Pregnant woman looking out window in contemplation

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, attorney Heather Strickland can help.

Whether you’re trying to decide if adoption is right for you and your baby, or you’re ready to start the adoption process, Heather Strickland can explain what you need to know about adoption and help you make the decision that’s best for your situation. Every woman is different, and we know that means that adoption isn’t right for everyone. To help you make this monumental decision, we’ll give you the objective information you need to make your decision.

If you choose adoption for your unplanned pregnancy, MyersStrickland can help you with the following steps of your adoption plan:

  • Placing a Baby for Adoption – With a free, no-obligation consultation, we’ll help you understand your rights, your options and whether adoption is truly right for you. Only when you are ready will we proceed toward an adoption plan and provide all of the legal services required to complete your baby’s adoption.
  • Find an Adoptive Family – Whatever kind of family you want for your child, we can help you determine your adoptive family preferences and find the right fit for you and your baby.
  • Open Adoption – If you want to stay in contact with your child’s adoptive parents after the adoption is complete, we can help you draft a post-adoption contact agreement with communication responsibilities for each party to the adoption.
  • Adoption With or Without the Birth Father – Many prospective birth mothers have questions about whether or not their adoption requires the consent of their baby’s father. By learning more about your situation, we can procedure with the proper legal steps regarding your baby’s father.
  • What You Should Know About Last-Minute Adoption – It’s never too late to choose adoption, no matter whether you’re at the end of your pregnancy, have just given birth or your baby is weeks old. We can help you get all the resources you need, no matter when you choose adoption.
  • Do Birth Mothers Get Paid for Adoption? – In Arizona, prospective birth mothers can receive certain living expenses from adoptive parents to cover the cover of their pregnancy and adoption. Attorney Heather Strickland can make sure any expenses covered are done so effectively and legally.
  • Your Unplanned Pregnancy Options – Unplanned pregnancies can be overwhelming, but you typically have three options to choose from. MyersStrickland’s objective information and consultation can help you decide which one is best for you.
  • Choosing the Right Adoption Professional – You’ll need to work with a professional to place a baby for adoption in Arizona. We provide the information to help you choose the one that’s best for you.

Contact us today to learn more about your options or begin your adoption process.

PLACING A BABY FOR ADOPTION

If you are pregnant and considering adoption for your baby, you are likely feeling a wide, and perhaps overwhelming, range of emotions.

We here at MyersStrickland can emphasize with you. With our sole focus being adoption law, we’ve helped hundreds of women complete adoption plans throughout the history of our practice.

Conversely, we’ve also helped just as many women decide that adoption is not right for them.

You see, our job is to empower you with information so you can make the absolute best decision for you and your child. Once you know more about adoption and have support, you will probably feel more confident about your decision, whether you decide adoption is the best decision for you.

WHAT TYPES OF WOMEN CHOOSE TO PLACE THEIR CHILD FOR ADOPTION?

Many who are new to the world of adoption have preconceived ideas about who a birth mother is and why she chooses adoption. But in reality, these women come from all walks of life and have all different, selfless reasons for choosing adoption, including:

  • Women who are struggling financially and cannot support a child or an additional child
  • Women who want their child raised in a two-parent home
  • Women who have other goals that they want to accomplish before entering motherhood
  • Women who simply aren’t ready for the responsibility of parenthood

It takes courage, strength, and deep, unconditional love to make an adoption plan. Whatever your reasons for choosing adoption for your baby, we can help you provide the life you want for your child.

WHAT SERVICES DOES MYERSSTRICKLAND OFFER TO WOMEN CONSIDERING ADOPTION?

If you are considering adoption for your baby, you know that adoption is an emotional experience as well as a legal process. At MyersStrickland, we work with you to ensure that your adoption is completed legally while also helping you find the resources you need to feel confident in your decisions. Our services include:

  • Legal guidance and support throughout the adoption process
  • Assistance in finding counseling services
  • Assistance in receiving prenatal care
  • Assistance in signing up for the appropriate health insurance
  • Assistance in receiving living expenses allowed by Arizona law
  • Referral for finding adoptive parents
  • Detailed explanation of your rights and what each legal document means
  • Detailed explanation of the birth father’s rights and legal processes associated with him
  • Assistance in legally consenting to the adoption
  • Travel to your location anywhere in Arizona when necessary
HOW DOES PLACING A BABY FOR ADOPTION WITH MYERSSTRICKLAND WORK?

The adoption professional you choose to work with will be your guide through the adoption process. If you choose to complete your adoption through MyersStrickland, we will work with you in the following ways to ensure your rights and interests are represented and you have the best adoption experience possible:

CONSULTATION, EDUCATION AND SUPPORT

If you are considering adoption, you may contact MyersStrickland at any point during your pregnancy, or even after your baby is born. Please remember that contacting us does not commit you to an adoption plan and is 100 percent confidential.

When you contact us, we will first answer all of your questions, walk you through the adoption process, and explain exactly what it means to place a child for adoption. We will provide you with all of the information and support you need to determine whether you are ready to commit to an adoption plan.

REFERRAL FOR MATCHING SERVICES

If you haven’t already found an adoptive family, we will help you take the next steps in finding one, but only when you feel you are ready. We partner with other trusted adoption professionals to help women locate families, from here in Arizona to anywhere else in the country.

If you are still looking for an adoptive family, an adoption agency’s social worker will work with you to determine the type of life you envision for your child and the type of family you are seeking based on your adoption plan. She or he will ask you your preferences on:

  • The type of parent or parents to raise your child, based on race, location, family size, religion and more.
  • The type of contact you want to share with the adoptive family before the adoption.
  • The type of contact you want to share with the adoptive family and your child after the adoption.

