What Forms are Needed to Give a Child up for Adoption?
Paperwork. Everyone has it. No one likes doing it. Yet, it is something we all must deal with at some point. There are times when the load is lighter and we can procrastinate it. There are also other times in which it is crucial that we complete it. One of the most important situations in which paperwork needs to be done is when a woman chooses adoption. What papers are needed to give child up for adoption?
Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork…
Adoption paperwork is a crucial component in the adoption process. It helps to lay the foundation for a successful adoption experience in the short-term and the long-term. The three types of adoption paperwork generally include social and medical history forms, adoption planning documents, and consent forms.
Every adoption situation is unique and will require different paperwork. Your adoption professional will outline everything that must be gathered, documented, and signed. They will also help you to complete this paperwork when you are ready.
Don’t be afraid of the adoption paperwork. It may look like a lot at first, but with the help of an adoption professional and support system, this paperwork is never as big of a chore as it seems.
Social and Medical History Forms
Social and medical history forms outline genetic and social traits of the birth parents and the child, if already born. These forms provide your adoption professional with the information they’ll need to help you find the perfect adoptive parents. Additionally, they provide an adoptive family with important information that will help them to understand the child’s social and medical needs now and in the future.
I Don’t Want to Talk About It
The toughest part of these forms may be disclosing certain parts of one or both birth parents’ history. While a prospective birth parent may not want to discuss a history of drug use, exposure to STDs or other issues, honesty is crucial. No one wants to be judged for facing a hardship and either overcoming it or attempting to overcome it. However, remember that these documents will help the adoptive parents to appropriately care for the child that is being placed for adoption. The more honest and thorough you are about what issues the child may have experienced, or what genetics may come into play later in life for the child, the more able you are to help build a sturdy foundation for the child. Any information you disclose in your social and medical history forms will remain confidential and will be used only to help your adoption professional assist you throughout the adoption process.
I Can Make a Difference for My Child
Remember that the social and medical history forms help adoptive parents to take care of the child. For example, if drug abuse runs in the family, the adoptive family will be able to keep an eye out for trigger warnings that will help them nip addiction in the bud before it can become overwhelming. Another example is a medical issue a birth parent may have that could be genetic. A genetic predisposition to certain medical diagnoses is information that will be helpful to the adoptive parents in their commitment to taking care of the child whom they are adopting.
The more honest you are on the social and medical history forms, the more you are helping your child to be successful in the long-run with his or her new family.
My Vision for My Adoption
Adoption planning documents outline the desires of the prospective birth parents for the adoption process. If you have specific requirements as to what type of family you are looking for, what type of relationship you desire to have with the child long-term, or any spiritual or religious preference for a family, etc., the adoption planning documents will define that. As a mother who was about to transition to a birth mother, I had a vision in my mind of the type of family I wanted for my child and the type of relationship that I wanted to have with him in the long-term. When the adoption planning documents are completed, they should be accurately portraying your vision to others.
From Paper to Reality
An adoption professional will need adoption plan information to find potential adoptive families for the child, make sure that there will be a good long-term fit, and understand your needs throughout the adoption process. The more detailed and descriptive you can be when creating your adoption plan, the more likely you are to have your desires and needs fulfilled when it comes to choosing adoption and becoming a birth mother.
Legal Consent Forms Required
Consent forms are those pesky legal papers that may seem like a hassle, but are the most important documents required for the adoption process. Consent forms release the care of the child from the birth mother or birth parents so that the adoptive decision can be made into a reality. There are promise forms committing to adoption, and there are also legal relinquishment forms that release all rights of the birth mother and birth parents from the child. Consent forms are required for adoption.
Remember, your adoption decision does not become final until you sign the legal consent forms after your baby’s birth. State laws regarding consent procedures, waiting periods and revocation of consent vary; your adoption professional will explain your state’s consent laws and walk you through the document-signing process when you are ready.
Adoption Situations Vary
This is not an exhaustive list of the forms needed for an adoption. If a child has already been born, the social and medical history will include the life of the child as well. If an adoptive family has already been chosen, the adoption planning documents may be more of an outline of future communication and relationship expectations. Depending on what point in the process a woman is with her adoption decision, different documents at different points will be needed. While the need for social and medical history forms and adoption planning documents may change, the legal consent forms will be required regardless of the situation surrounding the adoption.
It’s Not That Bad…
Paperwork always looks worse than it is. Remember that this paperwork is crucial to ensure that the adoption process goes smoothly, that you get what you need, and that your child gets the best start in life with his or her new adoptive family. With the support of an adoption professional, this paperwork can be completed with proper care.
Honesty is Key
Please be honest with your adoption professional so that they are best equipped to aid you accurately throughout the paperwork process. If at any point you begin to feel uncomfortable with your adoption professional, remember that you can always change adoption professionals up to the relinquishment period.