Adoption Services for Birthmothers

Birthmother Bill of Rights

Your Rights as a Birthmother

A Child’s Hope is directed by two adoption attorneys who hold the agency to a strong legal and ethical standard. The agency was started by two adoption attorneys who are committed to giving birthmothers personal advice and counseling before and after the placement. We want you to always feel good about your decision.

A birthmother should understand that they have certain rights, many of which are absolute rights guaranteed by law. Following are some important rights that you have as a birthmother. Any agency/attorney that you work with should adhere to these rights:

Right to make your decision at your own pace in your own time

The decision to place your child for adoption is an important decision which should not be rushed. Adoption professionals should not pressure you into making your mind to place in a hurry, and they should not pressure you to involve adoptive parents before you are ready to make that commitment.

Right to choose what type of adoption you want

You have choices about what type of adoption is available for you – closed, semi-open or open. Some agencies will try and persuade you that one type of adoption is better than another, but the choice of adoption in terms of degree of openness, is a decision that is yours to make. In North Carolina, agency adoptions can be “open” if the adoptive parents and the birthmother sign a form called Consent to Release Identifying Information. This form has to be signed before the adoption is finalized. If you do not desire an open adoption, you can choose from a semi-open, which may mean a meeting on a first name basis, or simply learning about the adoptive parents through a profile or Dear Birthmother letter. Some birthmothers choose to let the agency pick the adoptive parents without having knowledge of the choice, and this type of adoption is called a closed adoption. But the choice is yours.

Right to counseling before, during and after the placement

Placing a child for adoption is an important decision and one that is best made through the assistance of a trained and impartial adoption counselor/social worker. The counselor should assist you in thinking about all of your options with an unplanned pregnancy, and help you if you decide to place for adoption with deciding which type of adoption best suits your needs. You should consider whether or not the agency allows you to stay in contact with them in the future.

Right to review legal documents and receive copies

You have a right to be able to review carefully beforehand any legal documents that you will be asked to sign in connection with the adoption. You have a right to have an attorney explain the process to you and your rights, and you also have the right to waive the right to have an attorney in the adoption process. You have a right to receive and keep a copy of any documents you sign.

Right to receive financial assistance

Those in need have the right under North Carolina law to receive financial assistance related to the pregnancy and delivery for up to six weeks after the delivery. This assistance can also be extended to pay for your medical expenses related to the pregnancy and delivery.

Right to confidentiality

Birthmothers have a right to absolute confidentiality related to making a plan for adoption. In North Carolina minors can make an adoption plan and follow through with placement of a child for adoption without their parent’s consent.

Right to choose adoptive parents and to receive information about them

Birthmothers have a right to a choice of adoptive parents and to ask questions and meet them if you desire. You also have a right to receive information about them in detail. Prospective adoptive parents in North Carolina are carefully screened during the preplacement process, and a written report is compiled by the agency summarizing their physical and mental health, their financial status, educational background, religious preferences, and extended family situation as well as occupations, and other relevant facts. Birthmothers have the right to this information in the adoption process.

Right to be assured that there will be a home for your baby if the child is born with special needs

You have a right to be told by the agency/attorney that you are working with that a home can be found for your baby regardless of what special medical needs the baby may be born with. Birthmothers should ask the adoption professional whether or not they have prospective adoptive parents who are willing to accept a child born with special needs.

Right to keep the agency/adoptive parents informed over the years

Birthmothers have a right to stay in touch with the adoptive parents and agency over the years so that information can be exchanged as needed.

“Somehow destiny comes into play.  These children end up with you and you with them.  It is something quite magical.” – Nicole Kidman

Testimonials From Our Birthmothers

“I believe that adoption is the most loving choice that is available. Adoption is not “giving up” a baby, but instead, I view it as “giving to” a family and “providing for” a child.” 
-Cheryl, 26

A Child’s Hope has compiled a booklet “Birthmother Stories: The Gift of Love” where you can read more stories from birthmothers and adoptive parents.

Birthparent Resources

If you are out of state, we will talk with you over the phone and assign one of our counselors to walk you through the process and if necessary find a counselor for you in your home state.

