If you’re considering placing your baby for adoption, you should know your rights. Below is an outline of both your rights and your responsibilities. Adoption Center for Family Building is a licensed open adoption agency in Illinois and Indiana. This agency shares the following information with their clients and others requesting information about adoption. We are sharing this information in our blog so that more expectant mothers will know their rights.
You have the right to:
- Be treated with respect and dignity at all times.
- Make decisions free from coercion or pressure.
- Work with agencies, including those providing public assistance, while you’re deciding whether to place your child for adoption or to parent your child. These agencies may be able to provide you with assistance regardless of your decision.
- No one has the right to share your identifying information (unless required otherwise by law or unless directed otherwise by court order) without your permission.
- Be advised that your and your families’ non-identifying social, medical and mental health information will be shared with adopting parents.
- Request and receive counseling during the pregnancy and after the birth of your child.
- Ask to be involved in choosing your child’s adoptive parents and to meet them prior to placement; or to choose another agency if your request cannot be honored.
- Ask to participate in an open or closed adoption with the child’s adoptive parents, with the understanding that any agreement or promises regarding your ability to have contact with your child or receive information after the finalization of the adoption cannot be enforced under Illinois or Indiana law.
- Decide on your own hospital plan if you are a birth mother. You may choose to see your child while he or she is in the hospital and exercise your parental rights before signing a final and irrevocable surrender or consent to adoption. Please note: If you are a birth father and are not married to the birth mother, you will need the permission of the birth mother to have access to the baby in the hospital.
- Receive copies of all documents that you sign and have them provided to you in your preferred language.
- Work with an adoption agency or attorney of your choice, including the right to change to a different agency or attorney at any time, without consequence, as long as your promptly inform all the parties involved.
- Include your family and friends in any meetings you have with the agency if you so desire.
- Receive, upon request, a written list of all promised support, financial or otherwise, from the agency or attorney. The kind of financial support that is possible under the law is support associated with basic activities of daily living and related medical expenses for you and your child.
For more information about placing your baby for adoption, please visit our website at www.centerforfamily.com or call our toll free number at 1-800-869-1005. Birth parent counselors are available to answer questions, Monday-Sunday from 8am until 9pm.