Your social worker will provide you with adoptive parent profiles who match all of your preferences. Once you find the perfect family, you will then have the option of communicating, or even visiting with them, before the child’s birth to ensure they are right for you and your child.

If it is a viable match, you may then continue communicating with them up until the hospital stay.

DELIVERY, PLACEMENT AND POST-PLACEMENT CONTACT

When you go into labor, the family will travel to your location in Arizona to be with you and the baby. You will have full control over who is in the delivery room with you, how much time you want to spend with your baby, and more. Then, 72 hours after the birth of your baby, you are able to legally consent to the adoption. Our team will work with you to ensure you fully understand consent and relinquishment. It is important to us that you feel comfortable and prepared for this important step of the process.

Finally, based on the amount of contact you agreed upon after the adoption, whether it was pictures and letters, emails, phone calls or even visits, you may stay connected with the adoptive family and your child for as long as you wish.

HOW MUCH DOES ADOPTION COST?

In today’s adoptions, a woman who places her baby for adoption incurs no expenses. These fees are covered entirely by the adoptive family and medical insurance.

You may also be eligible to receive living expenses to help you pay for certain items such as rent/mortgage, groceries, and more. We will help you receive the living expenses you need in your situation.

WHAT ABOUT THE FATHER OF THE BABY?

If the birth father is either unknown or unsupportive of the adoption, you absolutely can still proceed with an adoption plan.

Arizona is a notice state, which means we have to provide notice to a birth father that an adoption plan has been made, but it is possible to notify of him of the adoption before the baby is born.

We believe very strongly that we need to have the full story about the birth father so we can appropriately manage the situation legally. We want your adoption plan to move forward, and the best way to make that happen is to make sure we handle the situation with the birth father appropriately, legally and ethically.

WHAT ARE THE LAWS TO PLACE A BABY FOR ADOPTION IN ARIZONA?

If you are considering placing your baby for adoption in Arizona, our team will work with you to ensure every aspect of your adoption is completed in accordance with state laws. For prospective birth parents considering adoption, the most important legal process to understand is consent, which is the legal agreement to an adoption placement and the relinquishment of parental rights.

WHOSE CONSENT IS NEEDED IN INFANT ADOPTION?

In Arizona, the following people must provide written consent to an adoption placement:

  • The baby’s birth mother
  • The baby’s father if he has established paternity
  • Any guardian or agency having custody of the baby
  • The parent’s guardian, if one has been appointed

A parent’s consent is not needed if the parent has been appointed a guardian, if parental rights have already been terminated, or if a potential father has failed to establish his paternity within 30 days of receiving notice.

HOW DOES A BIRTH FATHER ESTABLISH PATERNITY?

In Arizona, a man is considered the legal father of a baby if he was married to the child’s mother any time within 10 months before the baby’s birth. Paternity can also be established when:

  • A genetic test proves at least a 95 percent probability that he is the father
  • The mother and father both sign the birth certificate
  • Both parents sign a notarized or witnessed statement acknowledging the man’s paternity

Any man who wants to establish paternity and receive notice of adoption proceedings can fill out paternity forms and file them with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.

WHEN CAN I CONSENT TO THE ADOPTION?

Birth mothers must wait 72 hours after their baby’s birth before consenting to an adoption.

HOW DO I GIVE CONSENT?

Consent must be given in writing and signed before at least two credible adult witnesses or acknowledged before a notary public.

CAN I CHANGE MY MIND AFTER EXECUTING CONSENT?

After signing consent, it generally cannot be revoked. It is important to consider your adoption decision carefully and speak with a counselor throughout the process to ensure you are comfortable with your adoption decision before signing. Our team will work with you to ensure you fully understand consent and relinquishment and are ready to sign when the time comes.

Click the following to learn more about the adoption laws in Arizona for pregnant mothers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Unplanned pregnancy and adoption can be overwhelming. If you live in Arizona and are looking for additional pregnancy and adoption information or simply want to know more about your options, there are many resources available to you:

Working with an attorney is like any other relationship – It needs to work for you. And especially since this is likely a very difficult time in your life, you must find a person with whom you are comfortable and may contact any time.

Our primary goal is to provide you with as much information as possible to make an educated decision based on your current goals, your future goals, and what is best for your child. We have no intentions on making you do something you aren’t ready to do; we only want what is best for you now and in the future.

Contact us today to learn more about placing a baby for adoption in Arizona.

HOW TO FIND ADOPTIVE PARENTS

When you’re considering adoption as a pregnant woman, one of the biggest questions you probably have is who will adopt your child. In today’s adoptions, you have the ability to not only choose the adoptive parents your child will grow up with but also to meet them before your baby is born and maintain communication with them after your adoption is complete.

Choosing adoptive parents for your baby can feel overwhelming at first. How do you find people who are looking to adopt? And how do you even begin to choose the right family to provide the life you want for your baby?

Unlike other law firms, we do not match you with families that we are representing. We are dedicated to finding the perfect match for you based on your needs and preferences and giving you our undivided attention throughout the match process. When we represent only you, we are focused solely on your needs, rather than those of a prospective adoptive family. We have many contacts to locate families wanting to adopt in Arizona and throughout the U.S., so we will help you find the perfect adoptive family for your child, no matter where they are. When you work with MyersStrickland, you are involved and in charge of every step in your adoption journey.

