Carolyn Arnett, Adoption Attorney
2518 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 551-9352 (502) 585-4368 (Telephone Answered 24 Hours/7 Days a Week)


Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions may have some answers to help you better understand the adoption process:

Why do women place babies for adoption?

Women place babies for adoption for many individual reasons. Fundamental to the decision is the unselfish desire to provide the best life possible for a child who is very much loved.

May I select the adoptive parent(s) for my baby?

Yes.  Ms. Arnett wants the birth parent(s) to choose the adoptive parent(s), if that is what they wish to do.

How do I know my baby is going to a good home?

In Kentucky, all adoptive families are screened and must provide a great deal of information to the agency doing their home study, whether it is a private agency or the state. A family from another state must satisfy both the Kentucky requirements and the requirements of their state as well. The investigation includes a criminal background check, a child abuse background check and an investigation to determine that they are financially secure, emotionally stable and able to become loving and caring parents.

Does a birth parent need an attorney?

Yes. A birth parent must have their own attorney, separate from the attorney for the adoptive parent(s). This is an expense to the adoptive parent(s), not to the birth parent.

If I meet with Ms. Arnett, do I have to go through with the adoption?

 No.  When you meet with Ms. Arnett, it's only for her to explain the adoption process to you in detail.  There is no obligation to you to go through with the adoption process.

Will I have a counselor to talk to?

Yes, counseling is always encouraged.  You will have a counselor assigned to you.  It is paid for by the adoptive parent(s) as part of the adoptive parent(s) costs and is part of an affidavit to the court regarding all such costs.

What is private adoption?

Adoption is the legal placement of a child with people who will raise the child as their own. A private attorney, rather than a welfare department, make all the legal arrangements.

Is private adoption legal?

Yes. Private adoption is perfectly legal.

Are adoptions kept confidential?

Yes, court records regarding your adoption are completely confidential.

What is open adoption?  May I meet the adoptive parent(s)?

Open adoption means some form of contact between the birth  parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s). The form of contact and the amount are up to both the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s) to decide. If the birth parent(s) wishes to meet the adoptive parent(s), there will be a counselor to assist the birth parent(s) with this meeting, which often helps give the birth parent(s) assurance about placing the baby with a loving family.

May I see the baby after it is born?

Yes. While the birth parent is in the hospital, the involvement with the child is the birth parent's decision. The birth parent may want to see, hold, feed the baby, take pictures, and receive information about the baby, or may choose not to see or be involved with the baby at all.

Do I need to identify the birth father?

It is always best to identify the birth father in order to protect the baby and the placement. A more specific answer will depend on the particular circumstances of the individual case and is a matter of careful consideration to be discussed with your attorney.

Do I have to go to court?

Kentucky Law allows for a Termination of Parental Rights hearing in the Circuit/Family Court. It is a closed hearing with only the birth parent(s), the birth parent(s)’s attorney, the attorney for the baby, and the attorney for the adoptive     parent(s) present. The hearing is short and the birth parent(s) will be fully prepared for it by your attorney.

Does the adoption cost me any money?

The prospective adoptive parent(s) pay the costs involved.

What expenses will the adoptive parent(s) pay?

Generally, the adoptive parent(s) pay medical and legal and counseling fees, plus any necessary living expenses or special expenses related to the pregnancy.

Isn't it a sad, painful experience to place my baby with the new parents?

It can be a very sad and painful experience, but the decision to make an adoption placement is a thoughtful one, placing the best interests of the baby above the birth mother’s own personal feelings.

When the baby grows up, can he or she contact me?

Yes. Current Kentucky Law allows the adopted child to search for his or her birth parent(s) at the age of majority (21 years of age for adoption). If the birth parent(s) sign a consent agreeing to the release of identifying data, such will be released, upon request, to an adoptee at age 21, if they contact the state.

Does the baby go directly to my chosen adoptive parent(s)from the hospital?

The baby can go directly to the home of the adoptive parent(s) if they have qualified as foster parents. However, if the baby is going to be placed in another state, it must be placed in a neutral or foster/bonding home where the out-of-state adoptive parent(s) may be present and bond with the child. When the case is approved, they may take the baby and return to their home state.

Can I send gifts, photos, etc. to my child once I place the baby for adoption?

Of course you can!  Just drop by the office with your gifts in a box/package for mailing with proper postage and we will be sure it will be sent to you child.