Because adoption is one of the biggest choices you will ever make, it’s important that you understand what you are committing to.
The adoption process has a lot of moving parts, so it’s perfectly valid if you have a lot of questions. All questions are good adoption questions. Asking adoption questions leads to understanding.
If at any time you feel lost or confused throughout the adoption process, you can always reach out to an adoption professional. They will be there for you to guide you and provide you with the support you need.
Below, we created an adoption FAQ for common adoption questions that prospective birth parents have. If you need additional information or don’t see your adoption questions and answers below, reach out to an adoption professional to get the answers you’re looking for.
1. “Do Birth Parents Have to Put Their Name on the Birth Certificate?”
Yes. As the birth parent, your name will need to be on the birth certificate. Once the adoption has been completed, this birth certificate will be sealed and made private. However, the birth father’s name does not need to go on the birth certificate if is not involved in the adoption process.
Once the baby is born, you will be asked to sign the birth certificate. Your adoption professional will help you prepare for this part of the adoption process in your hospital plan so that there are no surprises. Once you have signed the birth certificate, you will need to sign adoption consent paperwork to terminate your legal parental rights. This allows the adoptive family to claim custody.
2. “Are the Adoptive Parents on the Birth Certificate?”
Yes and no. There are two answers to this adoption question. In the adoption process, there are actually two birth certificates.
The first one is the original birth certificate that you will need to sign and the amended birth certificate that includes the adoptive parents’ names. The adoptive parents will receive the amended birth certificate 1-4 months following the placement. Your name will not be included in this version of the birth certificate.
Because the original birth certificate will need to be sealed, you will not be able to keep this document. This will not interfere with any post-placement relationship you have with your child. Because of open adoptions, children do not need to get ahold of their original birth certificate to learn the name of their birth parents.
3. “If I’m Placing My Baby for Adoption, Do I Get to Name the Baby?”
Yes. As the birth parent, you will always be able to name your baby, even though you’re placing them for adoption.
You can talk to your adoption professional about your naming preferences for the hospital stay. This will be included in your hospital plan. However, if you prefer that the adoptive family names the baby, you can communicate this to them. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can even coordinate with them on naming the baby together.
4. “Can the Adoptive Family Change the Name I Chose for the Baby?”
Yes. The name that you chose for the baby will go on the original birth certificate that you sign. Once you sign the adoption paperwork, you will be terminating your parental rights so that the adoptive parents can assume parentage. If the adoptive parents decide to change the baby’s name, the new name will be reflected on the amended birth certificate that the adoptive parents sign.
If you’re sensitive to the idea of the adoptive parents changing the baby’s name, you should discuss this with the adoptive parents and your adoption professional early on in the adoption process to avoid any emotional conflicts.
5. “Do I Get Paid to Place my Baby for Adoption?”
No. This is an understandable adoption question, but it is illegal for birth mothers to accept payment for their babies due to human trafficking laws. You can, however, receive financial assistance.
The main difference between receiving financial compensation and financial assistance is that you are not being compensated in exchange for your baby. You will be able to receive financial assistance that can cover your living expenses and pregnancy costs throughout the adoption process.
Adoption is completely free to you as the birth mother. You won’t have to pay a dime. The financial assistance you receive will be able to cover expenses such as:
- Rent or mortgage
- Maternity clothes
- Medical bills
The assistance you are eligible to receive will depend on your state’s individual laws.
6. “How Do I Find Adoptive Parents?”
As the prospective birth mother, you get to call all the shots when it comes to making your adoption plan. One of the decisions you will be able to make is choosing the hopeful adoptive parents who will raise your child.
One of the common adoption questions we get from birth parents is “How I find adoptive parents?”
You will be able to sit down with your adoption professional to discuss what qualities you’d like the adoptive family to have. Your adoption professional will compile adoptive family profiles of families who match your preferences and present them to you to look through.
You can look through as many profiles as you need to find the perfect family. This is the most important adoption decision you will make. You can also browse profiles on your own time here.
7. “Can I Change My Mind About Adoption?”
Yes, to an extent. If you have second thoughts about adoption and decide to parent at any point in the process, you are allowed to change your mind.
It’s important that you relay this decision to your adoption professional as soon as possible so that they can make the appropriate arrangements. Even if you have already chosen the adoptive parents, this is a choice you are allowed to make. However, it’s very important that you are absolutely certain of this choice.
Parenting is a huge emotional and financial commitment with a lot of responsibilities. You should be sure that parenting is a realistic option for you, and this is what you really want. This is a decision that will not only affect you but also your child and the hopeful adoptive parents (if you have already chosen them).
If you are still pursuing adoption but have changed your mind about the adoptive parents or something in your hospital plan, you are also allowed to do so. Just let your adoption professional know so that they can make the appropriate arrangements for you. However, once you have signed the adoption paperwork terminating your parental rights, you will not be able to change your mind.
If you’re worried about being separated from your child, just know that an open adoption will allow you to stay in touch with your child and their adoptive family. This will give you and your child closure. You will be able to watch them grow and thrive and they will have the chance to know their birth parents.
Adoption is a complicated process. There are no right or wrong adoption questions. To get answers to frequently asked questions about adoption, reach out to an adoption professional today.