If you call us at 520-327-6041, we can discuss which adoptive families in Arizona and other states may fit your preferences for adoptive parents. Our in-depth conversations with you will help us evaluate your circumstances and situation to determine which adoptive family will best meet your goals.

We understand how important your decision of adoptive parents is to you, and our resources will always be available to you. You can contact us at any time to learn more about finding adoptive parents in Arizona or another state, whether you’re still considering adoption and have questions or are ready to start the adoption process.

What Kind of Family You’re Looking For

At MyersStrickland, we believe there are right adoptive parents for every prospective birth mother. An important part of finding them is figuring out exactly what you want in an adoptive family.

One of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether you’d like an open adoption (where you can be in contact with the adoptive family before, during and after the adoption) or a closed adoption (where you have no contact with the adoptive family before, during and after the adoption). For most pregnant women considering adoption, open adoption is the preferred way to make sure the family they choose is just right for their child.

Open adoption also gives you the opportunity to choose what kind of (and how much) contact you’re comfortable with. For example, if you decide you want to visit your baby twice a year, we can help you find a family that wants the same exact thing. In addition to your contact preferences, you will also have the ability to choose what potential adoptive families for your baby may look like. When you’re looking for adoptive parents for your baby, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Where do I want them to live? At MyersStrickland, we don’t limit you to adoptive parents in Arizona. We have contacts throughout the United States, so whether you’re looking for adoptive parents in Arizona or somewhere farther away, we can find a family for you. And you don’t only get to choose their state of residence; you also can decide whether you want your child raised on a country farm, downtown in a big city or a suburban family neighborhood.
  • What do I want them to look like? You will have the ability to choose the race of your baby’s adoptive parents, but you’ll also be able to decide what the format of your child’s family will look like. Do you want them to have a two-parent household? Do you want them to have children already? What about pets? Are you comfortable with extended family living in the same household?
  • What kind of lifestyle do I want for my baby? When choosing adoptive parents, you can consider whether you want your child to be raised by older or younger parents, and what you want their everyday routine to look like. Do you want them to be raised in an artistic household? Do you want them to travel and take lots of road trips?
  • What values are important to me? While this could apply to the religion practiced by your baby’s family, it can also apply to their political leanings, commitment to education or other values. It may be important to you to find a family who values the same things you do.

It may be intimidating at first to choose every aspect of your baby’s prospective adoptive parents, but attorney Heather Strickland will be here to help every step of the way. Each pregnant woman’s process for finding adoptive parents is different, so we’ll help you determine what’s right for you.

How MyersStrickland Will Help You Find Adoptive Parents

When you meet with us at MyersStrickland, we’ll have a long conversation about your adoption options, your adoption plan and your adoptive family preferences before we even begin looking for adoptive parents. We’ll explain how we’ll guide you through the whole process and, once we understand what you’re looking for, we’ll find prospective adoptive families for your consideration.

To do so, we’ll reach out to our colleagues in the regional areas you’re interested in. If they have families who match your preferences, they will send us adoption profiles for you to view. These adoptive parent profiles are typically books or pamphlets with pictures of the family and descriptions of their lives to help you get a better sense of what kind of parents they would be.

If one or more of these families seems like they might be a good fit, we’ll guide you through a conference call or in-person meeting with them. You don’t have to choose a family until you’re 100 percent confident, which is why we recommend taking this extra opportunity to ask whatever questions you might have. This conversation doesn’t obligate you at all to choose a particular family, and we will be available to mediate the conversation if you’re unsure of what to say.

Deciding Whether an Adoptive Family is Right for You

While we will help you find a family in Arizona or another state, the decision on whether they’re right for you and your unborn baby is ultimately up to you. Getting to know the adoptive family can be awkward and uncomfortable at first, so we’ll provide you advice on what questions to ask and how to discuss certain topics.

After you’ve interacted with waiting families (whether through email, phone or in-person), you’ll need to ask yourself whether they seem like the right fit. Usually, you’ll have some sort of gut feeling when you’ve found the right match, but here are some good questions to consider if you’re unsure:

  • Do they meet my expectations?
  • Are they the kind of people I originally thought they were?
  • Were they excited to get to know me and excited about the prospect of adoption?
  • Did they answer all of my questions in a way that made me happy?
  • Are they respectful of my wishes and preferences for my adoption plan?
  • Did I get a good feeling from speaking with them?

MyersStrickland will not rush you into a decision you’re not ready for. We can help arrange any more conversations you’d like to have with the prospective adoptive parents and help you search for other adoptive families until you find one that’s absolutely perfect for you and your child. Every prospective birth mother has the right waiting family out there for her — and we will do all we can to help you find them.

Remember, you are never obligated to choose adoption, even after you’ve found prospective adoptive parents for your baby. Whether or not to choose adoption is up to you, and you will have the right to change your mind any time before you sign your adoption consent paperwork.

If you’re looking for a couple to adopt your baby and are ready to start finding adoptive parents, or if you have more questions about how adoption works, please contact us today at 520-327-6041 or online here.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM OPEN ADOPTION

If you’re considering adoption as a pregnant woman, one of the things you’re likely considering is what kind of role you’ll play in your child’s life should you place them for adoption. What will their adoptive parents tell them about you? Will you be able to visit your child? Do you want to have a relationship with your child after the adoption is completed?  Do you want pictures and updates as your child grows?

Adoption doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to your child forever; there is a way you can stay in contact with your child throughout his or her life. This is known as open adoption.

With open adoption today, you have the chance to not only choose an adoptive family for your baby and get to know them, but you can also stay in contact with your child’s adoptive parents as the years go by. Open adoptions make up 95 percent of all adoptions completed today, and many experts and adoption professionals agree that they are for the best interest of all involved.

