What are a Birth Mother's Rights Regarding Adoption?
In every adoption you have the right to make many of adoption related choices. The three rights that most birth mothers are concerned about are the ending of their parental rights, then the ending of the parental rights of the birth father, and finally regarding the ability to receive pictures and updates and/or to have ongoing contact with the child and the adopting family.
Every state in the U.S. has their own unique legal requirements so there are literally hundreds of laws regarding adoption rights. The laws of the state in which you reside and/or end your parental rights as a birth mother will help define your rights and the rights of others.
We are a fully licensed non-profit adoption agency that helps birth parents and families living in any state in the U.S. and we can also help U.S. citizens living in any foreign country. Since our founding in 1985, we have worked with thousands of birth parents and adopting families from all over the world and our overall satisfaction rating is excellent. We are committed to putting your needs first and to helping you in every way possible. Feel free to contact us or call (toll-free 1(800)943-0400) if you have any questions or if you want our guidance or help. All calls are confidential and there is never any obligation or cost to you for our help. We can make sure your child is placed with the perfect family, your rights are protected, and that you receive all the legal and financial assistance and medical help as well as other types of help that the law allows. There is never any fee to you as a birth parent whether you work with our agency or decide to look elsewhere. Please visit the link "Ways we can help you".
More about a Birth Mother's Rights Regarding Adoption?
It is important to understand that biological father also has rights whether or not he is still involved with the birth mother and even if his name is not on the birth certificate. There is no adoption situation where the rights of the biological birth father should be ignored. Even if the birth mother is not sure who the biological father is, the unknown person still has rights which must be addressed.
All of your rights and options and those of the birth father, and even the child’s grandparents, cannot, and should not, be overlooked and should be fully and carefully reviewed with you by the adoption agency you decide to work with. That is one of the reasons that your choice of proceeding with an agency or private adoption and the selection of your adoption agency is so important. Please keep reading…
When is the final Termination of Parental Rights?
The first right most birth mothers are concerned about is the ending of their parental rights and the amount of time you, the birth mother, has to change your mind regarding the ending of these rights.
To address this issue you need to recognize that your parental rights can be ended voluntarily, that is with your signature and permission, or they can be ended involuntarily, without your permission. The involuntary ending of parental rights is usually done only with children who have been placed into foster care within the state child welfare system. If you are working with a private adoption agency or with and adoption attorney, over 98% of the time the your parental rights will be ended voluntarily and only with your approval.
The ending of the parental rights, called the termination, surrender or relinquishment, is different in every state. However, in every state, any document regarding the ending of the birth mother's parental rights that was signed before the baby has been born is not legally binding. After the baby has been born some state allow a birth mother to voluntarily end her rights immediately after the birth and other states allow the ending of these rights only after the passage of 1-3 days, or 15-21 days, 30 days, or more. Depending on the age of the birth mother and the circumstances involved, some states even require a birth mother to appear in court before her parental rights can be ended. Again, every state is different.
What are the Birth Father’s Rights?
For information about Birth Father Rights click on this link.
Where Can I Find Additional Sources of Information?
To see the adoption laws of your state of residence, visit the link State-by-State laws. You may want to look for the section "termination (or surrender or relinquishment) of parental rights", of the state in which the birth father resides. This can be done at ChildAdoptionLaws.com. You may also find it helpful to read the Child Welfare Information Gateway article "Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights".
Additionally you may want to find a family law attorney from the adoptionattorneys.org website.
Can your Agency Help a Birth Parent Living in Any State?
Our agency, Adoption Services, can help a birth mother living in any state or a U.S. birth mother living in any foreign country. We have been helping birth mothers and birth fathers for over 30 years and Dr Vince Berger, a PhD psychologist and founder and director of the Agency, has been working with birth parents for over 40 years. Adoption Services has helped over 9000 birth parents and families. Feel free to contact us or call (toll-free 1(800)943-0400) if you have any questions or if you want our guidance or help.