Your Questions Answered
frequently asked questions
Do you work with expectant parents outside of California?
Yes. We happily work with expectant parents from all over the United States. In some cases, depending on where you and the adoptive parents live, you’ll have the option of coming to meet with us in California. If you’d prefer, the adoptive parents will come to you. Celeste has been known to fly to the other side of the country to meet with an expectant parent. We work with physicians, therapists, social workers and attorneys all over the country to ensure our clients receive the best support and care possible.
How will I find adoptive parents for my baby?
Helping you find the right adoptive family for your baby is one of the things we do best. First, we listen carefully when you tell us what you want in an adoptive family. Instead of handing you a stack of profiles from families who have paid us to match them with an expectant parent, as most agencies and attorneys do, we work to find the family best suited to you and your child, whether that family is down the street, across the country, or anywhere in between. We have an extensive network of relationships with trusted adoption professionals throughout the country who we call upon to help in our search. We then present you with prescreened families who we’ve handpicked based on the things most important to you.
What happens during my pregnancy?
Once you choose an adoptive family, you’re free to get to know them through phone conversations, text or in person. Depending on geography and your comfort level, they will accompany you to doctor appointments, spend time with your extended family, the birth father or just with you. Before your baby is born, you’ll also be attending counseling sessions and will meet with an adoption doula who will help you create a plan for your labor, delivery and postpartum experience. If this is your first baby, you will also have an opportunity to participate in childbirth education/coaching, especially tailored for expectant moms who are placing a baby for adoption. Thanks to modern technology, even if you’re outside of California, these things can all happen virtually via phone or Skype.
Will the adoptive parents help me with my living expenses?
Yes. Most states allow you to receive financial support to cover your pregnancy-related living expenses, including rent, food, cell phone, utilities, maternity clothes, and transportation, both while you’re pregnant and for several weeks after your baby is born. The purpose of financial assistance from the adoptive parents is to help relieve some of the financial burden you may be experiencing as a result of your pregnancy. We’ll work with you to make sure your reasonable financial needs are met and the laws of your state and the adoptive parents’ state of residence are closely followed.
Will I have my own attorney?
Yes, one of TruAdopt’s attorneys will represent you exclusively. While many adoption professionals may suggest that you that don’t need your own attorney, we believe that when the adoptive parents are represented by a lawyer and the expectant mother is not, it creates an unfair imbalance in the relationship and the overall process (yes, even when everyone loves each other!). In an adoption, you are being asked to sign important legal documents (including the adoption consent and the post adoption contact agreement) that have a permanent consequences. While many states, including California, don’t require that an expectant parent is separately represented, we believe that it is the most ethical way of approaching adoption. That is why TruAdopt only represents birthparents.
Will the adoptive parents be there when I deliver?
Yes, if you want them to be. The adoptive parents will be standing by, enthusiastically ready to support you through labor and delivery. That may mean they are at home, waiting for your call, pacing the hospital waiting room floor right there with you in the delivery room, holding your hand when baby arrives. The point is, they will be wherever you want them to be. Long before you leave for the hospital, the hospital staff will be told about your adoption plan. How things proceed at the hospital is completely up to you. If you want to spend time alone with your baby, you absolutely should. If you prefer that baby stays in the adoptive parents’ room so they can begin to bond with him from the beginning, that’s what will happen. The hospital experience is usually a very emotional time for everyone. It’s not the time to focus on trying to take care of everyone else, but on making sure you are getting the physical and emotional support you need during those few days.
What sort of ongoing contact is best?
Over the past decade, society’s view of open adoption has significantly changed. As recently as twenty years ago, it was unusual for a birthmother to have any sort of ongoing relationship with her child’s adoptive family. As a result of significant research, our understanding of how this impacts all members of the adoption triad has increased since then. Through collective conversation between adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents, we now know that in many (but not all) adoptions, it is beneficial to maintain some sort of contact throughout the child’s life. Of course, the specifics of that contact will vary from family to family. Some birthmothers view their relationship with the adoptive family as extended family and see them on a regular basis. Some birthmothers are happy to receive photos and periodic updates about their child’s interests and milestones. Others desire no contact at all.
Where does the baby’s father fit in?