At MyersStrickland, we can help you understand what your open adoption might look like, if this is something you’re considering. You can call us today at 520-327-6041 to discuss your individual situation with our professionals, for free and with no obligation to choose adoption until you’re sure it’s right for you.

When you’re deciding if adoption is right for you, it’s important to understand the difference between open adoption and closed adoption. Here’s what you should know:

What is Open Adoption?

Generally speaking, open adoption is any adoption where the prospective birth parents and adoptive parents have contact. However, there are many different variations of open adoption; how much and what kind of contact people have is tailored to each unique adoption.

Typically, an open adoption is arranged so a prospective birth mother can meet and get to know an adoptive family before making her decision. After the adoption is complete, a birth mother can remain in communication with the adoptive family and know her child is healthy and happy as they grow up. The shared contact can include anything from letters and pictures sent every couple of months, to phone calls and social media contact, to in-person visits every year. What your open adoption will look like will depend on what you’re most comfortable with.

You might have also heard the term “semi-open adoption,” or mediated adoption. This is just a kind of open adoption with less contact than a “fully open” adoption, where a birth mother and adoptive family stay in direct contact. A semi-open adoption in Arizona is usually mediated by an adoption professional.

Is there a Legal Process for Open Adoption?

At MyersStrickland, we believe that no matter your open adoption preferences, we can help you find an adoptive family who shares your communication goals. When we help match you with a prospective adoptive family, your agreement on open adoption communication is one of the most important parts of the match process.

Depending on the state laws of the adoptive family you match with, you may be able to create a legally binding post-adoption contact agreement (PACA). Arizona is one of the states that allows for a legally binding PACA, so if you choose an adoptive family in Arizona, your PACA will be legally binding. This document is a way for you and the prospective adoptive family (with the help of legal counsel) to decide what your open adoption will look like and make sure each party is in agreement before the adoption goes forward.

No matter whether state laws allow your PACA to be legally binding or not, we recommend drafting this document anyway — as it can clear up any confusion about future contact, set out everyone’s expectations and provide a written reminder of contact expectations as the years go by.

Attorney Heather Strickland will handle all the legal steps to create a PACA that you are comfortable with. Based on your contact preferences (which a prospective adoptive family will have already agreed to in the match), we’ll draft a contact agreement and send it to the family’s legal representation. If the document can be legally binding, after it’s signed, we’ll present it in front of a court to finalize its legality. Then, if a party breaks the contact agreement in the future, you can seek help in the courts and ask for the agreement to be legally enforced.

Even if you sign a PACA before you give birth to your child, you are not obligated to choose adoption for your baby until you’re confident in your decision. An open adoption may help you decide that adoption is right for you, but you will retain the right to change your mind until you sign your adoption consent after the baby’s birth.

Open Adoption vs. Closed Adoption

While it’s the more popular choice, open adoption is not the only way to place your child for adoption. Closed adoption is still an option for prospective birth parents, but before you take this path, it’s important you understand the realities of this decision.

In a closed adoption, you will likely have no contact at all with the prospective adoptive family — you won’t meet them before or after the baby is born, and you will not have contact with your child in the future. You may still have the chance to choose an adoptive family and determine the kind of life your child will have, but an adoption professional will manage any communication during the adoption process.

While many women prefer the ongoing contact and flexibility of an open adoption, some prospective birth mothers feel that a closed adoption provides the closure they desire following the adoption process.

When you first meet with attorney Heather Strickland, she can help you determine what kind of adoption might be best for your situation. However, the only one who can decide what’s right for your child is you, so here are some things to consider:

  • Updated medical records or sibling information: In a closed adoption, your identity will likely be in sealed documents. This prevents a birth mother from being identified if she doesn’t want to be, but it also makes it difficult for an adopted child to know if there is any change in their medical history or if additional siblings are born. An open adoption gives the adoptive family a chance to receive their child’s biological family members’ updated medical information and to know about a new sibling or half sibling throughout the child’s life.
  • Unanswered questions: For the birth mother, adoptive family and adopted child, a closed adoption will likely make it difficult to answer any questions that arise later in life. Whether those are questions the birth mother has about her child’s life and health or an adopted child’s interest in where they came from, closed adoption records can make it difficult to form a complete understanding of a child’s adoption story.
  • Potential for future change: When you choose an open adoption, you will likely be able to change your communication preferences as you discover what you do or don’t want in your open adoption. A closed adoption, on the other hand, makes it much more difficult to increase your communication later if you decide that’s what you want. Increasing communication after time has passed is much more complicated than decreasing it, so it’s important that you’re confident in your decision if you choose a closed adoption.

These are just a few of the issues you’ll need to consider when deciding between an open and closed adoption. When you first meet with us, we can help provide the information you need to determine what might be the right choice for you, even if it doesn’t end up being adoption. We will not sway you one way or the other — we just want you to choose what’s best for you.

How to Prepare for Open Adoption

When you choose open adoption, there are some steps you can take to ensure it’s successful. Perhaps the most important step is building a solid relationship with the adoptive parents. In many cases, open adoption creates lifelong friendships for birth parents and adoptive parents, so it’s important that you start your relationship off strong. Take time to get to know the adoptive parents; use your first meetings or phone calls as a chance to find out more about each other, as you would on a first date.

