PREGNANT? 2017-10-20T15:40:41+00:00

Are you pregnant and considering making an adoption plan for your child? If so, you can find answers to common questions that many expectant parents in your situation have. You may have other questions, too, however, so please do not hesitate to CONTACT US.

What is Adoption?

Adoption is the legal process in which a child born to one set of parents becomes the permanent child/family member of another couple or individual. The biological parents relinquish or surrender all rights and those rights are assumed by the second couple who become the permanent parents of the child.

Making an adoption plan may be the most loving decision you can make for your unborn child.  It is certainly the greatest sacrifice and most unselfish decision, because in so doing, you are placing your baby’s well being above your own personal feelings.

Parenting or Adoption?

In the event of an unplanned pregnancy, you have several options and should explore them all before making a final decision. You can always change your decision and firm decisions can be made at the time of birth.

If you consider parenting, consider how involved, responsible, and financially committed each of the child’s parents will be. Will it be a blissful and happy home or a constant struggle – walking through the court room door repeatedly?

Another option is adoption. With adoption, you can select the adoptive parents, meet with them, discuss important topics, and make an informed decision as to which person or couple will be the best to parent your child.

If you are planning to do an interstate adoption in which you place your child with parents in a different state, you need to check the laws of that state to be sure you like how it will impact your case. You have the option of following the law of the receiving state, which can sometimes present unique challenges. Ask any questions you have and thoroughly consider this before making a firm decision to do an interstate adoption.

Can Birth Mothers Get Paid for Adoption?

Birth mothers cannot be paid for placing a baby for adoption. Based on which state laws are used for the placement of the baby, however, some of your pregnancy-related expenses may be either paid for you or be reimbursed to you. States are very different in the amount of expense money allowed and other particulars, such as the use of the money or the time during which it can be paid. You need to be aware of your specific needs and talk about this with your attorney.

What About Birth Fathers?

Birth fathers figure into an adoption case more strongly in some states than in others. All states are happy to have a cooperative birth father. Some states come close to requiring the signature of a birth father, though they cannot rule out the “unknown” birth father.

In Kentucky, we currently have three options for dealing with Birth Fathers. A woman may identify the father, or she may indicate that she knows who the father is, but refuse to identify him (which only works under certain circumstances) or she may not identify him, as she does not know his identity. Each situation should be discussed with your attorney as the manner in which it is pursued could be different.

How Do I Find Adoptive Parents?

Finding adoptive parents is something to discuss with your attorney. She or he will have consulted with certain prospective adoptive parents, or will work with other attorneys who have so consulted. Either way, there will be picture profile books about the couple or family to show you who they are, what they do, or what hobbies they enjoy. You may choose the couple you feel will be the best ones for your baby and you can meet the parents if you wish. You have the assurance that your baby will be placed into a safe and loving home in which the parents have been screened and evaluated to be sure they are mature, financially stable, and have no criminal record or any record of child abuse. In Kentucky a baby cannot be placed into a home until a study has been completed. This means that the adoptive parents have provided information about their home and life and a social worker has investigated the home and talked to them about adoption, their life, lifestyle, and parenting.

If you prefer to place your baby into a specific state, Carolyn is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and can easily work with an attorney she knows in the receiving state. By doing it this way, she can easily find out the laws of the state you are considering, to be sure the laws work well for your case.

Can You Connect Me With Other Resources?

Part of what an adoption attorney provides to you is resources. While she/he cannot make the actual applications, s/he can let you know what options are available. These might include Medicaid, food stamps, drug assistance, counseling or personal financial assistance, etc. Kentucky allows personal financial assistance which must be reported to the Court. Adoption does not cost you financially. It does, however, cost you emotionally.

How Do You Assist Expectant Parents?

Carolyn has 30+ years of adoption law experience and is aware of options, programs, and opportunities which could be very helpful to you. She is mobile and will come to see you regardless of your Kentucky location.

One thing Carolyn believes in is having an Advocate who will help you in any way she can. The Advocate may talk to you by phone or see you in person. The Advocate is your “best friend” to help guide you through this experience. She may see you while you are in the hospital and for some time after the placement of the baby, if you wish. Adoption is an emotional process. The Advocate can help you process those emotions. Some young women believe they will be fine, as they are in denial, and believe such a strategy has worked well in the past. Emotional surprises happen and the Advocate is your “best friend” to walk through this new venture to help with surprises.

How Do I Get Started?

Email or call Carolyn for a time to talk and get additional information. She can be reached by calling the office at (502) 585-4368, or calling her cell at (502) 551-9352. You are also welcome to email her at ckarnett1@gmail.com if you prefer to “talk” by email.

“Open adoption” is a phrase which is popular, but it can mean different things. Please consider what is important to you. Most young women would like the assurance of seeing pictures of the child for awhile, maybe for longer. Talk to the attorney about your preferences.

What’s the Hospital Experience Like?

The Advocate is your best friend during the time of your hospitalization. While you may certainly see the baby in the hospital, the Advocate will be happy to be with you when you do. If the hospital setting is your first introduction to the receiving parents, the Advocate can be there with you during that time, as well, if you wish.

What is the Legal Process?

There is much paperwork that can be completed before the birth. There are also legal documents, consenting to the adoption of your child by another couple which must be prepared and signed, but typically, the final documents are signed 72 hours after birth. There are a few states that sign sooner and some that wait longer before signing. If we follow the law of the receiving state, we sign in accordance with their law.

The legal process of some states requires a court appearance, but in most states, signing out-of-court consents is sufficient.

What About Future Contact?

Most states provide a form for you to sign, indicating whether you would like to be contacted if the child wishes to find you. Future contact does not allow you to search for or contact the child. It only allows the child to search for and find you. You may keep your information up to date with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.