In the past, many expectant parents have not chosen adoption because they have had little control or influence on what the future will hold for their child. In today's adoptions, an expectant parent plays the central role in deciding on what type of an adoption plan is best for her and her child, while she is also cared for throughout the adoption planning process. As an expectant parent considering an adoption plan, you have the right to:
- Be treated with dignity and respect, not judgment or criticism.
- Explore all of your options in a non-directive, non-coercive environment, including parenting and all levels of openness in adoption.
- Be fully informed about your legal rights during the decision-making stage.
- Choose the prospective adoptive family if this is what you want to do. (Almost all, if not all, states allow this).
- Develop an adoption plan with your counselor and the adoptive family.
- Spend time in the hospital with your baby.
- Make the decision about adoption after the birth of the baby. Planning for adoption does not make it a final decision, and an adoption plan does not become definite until you sign legal papers releasing your rights.
- Sign relinquishment (consent or release) papers when you are ready.
- Have your questions answered honestly and completely, at any stage.
- Have your relationship with your child acknowledged and your grief and loss recognized.
- Change agencies or attorneys if you feel that your rights are not being respected.
- Receive post-placement support.
This content is republished with permission from Bethany Christian Services. Bethany Christian Services is the nation's largest adoption agency, and we also care for orphans on five continents. To learn more about Bethany's pro-life ministry, visit www.bethany.org or call 1.800.BETHANY