If you’ve decided that open adoption is the best choice for you and your unborn baby, attorney Heather Strickland will help create a contact agreement with your chosen prospective adoptive parents. This contact agreement will set out everyone’s expectations and provide a written reminder of contact expectations as the years go by. You’ll also want to prepare for the day that your child starts asking questions about you, where they came from and, eventually, why you chose adoption. In a conversation with the adoptive parents, decide who will answer those questions — and what kind of information you both are comfortable giving the child.

ADOPTION WITH OR WITHOUT THE BIRTH FATHER

When women find themselves facing an unplanned pregnancy, they may turn to family and friends for guidance. In many cases, this includes the birth father of the unborn baby. However, not all birth fathers may be supportive of a woman’s choice to place their child for adoption. This may lead pregnant women to wonder, “Can I give my baby up for adoption without the father’s consent in Arizona?”

Each adoption situation is unique, and adoption situations involving unsupportive or uninvolved birth fathers can be complicated. They must be handled legally and ethically.  If you’re a pregnant woman asking, “Does the father have to give consent for adoption?” the first thing you should do is contact attorney Heather Strickland.

MyersStrickland has completed many adoption situations where birth fathers are unsupportive, uninterested, unknown or even enthusiastically involved in the adoption process. The laws regarding adoption without parental consent in Arizona and other states are complicated, so any prospective birth mother should work with an attorney if she has questions about the birth father’s involvement in her adoption plan.

When you contact our law offices, we will talk in depth about your particular situation, your relationship with the baby’s birth father and your options for proceeding with your adoption plan. This advice is always free to you, so please give us a call at 520-327-6041. We will work closely with you to find the best solution to your unplanned pregnancy.

What to Know About Birth Father Rights in Adoption in AZ

Attorney Heather Strickland is committed to making sure any adoption plan you make is right for you and that you’re comfortable with every step.  One important part of creating that adoption plan is understanding the role your baby’s father will play in your adoption process.

A birth father’s rights in adoption will be determined by many factors, including his relationship to you and his presence in your (and your baby’s) life. Many prospective birth mothers have complex relationships with their baby’s birth father, and that’s okay. However, that’s why every prospective birth mother will need to work closely with an attorney to ensure her adoption plan is legally sound and handled ethically

In our years of experience assisting pregnant women with their unplanned pregnancies, we’ve come across many different situations with birth fathers, whether they were involved in the adoption process or not. While we usually encourage a birth father to be involved in the adoption process, we also understand there may be situations where a woman is curious about the possibility of adoption without consent from him. Whether that’s because a birth father is abusive, is in jail, is pressuring her into a choice she doesn’t want to make, is unknown or missing, or is involved in any other complicated situation, we can help by explaining what adoption options are available to you.

Likewise, we can also assist you in an adoption plan where the baby’s birth father wants to be involved. For many prospective birth mothers, having a supportive birth father by her side during the process can make it much easier, especially when determining together what kind of life they want for their baby.

A supportive prospective birth father can help you decide what you want your adoption and hospital plan to look like, help you choose an adoptive family for your baby and even be a part of your open adoption with your baby’s adoptive family. He can also be a great source of emotional support during your adoption process. Depending on your relationship, you might invite him to be as involved as he wants to be (and as much as you’re comfortable with) throughout your adoption process. When a birth father chooses to be involved, his birth father rights in adoption dictate that he sign his adoption consent at the same time that you sign yours. Attorney Heather Strickland will help you complete these consent forms.

As an independent law firm, MyersStrickland will work with you to protect your interests as a pregnant woman considering adoption. We will make sure you receive all the unbiased information you need to make the right choice for you, including all you should know about birth father rights in adoption and how they will apply to your situation.

Please contact our law offices today at 520-327-6041 or online here to discuss your circumstances with us for free and with absolutely no obligation to choose adoption.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LAST-MINUTE ADOPTION

Choosing to place your child for adoption may not be a decision you can make quickly. Sometimes, it may take months for you to come to this decision — but, if you’re already far along in your pregnancy or have already given birth, you may wonder whether a last-minute adoption in Arizona is even possible.

If you’re asking, “Is it too late to give a baby up for adoption?” know that adoption may still be an option for you — and that choosing adoption late in your pregnancy or even after your baby’s birth is anything but “giving up.”

Attorney Heather Strickland can help, whether you choose adoption early on in your pregnancy, in the middle of your pregnancy or after you’ve given birth to your baby. We know that adoption is not an easy decision to make, which is why we can discuss your unplanned pregnancy options with you at any point in your pregnancy, and you’re never obligated to choose adoption until you know it’s the right decision for you.

If you’re interested in a last-minute adoption, MyersStrickland will provide you the same services as any other prospective birth mother, even if you’re considering putting your baby up for adoption after birth. You can contact us whenever you have questions about your unplanned pregnancy options and adoption, even if you’re at the end of your pregnancy or have already given birth. Please call us any time at 520-327-6041.

While we recognize that each adoption situation is different, here’s what your process may look like when you choose a late adoption.

If You’re Late in Your Pregnancy

Many of the prospective birth mothers who contact us do so late in their pregnancy for many reasons. Perhaps they had originally planned on parenting and their circumstances changed, or perhaps they just couldn’t decide what was right until they fully evaluated each of their unplanned pregnancy options. With only a little time left in their pregnancy, they may wonder, “Is it too late to give my baby up for adoption?”

Even if you’re only a week away from your due date, you can still learn more about adoption and, when you’re ready, create an adoption plan that works for you. Know that choosing adoption late in your pregnancy does not mean that you are “giving up” on yourself or your baby; instead, it means that you are making a selfless, loving and well thought-out decision.

