the necessary legal documents for relinquishment.

Q: Does a birth parent have the right to parent her/his baby?

A: Women plan an adoption until they experience the delivery of their baby and then they choose to parent. Prior to delivery, you will explore in counseling the emotions that you might experience while in the hospital. We will be there to help you decide what is best for you and your baby.

Q: Is there financial medical assistance for a birth parent?

A: Yes. Some birth parents worry about how they will afford prenatal and delivery costs if they are not covered by insurance or Medicaid. We will assist you in finding affordable, quality medical care. If no other options are available, our agency has available funding to cover normal prenatal and delivery expenses.

Q: How does a birth parent locate a doctor?

A: Creative Adoptions will assist you in finding quality medical care.

Q: What happens if a birth parent changes her/his mind about placing the baby for adoption?

A: After you deliver, we will visit you in the hospital to provide support.

One of three options is available after you deliver:

  1. You may plan to parent your baby and take him/her directly home from the hospital.
  2. You may place the baby directly from the hospital with an adoptive family. (In this case, it's necessary for the birth parent(s) to have chosen the adoptive parents prior to delivery.)
  3. You may place the baby in Cradle Care to finalize your plans for adoption or parenting. And, while you wait for your court date, your baby can remain in Cradle Care until you have relinquished your parental rights and responsibilities.

Q: What happens at the hospital?

A: The hospital experience is an emotional time for all birth mothers as they give birth and see their baby for the first time. We know how difficult this may be for you and will be supportive without being intrusive. This is also a time when people close to you may experience intense emotions about your plan for the baby. We will be there to help all of you in making a thoughtful plan for you and your child.

During the counseling process and at the meetings with the adoptive family, your caseworker will help you decide how much contact you want between you, your family, your baby and your potential adoptive family. For example, in the hospital you may (but are not required to):

  • Name your baby on the original birth certificate.
  • Hold your baby as much as you want.
  • Feed your baby.
  • Have the baby room-in with you.
  • Have newborn pictures from the hospital.

There is no right way to go through the hospital experience. Each amount of contact with your baby is YOUR individual preference and your wishes will be respected by everyone involved. You can request that the adoptive parents be in the delivery room and/or perhaps just the adoptive mother. You can request that the adoptive couple be a part of the hospital experience or vice versa.

Q: After the baby is born does the baby go to a foster/Cradle Care home or does the adoptive family take the baby home?

A: Once you have chosen a prospective adoptive family, you and your caseworker will have an opportunity to discuss the specific details of your adoption plan. These may include what you'd like your relationship to be during your hospital stay and following placement in the adoptive family's home. You will also discuss whether or not you will consider placing your child with the family directly from the hospital, if you would like to place the baby in Cradle Care or make an alternative arrangement that will meet your needs. Once again, we will be there to support you. You, the adoptive couple, and your caseworker will work together to make arrangements that feel comfortable for all of you.

Q: What is Cradle Care?

A: Cradle Care is a loving, caring family who will take care of your baby while final decisions are being made about the adoption.

Q: Can the birth parent visit the child in Cradle Care?

A: You are free to visit your child in Cradle Care. These visits will take place at the agency or in the Cradle Care home and can be arranged through your caseworker or the Cradle Care provider. Our Cradle Care families will be happy to meet with you and explain how your child is doing.

Q: Is it normal to experience grief?

A: The delivery/hospital experience is the culmination of many different emotions. Sometimes birthmothers feel sad, even those that are parenting. You may have heard this referred to as the baby blues or post-partum depression. Don't be surprised if you find this to be difficult. It is normal to experience grief; some birth mothers planning an adoption say they feel sadness or a sense of loss in waves for up to a year. Others are more affected by the baby's birthday, special holidays, etc. Remember that each birth parent experiences grief in a different way. During this time friends and family who are sensitive to your feelings and experience can be very helpful.

Q: When does the legal relinquishment of parental rights happen?

A:Colorado State Law requires that birthparents voluntarily relinquish their parental rights. Birth mothers appear in a private, closed hearing before a court judge or magistrate. This hearing usually lasts 10 to 15 minutes. The reason you have to relinquish in court is to protect your legal rights, those of your child, and to make sure this is a voluntary decision on your part.

After you deliver, if you continue to feel comfortable with your plan to relinquish, a court date will be set, usually four to six weeks later. Your caseworker will prepare you for court and go with you that day. The judge will ask questions such as:

  • Why do you feel adoption is in the best interest of your child?
  • Do you understand that it may be possible to receive financial assistance through the county and child support if you want to parent?
  • Have you been in counseling regarding the planning for your child's future?
  • Are you being pressured or coerced to plan an adoption?
  • Do you need more time?

The judge will also ask your caseworker her impressions of your counseling sessions and your plans for adoption. Your relinquishment of parental rights is not final until you have appeared in court, and the judge has signed the Final Orders of Relinquishment. Therefore, if you need more time, just let your caseworker know.