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Common Questions of Adoptive Parents

Review commonly asked questions by prospective adoptive parents about the adoption journey with Alliance for Children.

Can the birth parents change their minds about making an adoption plan?

With domestic adoption, each state has their own set of laws that govern at what point a birth parent can change her or his mind about proceeding with an adoption plan.

Once the baby is born, there are two things that need to happen:

  • The "consents" or "surrenders" need to be signed by the birthparents. This is the paperwork that relinquishes the birth parent's parental rights to the child.
  • The state's revocation period needs to pass.

Once those two things have happened, the birth parents can no longer change their minds. For example, in Massachusetts, a birth parent can not sign the paperwork until four days after the baby's birth but there is no revocation period. This differs from state to state.

Once those two pieces are complete, the adoption is still not final — post placement and a final court date still need to happen — but it is not an at risk situation where the birth parents can change their minds.

What is the difference between an "open" and a "closed" adoption?

"Openness" refers to the amount of contact between the birth and adoptive families. In the vast majority of domestic adoptions taking place today, there is at least some contact.

A closed adoption refers to a placement where no identifying information is exchanged, and the adoption agency selects the family that the baby is placed with. This type of placement is fairly uncommon.

A semi-open adoption is the most common type of placement, and we are finding that most families are interested in some form of ongoing contact. First names will be exchanged, and there are typically phone calls and/or in-person meetings between the families — often with a social worker or adoption agency representative present. Photos and updates are exchanged on a prearranged basis, being sent to the agency and then forwarded.

An open adoption is a situation in which phone numbers, email addresses, and so on are exchanged between the adoptive and birth families. Contact is direct, with no adoption agency involvement (unless requested). There may be in-person visits, emails, phone calls, or contact through social media outlets such as Facebook.

There are no "right" answers about how much contact is right for you, and your social worker can help you find a situation that feels comfortable. Your thoughts on openness may change as you work your way through the process — Alliance For Children, however, will never pressure you into a situation that feels uncomfortable.

What happens if I become pregnant during the adoption process?

Should a pregnancy occur during your home study or while you are waiting to have a child placed with you, we ask that you notify us and be prepared to delay the adoption.

Alliance's standard is that each child deserves a minimum of nine months as the newest member of the family before a subsequent child joins the family. If the pregnancy occurs after a child has been assigned, we will make decisions to go forward on a case-by-case basis.

What about finances?

Alliance reviews the financial situation of each family on an individual basis. The actual amount that you earn is less important than your ability to manage adequately on that amount.

What about health concerns?

Applicants must be in good mental and physical health, with no serious medical issues or disabilities. If an applicant has a chronic medical problem that is controlled by medication or is in remission from certain conditions we will need a detailed written medical statement from your physician. Decisions will be made on an individual basis.

Who may adopt?

Alliance does not have any arbitrary restrictions or barriers on qualifications for adoptive familes. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

What about marital status?

We work with both single and married applicants. Couples must have been married for at least one year. Single people adopting domestically may be likely to wait longer than married couples.

Are there any restrictions on age?

Alliance works with applicants who are 18 years and older. There is no maximum age for the domestic program, but age may be a factor that potential birth parents consider when selecting prospective adoptive parents.

Do I have to be a United States citizen?

Yes, at least one parent must be a United States citizen.