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Frequently Asked Questions (Birth parents)

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I’m interested in exploring adoption. What are the next steps?

When you contact us, we will match you with an experienced adoption counselor. She will meet with you, learn about your situation, discuss your options, offer emotional support, and help you make a decision that's right for you. 

If you choose adoption, she will make sure that you get the support you need throughout your pregnancy, and help you find an adoptive family. To get started, simply call us at 800-869-1005 or email info@centerforfamily.com. If you prefer, send Maggie a text message at 847-366-6343.  Below are a list of the services available:

  • ·         counseling
  • ·         open adoptions    
  • ·         choice of adoptive families
  • ·         help with living expenses
  • ·         transportation to doctor visits
  • ·         post placement support 
  • ·         help obtaining medical care & government assistance

What if I’m not sure about adoption?

Your counselor will help you explore your options so that you can make the best plan possible. About half of the women who contact us each year decide to parent their child, while the other half choose adoption. You'll learn about your options and we'll support your decisions.

My baby is due soon or is already born, and I have not made an adoption plan yet. What should I do?

Making an adoption plan is a difficult decision. We don’t want to pressure you or rush your decision. That’s why we encourage you to call us at anytime during your pregnancy or after your baby is born. When you contact us, a counselor will meet with you at a convenient location, help you evaluate your options, and provide the support you need.

If you need more time after the baby's birth, we can arrange temporary care for your baby while you decide if adoption is the right choice. You remain the baby's legal parent during this time. If you decide to move forward with an adoption plan, your counselor will assist you in finding an adoptive family.

What is open adoption and how does it work?

Open adoption allows you to select the adoptive family yourself, get to know them, and remain in contact after the placement.

What if I’m not comfortable with an open adoption?

Each mother chooses the degree of openness she wants to have with her child’s adoptive family. She may also choose to have limited or no contact.

What if I used drugs or alcohol during my pregnancy?

Drug and alcohol use during pregnancy may increase your baby's risk for certain conditions. Therefore, it’s important that you tell your counselor about any alcohol or drugs you may have taken during this pregnancy. We can help you make an adoption plan, and find the best parents for your baby.

I’m a teenager. Do I need my parents' permission to place my baby for adoption?

No, you do not need your parents' permission to place your baby for adoption. Choosing adoption is a personal choice. Any contact you have with this agency is private and confidential. With over 20 years experience, we know that the adoption process can be less stressful if you have support from family and/or friends. 

What will happen after the baby is born?

Most women stay in the hospital for 24 to 48 hours after delivery, and you may have as much or as little contact with the baby as you like. Your counselor will visit you in the hospital and help you finalize your plans. You may request that the adoptive family be there for the birth or spend time with you in the hospital. After the required waiting period, you are able to sign the legal paperwork. In Illinois, the papers cannot be signed until the baby is at least 72 hours old. With your written permission, the adoptive parents may take the baby home from the hospital during the waiting period.  In Indiana, you may sign the consent prior to being discharged from the hospital (usually 48 hours after birth). Once you've signed the necessary paperwork, the baby will leave the hospital with the adoptive parents.

Why do some pregnant women choose adoption?

Although each woman’s situation is different, birth mothers place their baby for adoption because they want to give their child the best life possible. Some of the most common reasons birth mothers consider adoption include:

  • She is not ready to be a parent
  • She can't afford to raise this child
  • She may not have adequate family support
  • She has dreams for her future that would be difficult to achieve
  • She wants her baby to be raised in a financially, emotionally secure family
  • She wants her baby to be raised in a two-parent household 
  • She's struggling to support her other children
  • She's not comfortable with abortion

What will my child think of me?

Placing a baby for adoption is a special way of showing a mothers deep and unselfish love. With adoption, you give your child the gift of life, a loving family, and wonderful opportunities. It is the adoptive parents job to help their child understand the difficult decision you made. If you choose open adoption, the child may know you and you will be able to explain your reasons for choosing adoption.

What about my medical bills and other pregnancy-related expenses?

Many different resources and programs are designed to assist pregnant women with their medical expenses. We will help you apply for any public assistance or other benefits to which you are entitled. You may also receive financial assistance to help with pregnancy-related expenses. An adoption attorney is involved in every adoption, and she/he will help to ensure that your plan complies with the adoption laws in your state, protecting you and your child.

What about the baby’s father? What are his legal rights?

We can work with you regardless of your relationship with the baby’s father. When possible, your counselor will contact the father to see if he wishes to participate in the adoption plan. If he agrees, he may sign a legal document agreeing to the adoption or denying paternity. He will also be asked to provide medical and social history for the child. 

Birth parents may receive adoption counseling together or separately. If we are unable to locate a father or he refuses to cooperate, there are legal steps to follow to ensure that the adoption is binding. Working with an experienced attorney, we will comply with the legal requirements, ensuring that the adoption plan you are making is secure.

What if there are complications and my baby is not born healthy?

Every mother worries about the health of her baby and hopes to have a healthy child. Although it is rare, there are times when a birth mother discovers that she is carrying a child with special needs. Birth mothers facing this kind of situation need extra support and assistance. Be assured, there are families waiting to adopt children with special needs. We will do all we can to help you find a family who can provide the love and care that this special child deserves.  If necessary, we will refer you to an agency that specializes in this type of adoption.

How much will my child know about me?

Regardless of the type of adoption plan you create, you will be asked to provide a thorough social and medical history for your child. If you have an open adoption, you will be able to maintain a relationship with the adoptive family and provide ongoing information.

If I choose adoption, when is my decision final?

You do not sign the final adoption papers until after your baby is born. In Illinois, the baby must be at least 72 hours old.  In Indiana, a birth mother may sign the final paperwork before she leaves the hospital (usually on day two).  It’s a good idea to think about your plans and choose a family in your second or third trimester.  However, you are free to contact our agency for assistance at any time during your pregnancy or even after the birth.

At the Adoption Center for Family Building, we won't pressure you to make a decision until you are ready. Once you decide to move forward with an adoption, and sign the legal documents, your decision is final.  The adoptive parents will go to court and your baby will legally become a member of their family and will begin a lifetime relationship with them. This decision affects many people and we’re here to help after placement, too. 

What if I don't live in Illinois or Indiana?

If you would like to place your child with one of our adoptive families and you don't live in Illinois or Indiana, we can still help you.  We have considerable experience with interstate adoptions, and can guide you through that process. We'll also find an attorney or agency in your area to work with you. Please contact us to discuss a plan that works for you.

Do you have families for African American, Latino and biracial babies?

Yes. We work with a diverse group of adoptive parents. Many of our families want to adopt an African-American, biracial, Latino or mixed race baby.  Transracial adopters are required to get additional counseling and education to ensure that they are fully prepared to adopt a child of a different racial background.

How do I start the process?

Call us so that we may answer your questions, send you information or schedule an appointment with an adoption counselor.  Call us at 800-869-1005 or send us send Tobi a text message at 847-366-6351.  You may also request an information packet.

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Adoption Center for Family Building is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We provide valuable resources, financial assistance, and professional counseling to women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Please support our mission.