Like we would with any prospective birth mother who approaches us early in her pregnancy, we will sit down with you and discuss in detail your personal situation and which unplanned pregnancy option might be best for you. If this ends up being adoption, we can help you determine your adoption preferences, including what you want in an adoptive family, whether you want an open or closed adoption and more. If you want, you will likely have the chance to meet or talk with the adoptive family before you make your final decision about adoption.

Your adoption process may be completed more quickly depending on your timeline, but that won’t stop us from providing you the same level of services that any other prospective birth mother would get. There is no deadline for deciding if adoption is the right choice for you and your child, so if you have questions about whether adoption is right for you, please contact us today. Remember, choosing adoption is not “giving” your baby up; it’s choosing to give them an opportunity at life that you might not be able to provide.

If You’ve Just Given Birth

It’s not uncommon for a woman to give birth to her child, decide that she’s not ready to be a parent, and wonder how to place her baby for adoption in the hospital. If you’re in this situation, we can help.

When you contact us, we will come visit you in the hospital to talk about whether adoption is right for you — and, if it is, we’ll start making your last-minute adoption plan. This will give you the chance to find an adoptive family that fits your preferences, create a post-placement contact agreement and receive many of the same services that other prospective birth mothers do.

Because our law firm does not match prospective birth mothers to our own adoptive families, we may recommend we work with an adoption agency to complete your adoption as quickly as possible. Many national and local adoption agencies have prospective adoptive families who are ready to visit you on a moment’s notice. Including an adoption agency in your adoption plan will usually give you a wider range of families to choose from, and their trained adoption professionals are on call to assist at a moment’s notice.  Rest assured that MyersStrickland remains involved as your independent legal counsel, guiding you through this process, even if involving an adoption agency is the best choice for accomplishing your adoption plan.

If we think an adoption agency is the right choice for you, we will refer to you agencies that we trust and recommend. But, before you contact an adoption agency about putting a baby up for adoption after birth, MyersStrickland can provide personal attention at the hospital to help you better understand what your adoption options look like if you decide that’s what’s best for you.  And we will remain involved as your independent legal counsel throughout the process.  If you decide that parenting is what’s best, we can also provide you resources to help you be the best parent possible.

If You’ve Returned Home from the Hospital

Sometimes a woman with a newborn baby decides that parenting is not the right choice for her. If you’ve attempted to raise your child and know it’s not the best option, you have nothing to be ashamed of. It takes a brave mother to decide adoption is best for her child, even if it wasn’t her original plan.

Putting a baby up for adoption after birth — even after weeks or months — can still be an option for you. Arizona does not have a maximum age for adoption after birth, and there are prospective adoptive families who are ready to adopt your child even if it’s been weeks or months since he or she was born. Attorney Heather Strickland will help you find the right family for you and your child. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you’re considering adoption after you’ve given birth, as we can tell you what you need to know about the adoption process to make the best choice for you — whether that ends up being adoption or continuing to parent your child.

If You’re Still Unsure if Adoption is Right for You

Deciding on adoption can take time — but we’re here to provide answers to all the questions you have, from “When can I start putting my baby up for adoption?” to “Can I give my baby up for adoption at the hospital?” to “How will the last-minute adoption process work?”

Because each adoption situation is unique, you can contact us to find out what your options are no matter where you are in your pregnancy. Talking with us doesn’t obligate you in any way to choose adoption; we are here to offer you the facts and unbiased advice to make sure you choose the unplanned pregnancy option that is the best for you.

To begin your last-minute adoption in Arizona or talk with us about your options today, please call us at 520-327-6041 or contact us online.

DO BIRTH MOTHERS GET PAID FOR ADOPTION?

Oftentimes, when a pregnant woman chooses adoption for her unborn baby, the cost of raising a child on her own is one of the factors that plays a role in her decision. However, being pregnant can be expensive, too — from doctors’ appointments to missed work to the final hospital stay. Therefore, worried about the upcoming pregnancy expenses, an expectant mother may wonder: “Do you get money for putting a baby up for adoption?”

While prospective birth mothers do not “get paid” for adoption in Arizona or any other state, they can receive financial assistance for adoption-related expenses under Arizona and other states’ laws. Many expectant mothers considering adoption get help paying for certain reasonable and necessary living expenses during their pregnancy. In addition, medical, counseling and legal services are covered for prospective birth mothers, so putting a baby up for adoption is free.

At MyersStrickland, we will meet with you to discuss your current financial situation and explain what expenses will and will not be covered by prospective adoptive parents if you choose to pursue adoption.

Like all of the services we provide you, this meeting will be of no cost to you and will not obligate you to choose adoption unless you’re sure it’s the right decision. You can call us today at 520-327-6041 to learn more about our adoption process and schedule a meeting with attorney Heather Strickland.

Why Adoption is Free for You

Many pregnant women who are considering their unplanned pregnancy options ask, “Can I get money for giving my baby up for adoption?”

The answer is no. Adoption compensation for birth mothers in Arizona and other states is illegal, and you should never work with an adoption professional who suggests that you are being paid in exchange for your adoption decision. However, depending on your individual situation, you may receive financial assistance for adoption- and pregnancy-related expenses. We know adoption can be a difficult choice to make, so you shouldn’t have to worry about how you’ll afford your pregnancy if you choose to place your child for adoption.