If you wish to have a phone conference with the adoptive parents that can easily be set up. If you are going to want a match meeting before finally choosing the adoptive parents, we will work with you on that request to ask the adoptive parents to come to your home state for a visit if you have several weeks before you are due.

Scholarships 4 Birthmothers
Birth Mom Buds
Birth Mom Mission Members
Pregnancy Support Services

Frequently Asked Questions

What is adoption?

It is a way to provide your child with love, stability and support. Adoption is not “giving away” your baby. Adoption is making a courageous decision to give your child the life you want for him or her. It is a wonderful gift for your child and for a waiting parent or couple that is ready to build a family.

Is it right for me?

You can choose a family for your child. You can meet them and have as little or as much contact with them as you choose. You can spend time with your baby after delivery. Your baby will be placed with the loving family you have selected. You can receive updates on your child as he grows. Or not. The choice is yours.

How do I know my baby will be well cared for?

Every adoptive parent is thoroughly screened through a homestudy (preplacement assessment) to ensure that they are suitable to be parents and can provide a good home to a child. Adoptive parents have chosen to assume the responsibilities of parenthood and have shown they are ready to do so. They are ready to love your child and provide the type of family you want your child to have. Our agency directors, who are attorneys, meet with each prospective adoptive parent before they are accepted to the agency. Our adoption counselors meet with them in their homes a minimum of three times and we require extensive documentation on their backgrounds.

How will I emotionally handle the process?

Placing a child for adoption is a difficult decision. Our counselors are trained to help you sort through your feelings and help you. Knowing what to expect is important. Our counselors will help you through the process and find comfort in your decision.

What will my child think of me in the future?

As the child grows, the adoptive parents explain that your decision was made out of love and concern for your child’s future and that you had the best interest of you child in mind. From a very early age, our adoptive parents tell their children of the special feelings their birthparents have for them. As a result, most children grow up feeling true respect for their birthparents and understanding for the difficult decision that was made on their behalf. Adoption is not giving your child away – adoption is a way to plan for your child’s life.

Can I see my baby at the hospital?

You can see your baby after delivery, hold your baby, name the baby and spend as much time with the baby at the hospital as you choose. Or, you may choose to not see the baby or spend any time with him or her if you feel this is the best way for you to emotionally get through the process. The choice is completely yours and your adoption counselor will explore with you all of your options about what happens at the hospital.

When do I sign the adoption papers?

The adoption counselor will meet with you at the hospital as soon as you are ready after the baby has been born to complete the relinquishment paperwork.

What is a semi-open adoption?

With a semi-open adoption, you will share first names only with the adoptive family and receive photos and updates over time that are mailed to the agency and then forwarded to your mailing address. With semi-open adoption, you have the choice of choosing the adoptive family from profiles and meeting them prior to your delivery with your adoption counselor present.

What is an open adoption?

With an open adoption, you will be sharing more information with one another after the baby is born. You and the adoptive family you have chosen will communicate directly afterwards with one another on mutually agreed upon terms.

Is financial assistance available to help me during my pregnancy?

Assistance is available to you for pregnancy related expenses, including ordinary living expenses, medical costs, counseling and legal advice.

What about the father?

There are always many questions about the father’s rights. Following are some common questions:

Does an unwed father have the right to parent his child?

Only if he does certain things to protect his rights as a parent. An unwed father must show his commitment to parenting before his parental interests are entitled to protection.

Does an unwed father have to give his consent before his child can be placed for adoption?

No. Not automatically. He must do certain things to protect his interests as a parent and establish his right consent to the adoption. If he fails to act, then his consent may not be required.

Can my baby’s father force me to obtain an abortion?

No. It is totally your decision. It is totally your decision whether or not to carry your pregnancy to term.

Can my baby’s father prevent me from obtaining an abortion?

No. Again, it is totally your decision.

How do I find out more?

Contact us for more information. Trained counselors will listen without judging and our staff will help you understand the legal rights of your child’s father.

Birthmother Hotline: (877) 890-4673

Envia Un Texto: (919) 218-6270

Text: Pregnant to (919) 971-4396