It’s not surprising that the main focus in an adoption is on the expectant mother; after all, she’s the one living 24/7 with the physical and emotional effects of her pregnancy. She’s the one who has to get herself to medical appointments, ultrasounds and blood tests, not to mention that nasty glucose test, inevitable weight gain, swollen feet or the most challenging of all…labor and delivery (sometimes via c-section) of that beautiful, bouncing baby. In the midst of all that an expectant mother has to deal with, it’s easy to lose sight of how an adoption impacts the father of the child.
In many adoptions, a birthfather’s consent isn’t legally required; however, that should not dictate whether he is treated with respect or, with the expectant mother’s permission, invited to participate in the process. If the baby’s father is willing to consent to the adoption plan, TruAdopt will assist him in completing the necessary paperwork. If not, he has the right to oppose the adoption and have his day in court. Regardless, a birthfather should be dealt with ethically and compassionately. After all, he is biologically one half of the child who will one day want to know the story of his father’s involvement in his adoption. If for no other reason, we always do what’s possible to ensure that story is a positive one.
The attorney’s role in examining the birthfather’s legal rights is crucial to success of your adoption. His legal rights should be evaluated by an experienced adoption attorney very early on in the process, ideally before the relationship between adoptive parents and an expectant mother is formed. Many stories you hear on the news about an adoption being contested by the biological father could have been avoided if a qualified adoption attorney had been involved from the beginning.
Umm...what if I don’t actually know who the father of the baby is? Or, what if there is more than one possible father?
Yes, that happens. Actually more often than you might think. The most important thing is for you to be honest with your attorney about the facts surrounding the conception. You may feel embarrassed, ashamed, or loathe the idea of having to contact the bio dad, but it’s best to just put your cards on the table from the very beginning. The worst thing you can do is claim you don’t know who the father is when you actually do or hide the fact that there is actually more than one possible father. Concealing information will guarantee problems in the future. If you disclose his identity upfront, your attorney can then determine the best way to handle any potential legal rights.
I have used drugs or alcohol during my pregnancy. Will you still be able to help me find adoptive parents?
Yes. TruAdopt will help you make an adoption plan even if you have used drugs or alcohol during this pregnancy. There are many, many wonderful couples out there who are prepared to parent a child who has been prenatally exposed to drugs or alcohol. As such exposure may increase your baby’s risk for certain medical conditions, it is extremely important that you truthfully disclose the details of your medical history to your attorney or counselor.
Our main goal is to help you find the best family for your unborn baby; in the case of a baby who may have developmental or physical challenges in the future, that means a family who is aware of the potential risks. While most of us love surprises, finding out in the hospital that the baby you’re planning to adopt has been born drug addicted can be devastating for the adoptive couple and can easily damage the trust between you and your baby’s adoptive parents.
What about counseling?
Most states, including California, require the adoptive parents to pay for at least a few sessions of post-placement counseling for their birthmother. For example, in California, adoptive parents are required to offer three (3) counseling sessions. However, if you’ve ever gone to counseling, you know that three sessions with a therapist is a good start, but nowhere near enough to help a birthmother through post adoption grief and loss. The adoptive parents in TruAdopt’s network understand this and and are willing to pay for additional counseling sessions. TruAdopt has an excellent network of therapists who are trained in adoption related issues. Many therapists we work with are able to conduct therapy via Skype or phone which can make it much easier for a birthmother to get effective therapeutic support. While there’s nothing magical about therapy, it will pave the way for the birthmother’s road to emotional recovery and health.
Will my baby have to go into temporary foster care after birth?
No. Your baby will go home from the hospital with the adoptive parents you have chosen.
If my child has been removed from my care by child protective services and is in foster care, but my parental rights have not been terminated, is it possible for me to still choose adoptive parents to adopt my child?
Yes. We will work with you to determine the possibility of getting your child released from foster care and adopted by a family of your choosing. The more time that passes, the more challenging that becomes, so please contact us as soon as possible to discuss this option.
If I’m still a minor, do I need my parents’ permission to make an adoption plan?
Even if you’re under 18, the decision to place a baby for adoption is yours alone. Your parents cannot legally prevent you from choosing adoption. TruAdopt and your counselor will work with you to determine the best way to communicate with your family regarding your desire to make an adoption plan in the hopes of gaining their understanding and support.
How much will it cost for me to be represented by TruAdopt?
Your counseling, medical care, legal representation, living expenses, doula support and case management are all paid for by the adoptive parents as part of their overall adoption budget.