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Expecting

Are you Pregnant and Considering Adoption?

Adoption is a big decision. It’s important to get the information and support you need. We know how difficult an unexpected pregnancy can be. We are here to help!

Our firm has provided adoption legal services for over 70 years. We will be there to support you throughout the process, from your first contact with us through delivery, placement, and the post-partum period.

We are here to provide you with the resources you need to make a decision that is right for you.

Support and Choices for Expectant Mothers

We give you the education and support you need to make informed choices. We know this is a difficult decision. We help connect you with compassionate licensed adoption agencies that can help you explore whether adoption is right for you and help you with your choice of adoptive parents. There is no cost to you for this service.

Information Is Power: Get All the Facts

We will provide you with the facts you need to understand how adoption works and what the next steps are. If you decide to move forward, you will pay no attorney or agency fees. Necessary and appropriate pregnancy-related expenses will be covered by the adoptive family.

Your immigration status is not a factor in adoption proceedings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of families wish to adopt?

There are many wonderful families eager to become parents through adoption. We can connect you to a licensed adoption agency that can help you with your choice.

What if I need financial assistance?

In California, the adoptive parents can assist you with pregnancy-related expenses during pregnancy and until a month or so following the delivery. Within what the law allows, and what you need, they can help you with living expenses, insurance co-pays, and maternity clothes.

 

In addition, you have the right to your own attorney and the right to counseling.

How do I know that the adoptive parent(s) are suitable parents?

Every adoption in California requires an investigation by either a state or private licensed adoption agency of the adopting parents. They are fingerprinted, have criminal and child abuse background checks, and provide social and employment histories, financial information, reports of medical examinations, and letters of reference to the agency.

What happens at the hospital?

The choices about labor and delivery are totally yours. You are the parent of the child through your pregnancy and delivery, during the time in the hospital, and until you have consented to the adoption, if you ultimately do so. You should not be pressured by anyone to place your child for adoption.

What if Child Protective Services is involved?

Generally, no child needs to go to foster care if you have a private adoption plan in place. Your child can go home directly with the adoptive parents that you have selected.

How does my relationship with the adoptive family develop?

Getting to know the adoptive family can be both exciting and anxiety-producing. You may be feeling relief about your choice of adoptive parents, and at the same time feel anxious about the birth and decision about placement. Adoption counseling at this time can be valuable in helping you to sort out your feelings. We can connect you to a counselor.

Does the biological father have to participate?

We welcome the involvement of fathers. However, this involvement is not always present or possible. We are careful to work with the father in a courteous and legal manner so that we will have a safer adoption for your child. We are glad to discuss your specific situation with you.

If I am not from California, can I place my baby in a California home?

Yes. You can deliver in your home state and the adoptive parents will come to your state to take the baby home (once they are approved to do so). Some adoptive parents can be there for the birth, if time permits. Any expenses of your pregnancy paid for by the adoptive parents must be considered proper in your state.

Questions to Guide You in Developing a Hospital Plan

- Who will be at labor? At delivery?

- Who should hold the baby first?

- Do you want to spend time alone with the baby?

- Do you want the adoptive parents to help care for the baby?

- How will discharge from the hospital be handled?

- What name will you put on the original birth certificate?

Do I have any costs for the adoption?

Birth parents are not responsible for any professional fees, such as legal, social work, or counseling fees. All such services as well as any court or legal costs are free to birth parents. These costs are paid for by the adopting parents with whom you match.

Two smiling women push a toddler in a swing

In an open adoption, you will learn about the adoptive parents and the life your child will share with them.

Open Adoption and Future Contact

In an open adoption, you are in control and will choose the adoptive family.  You will learn about the adoptive parents, their values, and the life your child will share with them. You will decide what kind of contact you want in the future, be it pictures, letters or visits with the family (or minimal contact if that is what you prefer). If you’d like, we can help you develop a written agreement for future contact with the adoptive parents. This agreement will spell out what the contact will be and can be filed in court.

 

Your relationship with the adoptive parents will evolve over time, as trust in one another develops. Some birth mothers can become like a member of the extended family who sends birthday cards and is there for important moments in the child’s life. Others choose less contact.

 

Regardless of the amount of contact, open adoption removes the secrecy that used to be a part of adoption, and helps your child learn about his or her biological family in a positive and loving way.

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