Birthparent FAQs

Choosing to place your child in an open adoption is not an easy decision to make. We want you to ask as many questions as possible. You can also call to speak with a counselor, 800-877-OPEN, or start a live chat.

Birthmothers Adoption FAQ

  • What is open adoption?

    By definition, adoption is the legal act of permanently placing a child with someone other than the child's biological parents. Open adoption includes the birthparents and adoptive parents meeting one another, sharing full identifying information, and having direct access to ongoing contact over the years.

  • How does open adoption work for me and my baby?

    In fully Open Adoptions, all of the choices are up to you. You have the right to:
    – Choose an adoptive family for your baby
    – Choose the amount of contact you would like as the baby grows up
    – Choose who you would like to have support you at the hospital

  • Will this cost me any money?

    Not at all. Our services are absolutely free for women who are pregnant. Depending on which state you live in, you may even qualify for additional financial assistance for things related to your pregnancy. Through the IAC, you are eligible to receive free, confidential, adoption-related counseling and support services.

  • Can I choose a family for my baby?

    Absolutely. We believe that you know best when it comes to choosing the perfect family for your baby. We can help to introduce you to families from all different parts of the country, and from many different backgrounds. You might want to start by looking at some families that are waiting to adopt.

  • What if my due date is coming up, and I haven't made a plan yet?

    That's OK. It is not too late to make an adoption plan. If you are interested in speaking to a counselor, we can help you to make an adoption plan that you are comfortable with. We have families that are ready to meet you immediately, if that's what you would like. We often work with women who call us from the hospital to make an adoption plan after they deliver. Our job is to help you make a plan that you can feel good about.

  • Can I get financial assistance?

    Depending on what state you reside in, you may be able to qualify for financial assistance. In many states it is legal for an adoptive family to help pay for pregnancy-related expenses. That can include things like:
    – Medical bills
    – Maternity clothes
    – Transportation
    – Food and rent

  • What about the baby's father?

    The laws about a father's rights differ based on which state you live in. If you would like to have the father of your baby participate in making an adoption plan with you, you can. Some women find that they are making an adoption plan alone. We can help you to understand the laws in your state, and what rights the baby's father will have. You will find more answers to your questions about a father's rights in our Services For Men section.

  • Do I have to tell my parents?

    If you are pregnant and over the age of 12, then you are legally able to make a confidential adoption plan. If you would like assistance with how to talk to your family and friends about your pregnancy, or about adoption, our counselors are available to help. The decision about who to tell, when to tell, and how to tell, is ultimately up to you.

  • What happens after the baby is born?

    If you decide to make an adoption plan, you will choose how you want your hospital experience to be. Our adoptive families are able to bring the baby directly home from the hospital, if that is what you choose. Some women choose to be supported by an adoptive family in the hospital. Some women choose to have their friends or family members there. Some women prefer to have some alone time with the baby in the hospital. Our counselors can help you to decide what would feel the most comfortable for you.

  • Do I have to do any paperwork?

    You will not sign any paperwork that terminates your rights to the baby until AFTER you have left the hospital. You also have the right to make a plan with the adoptive family that you choose, prior to giving birth. Your adoption plan can include:
    – How often will I see the baby after he/she is born?
    – Will the adoptive family send me letters and pictures?
    – What contact information will we share with each other?
    – Who will be at the hospital with me?
    – Who will take the baby home from the hospital?

    At the IAC, we believe that you are in charge of your own adoption plan.

  • What if I haven't had any prenatal care?

    We work with many women who have not yet received prenatal care. Our counselors can help you to find free, confidential healthcare in your area.

  • What if I have used drugs or alcohol during my pregnancy?

    You are still able to make an adoption plan if you have used drugs or alcohol. Our counselors can help to introduce you to adoptive families that are comfortable with any history of drug or alcohol use. You have the right to make an adoption plan for your baby that you can feel good about.

  • Can I talk with other women who have made an adoption plan?

    Of course. Sometimes it can help to talk with others who have made similar decisions, or experienced similar things. Our counselors can help to introduce you to other birthmothers in your area. Please contact us if you are interested in coming to a Birthparent Support Group.

Birthfathers Adoption FAQ

  • What is open adoption?

    Open Adoption means that you and the baby's mother have the right to choose an adoption plan that works for you. You can choose an adoptive family, choose how much contact you would like to have before and after the baby is born, and choose how you would like your hospital experience to be. You have the right to have an ongoing, open relationship with your baby and the adoptive family.

  • Can I choose a family for my baby?

    Absolutely. We believe that you know best when it comes to choosing the perfect family for your baby. We can help to introduce you to families from all different parts of the country, and from many different backgrounds. You might want to start by looking at some families that are waiting to adopt.

  • What are my rights in making this decision?

    The laws regarding a father's rights differ based on which state you live in. You do have the right to know about an adoption plan, and you have the right to participate in the adoption-planning process. If you do not agree with making an adoption plan, you have the right to contest it. Our counselors can help you to understand the laws in your state.

  • Will I be financially responsible for this child?

    If you choose to make an adoption plan, the adoptive family that you choose would be financially responsible for the baby. You will not be required to pay child support once your parental rights are legally terminated.

Birth Grandparents Adoption FAQ

  • What is open adoption?

    An open adoption is where there is full disclosure of identifying information between the adoptive parents and birthparents. Often, within an open adoption there is direct, ongoing contact between birthparents and adoptive parents.

  • Why would my child choose an open adoption for his or her baby?

    People choose open adoption for a variety of reasons. Many know that they will be great moms and dads someday, but are not ready to parent right now. Others already have children and decide they are unable to care for another child. Each decision is as unique as the men and women who make it. Other reasons for an adoption plan may include:
    – They are not ready to be parents, but want to always know how their child is doing.
    – They want to complete their education or start their careers.
    – They decide that open adoption can give their baby the best start in life, and they are determined to choose the best family.
    – They know that raising a baby is not a good way to fix a relationship that is not working.
    – They are together, but are not ready to raise a child.
    – They are not together and want two parents who are eager and ready to become Mom and Dad for their child.

  • As a birth grandparent, what does open adoption mean for me?

    Birth grandparents can be a very important part of a successful open adoption, not only as a source of support for the birthparent, but after the baby is born as an integral part of the adoption triad. Many birth grandparents have ongoing contact with the adoptive family.

  • As a birth grandparent, what are my rights in an open adoption?

    The laws in each state vary but as a general rule, as a parent of a daughter or son placing a child for adoption, you do not retain any legal rights over their decision to place. However, at the Independent Adoption Center, you are welcome to participate in the adoption planning and have contact with the adoptive family if your child agrees.