Birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptees all have rights on their adoption journey. This blog post aims to describe what each member of the adoption triad can expect to receive on their adoption journey. Much of the information is from the Infant Adoption Training Program (IAATP) training book, written by Spaulding for Children. Adoption STAR is proud to be the exclusive New York agency for the IAATP.
Rights of the Birth Family
– The birth family has the right to choose an adoptive family – The birth parent also has the right not to choose the adoptive family if they would prefer a more closed adoption.
– Expecting parents may state their desires regarding the level of contact and information sharing from confidential to fully disclosed.
– Expecting parents have the right to financial support for legal fees, counseling expenses, reasonable living expenses and actual medical expenses related to the pregnancy or birth of the child. Birth parents are not responsible for paying back expenses if they change their mind and decide to parent the child. Contact Adoption STAR Birth Parent Department Supervisor, Sue Shaw , to find out exactly what expenses can be paid for when you make an adoption plan.
– Expecting parents may receive free social and legal counsel – Birth parents are entitled to have their own attorney. Adoptive parents are responsible for paying for the attorney. Adoption STAR provides free counseling and education to all birth parents.
– Expecting parents should be free from pressure and coercion to place a child for adoption
– Expecting parents have the right to develop an adoption plan and birthing plan. An adoption plan can include things like the type of adoption the birth parent chooses, the type of family the birth parent wants to choose and the family the birth parent chooses. The birthing plan lays out what should happen in the hospital. For example, adoptive parents may come to the hospital, they may be in the delivery room, the child can be taken immediately to the nursery or stay in the room with the birth mother, the adoptive parents may take the baby directly home from the hospital or the baby may go into a temporary foster placement. All of these are options for birth parents to decide.
– Birth parents have the right to terminate the adoption until the revocation period has passed.
Rights of the Adoptive Family:
– Adoptive parents have the right to state their desires regarding the level of contact and information sharing. They also have the right to choose an adoption that falls on the continum from confidential to fully disclosed. Adoption STAR believes that open/semi-open adoptions are best for all members of the adoption journey in most situations, however it is up to everyone involved to decide what they are comfortable with.
– Adoptive parents may Back out of an adoption agreement. Adoptive parents can decline a potential adoptive situation. They can also change the relationship with the birth parents after placement without legal recourse in most states.
– Adoptive parents have the right to education, social and legal counsel.
– Adoptive parents have access to the medical and social history of the birth family.
Rights of the Adoptee:
– Adoptees have the rights to a safe and nurturing placement that is in their best interest.
– Adoptees should have access to their medical and social history
– Adoptees may have access to their adoption file at adulthood in some states.
If you are interested in more information in the rights of adoptees, birth parents or adoptive parents, you may contact Adoption STAR by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 1(866)691-3300. You may also visit the adoption law section of the Adoption STAR website for specific adoption laws in your state.