Expectant parents have lots of questions and often enter an adoption process with little or no information about the adoption process or adoption options. It is important to know that you can ask these questions without fear or pressure.
Here at Adoption O.N.E., we welcome your questions about the adoption process and open adoption. We also welcome the opportunity to discuss your particular situation and, if you are hoping to parent your child, refer you to governmental and community services that assist single parents.
When you have selected Adoption O.N.E. to facilitate an adoption for your child, we will provide you with an adoption practitioner located in or near your area. This adoption worker, who will not pressure or sway your decision, will continue to provide you with more information about adoption options and counselling throughout the adoption process. The birth parent counsellor will also gather information about you, the birth mother, the birth father (if known) and your families, such as social and medical history information. This information is important for your child to have a sense of who you are, and what sort of medical or genetic background run in the family.
Adoption O.N.E. provides birth parents with information and options:
- Birth parents are given the option to view adoptive parent profiles on the waiting list.
- Birth parents are guided in preparing an adoption plan.
- Birth parents are given the option of receiving pre and post adoption counseling.
- Open adoption is a choice that expectant parents can make – it is your choice and we can help you facilitate an adoption that fits your level of openness.
- Birth parents are not allowed to sign their consent for adoption until the child is at least 7 days old. Adoption consents are signed in the presence of a lawyer.
- You will have 21 days after signing the consent to change your mind(s).
- The adoption placement will continue to be supervised by the adoption licensee and an adoption practitioner for at least 6 months before the adoption is finalized by a judge.
- Birth parents are not responsible for any adoption costs.
FAQ: Birth Parents
- Can I talk to someone about adoption before making up my mind?
Yes. Adoption O.N.E. will provide you with professional counseling services to help you understand all of your options while providing you with unbiased and non-judgemental advice.
- How much will it cost?
There are no costs to the expectant parents for any of the services that are provided in the course of preparing the adoption placement. It is important to understand that no money can be given to the expectant parents by any party for any reason related to the adoption, whether it be to cover medical costs, living expenses, or a direct payment for potential placement of the baby.
- Can I change my mind about the adoption?
Yes. You can change your mind and revoke your consent to the adoption up until the revocation period expires. In Ontario, birth parents have 21 days after signing the consents in which they can change their mind. If you do withdraw your consent for the adoption, your child must be returned to you.
- Can I choose the adoptive family?
Yes. You will be given the opportunity to review ‘family profiles’ and even meet with them to decide on who will adopt your child.
- Can I give my baby gifts or pictures of myself, the birth father and members of our families?
Yes! This is definitely acceptable and very much encouraged. Most adoptive families will be thrilled to have such mementos of you so that they can explain to their child who you are and how important you and others were in them joining their family. Your child will also be able to see, and be reminded of, who they look like instead of wondering about who gave them their blue eyes or freckles.
- What is ‘openness’ of adoption?
There are many levels of openness in adoption. Birth parents and adoptive parents are encouraged to create an open adoption agreement that suits their comfort level. Different examples of openness can include sharing letters, pictures, name selection, different communications and meetings. Exchange frequencies and methods vary from one family to the next. Extended family relationships in an open adoption are developed so adopted children will be able to have ongoing relationship opportunities with members of their birth family. Open adoption is child centered. It may help your child develop a strong sense of identity by having contact with members of his/her birth family. In an open adoption, their questions about you and their family background can be provided to the child on an ongoing basis.
- Do I have to have an open adoption?
Not every birth parent wants to stay in contact with the adoptive family. There are many levels of openness, these will be discussed when we meet with you.
- What if the Birth Father is not involved?
Sometimes an expectant mother is not in contact with the birth father during the pregnancy. This will be discussed in counseling and with the licensed adoption professional to determine the best course of action.
- What happens if one or both of the birth parents are under 18 years of age?
All decisions related to the child and the adoption, however, remain the sole responsibility and prerogative of the expectant parents, but you may choose to include your parents in the decision process or simply for support. The office of the Children’s Lawyer will also meet with you to ensure that you are making all decisions without coercion.
- What if the expectant parents already know who they would like to adopt their child?
Sometimes expectant parents hear, through a family member or a friend, about a family who would like to adopt their child. This is called a matched placement. Even if you know the family that will adopt your child, the Ontario Governement must approve the placement before the child moves into their home. Simply call us and give us the information and we can start the process.