What exactly does financial assistance for adoption cover for prospective birth mothers? It can include:

  • Reasonable and necessary living expenses, such as:
    • Rent
    • Utilities
    • Transportation (for example, a bus pass)
    • Cell phone bill
    • Groceries
    • Maternity clothes
    • And more
  • Medical expenses
  • Counseling expenses
  • Legal representation fees

The amount of financial assistance you’ll receive will depend upon your individual situation and needs. For example, a teenager who is living at home with the support of her parents will likely not need as much financial assistance as a single mother who is currently raising other children in her own home. How far along you are in your pregnancy will also play a role in how much money you’ll receive for your living expenses. An adoption professional may also be able to refer prospective birth mothers to additional community resources, such as government programs or housing for mothers putting a child up for adoption, if they need additional help.

When you work with attorney Heather Strickland, she will discuss your financial situation in depth with you to determine what kind of financial assistance for adoption you might need. This will include an evaluation of your current standard of living, the standard of living necessary to preserve the health of you and your unborn child and whether you have any alternative financial resources available to you.

If you’re wondering, “Does it cost money to give a baby up for adoption?” know that adoption with our law firm will always be completely free to you. If you’re interested in adoption, attorney Heather Strickland will explain the process to you in detail, including whether you’re eligible to receive certain living and pregnancy-related expenses. To learn more about how adoption is free for you, please contact us at 520-327-6041.

YOUR UNPLANNED PREGNANCY OPTIONS

When you find yourself facing an unplanned pregnancy, it’s probably a situation you’ve never imagined for yourself. Choosing which path to take from here is a life-changing decision — and you’re the only one who can decide what’s right for you

MyersStrickland is committed to educating pregnant women about their unplanned pregnancy choices in a nonjudgmental and unbiased way. Because our law firm is not connected in any way to a religious organization or belief system, we will not judge whatever choice you make. What’s important to us is that you are comfortable with your decision.  We know that every situation is different, and we only want you to choose the best option for you, no matter what it is. That’s why, when you contact us, we’ll give you only the facts to help you decide what’s best for you. Whether that ends up being abortion, parenting, or adoption, we empower you to make the decision yourself.

You can talk with us in detail about your pregnancy options with absolutely no obligation by calling us today at 520-327-6041. To help you better understand your unexpected or unwanted pregnancy options, we’ve broken them down for you here.

Abortion

When you’re considering your early pregnancy options, abortion may be one of them. Currently, you can obtain an abortion in Arizona up until the 24th week of your pregnancy. After receiving state-directed counseling and an ultrasound, you will have to wait 24 hours before the procedure can be completed.

It’s important that you reach out to medical professionals such as your doctor or Planned Parenthood to get the facts about abortion. There are many pro-choice and pro-life organizations on the internet that you may encounter while doing research, but these sites may not provide accurate information in an objective way

MyersStrickland is here to provide you unbiased, accurate information about the legalities of getting an abortion in Arizona, if you need it. Because our law firm is not connected in any way to an abortion provider, religious organization or belief system, we will not judge whatever choice you make. What’s important to us is that you are comfortable with your decision and understand all of the facts involved.

Parenting

Choosing to raise a child is a lifetime commitment — so if you think you might want to be a parent, it needs to be a decision you’re 100 percent confident with.   Parenthood is a challenging but rewarding path to take, especially if you’re becoming a parent for the first time.  For many pregnant women, whether the father is involved plays a huge factor in deciding to parent their child.  When making this decision, it is important to know what involvement the father might have in the child’s life, what financial support is available to you, and what parenting resources are available in our community.

If you’re not sure whether parenting is the right choice for you, we encourage you to reach out to us at MyersStrickland to learn more about  the father’s rights and potential involvement in the child’s life. Because being a parent is a decision that you cannot change your mind about, it’s critical that you know what your life might look like should you choose to raise your baby.  If you do choose to parent your baby, we can provide you helpful information and resources to prepare you for the challenges and rewards ahead of you.

Adoption

If you’re farther along in your unplanned pregnancy, you might be trying to decide whether to choose adoption or to keep your baby. We understand how difficult this decision can be, which is why we are always available to discuss your options and give you the facts about the adoption process in Arizona.

You may not know that modern adoptions can create healthy relationships between birth parents and adoptive families; they’re not the final “goodbye” you may think. However, adoption can be a complicated emotional and legal process that varies based on your individual situation. As an attorney who has worked with many prospective birth mothers in Arizona, Heather Strickland can give you the truth about how adoption works, including answers to all of your questions.

Placing a baby for adoption is a difficult choice to make, which is why we offer you the chance to meet with us and learn more about all of your pregnancy options in Arizona, with no obligation to choose adoption unless you’re ready. Attorney Heather Strickland can also refer you to free counseling services if you need emotional support or additional counseling during this decision-making process (and your entire pregnancy).

Should you choose adoption, you will be in charge every step of the way, and you can also change your mind at any point before you give your adoption consent (after the baby is born). Remember, asking questions about adoption and learning more does not mean you have to choose adoption until you’re absolutely sure it’s right for you.

No matter how far along you are in your unplanned pregnancy or which unplanned pregnancy options you’re considering, we are here to help. By presenting you with the unbiased, accurate facts about all of your choices, we will empower you to make the best choice for yourself. And, no matter what choice that is, we can provide you helpful resources to move forward with your unexpected pregnancy in Arizona.

You can talk to us about your unintended pregnancy anytime by calling 520-327-6041.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ADOPTION PROFESSIONAL

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption, this is likely a difficult time for you. You deserve an adoption professional who will provide the services, support and peace of mind you need to feel confident in your adoption decision and comfortable with the process. By choosing the right adoption professional, you can ensure your needs are met and your adoption is completed according to your wishes.

Read on to learn about three common types of adoption professionals, so you can choose the one that is right for you.

