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 empathize 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.
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:
- American Adoptions
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
- Arizona Department of Health Services
- First Way Pregnancy Center
- Crisis Pregnancy Centers
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.