If you are pregnant and considering adoption for your baby, you are likely feeling a wide, and perhaps overwhelming, range of emotions. You do not have to walk this journey alone. We’ve helped hundreds of women complete adoption plans. Some women decide that adoption is not right for them—and that’s okay! We are here for YOU.
Our job is to empower you so you can make the absolute best decision for you and your child based on your circumstances, your future goals, and what is best for your child. We have no intention of making you do something you aren’t ready to do. Knowledge is power, and once you educate yourself, you will feel more confident about your choice, whether you decide to pursue adoption or not.
Service for Expectant Parents Considering Adoption
If you are considering adoption for your baby, you know that adoption is an emotional experience, as well as a legal process. We’ll work with you to ensure that your adoption is completed in a legal and ethical manner, while also helping you find the resources you need to feel confident in your decision. We will ensure your rights and interests are represented, and you have the best adoption experience possible.
Our services include:
- Unbiased information about the different types of adoption and adoption professional
- Counseling services resources
- Prenatal care referrals
- Assistance in signing up for appropriate health insurance
- Assistance in 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
- Negotiating living expenses allowed by Arizona law
- Negotiating a Post-Adoption Communication Agreement
- Travel to your location anywhere in Arizona when necessary
Working with an attorney is like any other relationship—it needs to work for you. Since this is likely a very difficult time in your life, you must find a person with whom you are comfortable. If you contact us, there is never any obligation to move forward with an adoption plan or to hire our law firm.
You Are Not Alone
Women who choose adoption come from all walks of life and have different, selfless reasons for choosing adoption, including:
- Women who are struggling financially and cannot support a child or an additional child
- Women who are struggling with addiction or mental health concerns
- Women who want their child raised in a two-parent home
- Women who have other goals that they want to accomplish before motherhood
- Women who simply aren’t ready for the responsibility of parenting
It takes courage, strength, and deep unconditional love to make an adoption plan. Whatever your reasons for exploring adoption for your baby, we can help you explore the life you want for your child.
What to Expect
CONSULTATION, EDUCATION, AND SUPPORT – When you contact us, you will meet with adoption attorney Heather Strickland. We will first walk you through the different types of adoption and types of adoption professionals and organizations you can consider using. Then we’ll describe the adoption process and explain exactly what it means to place a child for adoption. Above all, we will answer all of YOUR questions. We will provide you with all the information and support you need to determine whether you are ready to commit to an adoption plan.
FINDING AN ADOPTIVE FAMILY – If you decide adoption is the best path for you, we will help you take the next steps in finding an adoptive family. We have contacts with other trusted adoption professionals who help women locate families, from here in Arizona to anywhere else in the country. We 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. Consider 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.
- After you find a potential adoptive family, you will then have the option of communicating, or even visiting with them, before you give birth to ensure they are right for you and your child.
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.
Based on the amount of contact you agreed upon for 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.
COST TO PLACE A CHILD FOR ADOPTION – A woman who places her baby for adoption incurs no expenses. Your legal fees, counseling, and medical expenses 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.
THE FATHER OF THE BABY – If the birth father is either unknown or unsupportive of the adoption, you can still proceed with an adoption plan. Arizona is a notice state, which means we have to provide official 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.
When we have the full story about the birth father we can help you create a legally sound adoption. 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. Please remember that talking to us about an adoption plan is 100 percent confidential and no steps will be taken without your knowledge.
ESTABLISHING 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% 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
CONSENT IS NEEDED IN INFANT ADOPTION – The most important legal document to understand is a consent, which is the legal agreement to place a child for adoption and the relinquishment of your parental rights. In Arizona, the baby’s mother must provide written consent to an adoption placement. The baby’s father must provide written consent only if he has established paternity of the child. If a woman is married, then her spouse must consent, as well.
Consent can only be given 72 hours or more after a baby’s birth. Consent must be given in writing and signed before at least two credible adult witnesses or acknowledged before a notary public.
After signing a consent, it is irrevocable unless the consent was given under fraud, duress, or undue influence. It is important to consider your adoption decision carefully to ensure you are comfortable with your adoption decision before signing. Our team will work with you to ensure you fully understand your consent and relinquishment. You only sign a consent if you want the adoption and are ready to sign.