ADOPTION ATTORNEYS

An attorney is required in every adoption to complete the necessary legal steps of the process. However, if you are an expectant mother seeking an independent adoption (in which you do not use an agency’s services), an attorney or law firm like MyersStrickland may be the only professional you need to complete the entire adoption process.

In addition, adoption attorneys offer the following advantages for prospective birth parents:

  • They are regulated by their state bar organizations and are experts in state adoption laws, so you can be assured that your legal rights and interests are being represented through every step of the process.
  • They offer many of the same services as adoption agencies and can refer you to trusted professionals for any additional services you may need, such as matching or adoption counseling.
  • Your adoption attorney represents your interests only and will advocate for your needs and wishes in your adoption plan.
  • Because you will likely choose to work with a local adoption attorney, you may have the opportunity to meet with your adoption professional in person throughout the process.

Before choosing to work directly with an adoption attorney, however, you may also want to consider the following:

  • Your attorney may have to refer you to another adoption professional if you decide you need certain services, such as matching or counseling.
  • Without an agency’s matching or contact mediation services, you may be required to have a more open adoption and take a more active role in the adoption process; expectant mothers who are hoping for a more private or closed adoption may need to work with an agency.

While independent adoption is not right for everyone, it’s important to consider how these additional factors might actually be advantageous for you. For example, while you may be uncertain about open adoption at first, you may find that getting to know your baby’s adoptive parents actually helps you feel more confident and positive about your adoption decision.

If you choose MyersStrickland as your adoption professional, we will provide the information, support, services and referrals you need through each step of the process to ensure your rights and interests are always represented and you have the best adoption experience possible.

ADOPTION AGENCIES

Adoption agencies are licensed, regulated organizations that provide a wide variety of services to expectant mothers as well as adoptive families. These organizations may be national, meaning they work with prospective birth mothers across the country, or they may be local, meaning they are licensed in a particular state and focus only on clients in that particular state or region.

Local and national adoption agencies can both offer many benefits for women considering adoption, including:

  • They are licensed and regulated organizations, meaning they are reviewed regularly to ensure they are following state laws. However, it is important to ensure that your agency is licensed specifically in Arizona; even if you choose to work with a national professional licensed in another state, they may be breaking the law by providing certain services to you in Arizona.
  • They can provide most of the services you need during the adoption process and can coordinate your legal representation for you. Most agencies also have dedicated social services departments and employ licensed social workers and counselors who can provide the emotional support you need throughout the adoption process.
  • If you have not already found adoptive parents for your baby, an agency may be the best professional to provide the screening and matching services you need.

However, while adoption agencies can provide some of the most comprehensive services for prospective birth mothers, there are some important challenges to take into account:

  • Not all agencies are created equal, and they may differ significantly in the services they offer, the availability of their adoption counselors, the number of waiting families they work with, and more. It’s important to carefully research several agencies before choosing the one that can best meet your needs.
  • It is also important to select an agency that is licensed in Arizona. If you choose to work with an agency that is not licensed by the state, they are acting as a facilitator, which is not legal in Arizona and could put your adoption at risk.

When you choose the right adoption agency, these professionals can provide excellent services and guidance throughout the adoption process.

However, remember that as an expectant mother, it is also possible to complete the adoption process without the use of an agency. If you choose to work with an attorney like MyersStrickland, we can provide most of the necessary adoption services and refer you to another trusted professional to meet your matching or counseling needs.

ADOPTION FACILITATORS

Finally, you have the option of working with an adoption facilitator or “adoption law center” — an unlicensed, unregulated organization that can help you find adoptive parents for your baby.

These organizations focus exclusively on matching services and often work with a large number of adoptive families. They can probably help you quickly find a waiting family that fits with your adoption plan — but they can also pose serious risks to your adoption plan. Here’s what you need to know before hiring an adoption facilitator:

  • They are not legal in Arizona, and there could be legal consequences when working with one. The judge could refuse to grant the adoption, disallow the adoptive parents from paying your living expenses, or otherwise delay the legal adoption process — meaning your adoption may not be completed according to your wishes.
  • They don’t offer all of the services you need. Your adoption attorney or agency can not only help you find an adoption opportunity, but they can also provide other important services, like legal work, counseling, and more. An adoption facilitator only provides matching services, which means that even if you choose to work with one, you will eventually need to find an agency or attorney to complete the adoption process.

Because adoption facilitators do not provide the services you need, and because of the legal risks they pose, it is often best to work directly with an adoption attorney or Arizona-licensed agency to complete your adoption. These professionals will help you understand the adoption process, ensure your legal rights are represented and provide the services you need to safely complete your adoption plan.

TIPS FOR CHOOSING AN ADOPTION PROFESSIONAL

Every woman’s situation is different, and there are many factors to consider when choosing the adoption professional that is right for you. As you continue to research your options, the following suggestions may help:

  • Assess each professional thoroughly. Research each individual attorney or agency you are considering and compare the services and support they can offer you as a woman considering adoption.
  • Ask questions. Ask every adoption professional you are considering how they are licensed and regulated. If an agency is not licensed in Arizona, they may be acting as a facilitator in your adoption.
  • Talk to an attorney. You can contact MyersStrickland at any time, for free and with zero obligation to proceed with an adoption plan. We can provide additional information about state adoption laws, your rights, and the adoption process. And, if you are struggling to find the right adoption professional for you, we can refer you to an Arizona-licensed adoption agency you can trust.

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For more information about MyersStrickland’s adoption services, state adoption laws, and other professionals who can help you complete the adoption process, contact us at any time.