Common Questions

There are still a lot of misconceptions about adoption practices and we hope that by answering some most common asked questions about open adoption, we can help you better understand how it works.

How long does it typically take for a couple to adopt?

It is impossible to determine when you will adopt, however, most of our couples adopt within months not years. We work with a limited number of adoptive parents at a time which helps lower wait times.

Can the birthmother see the baby if she wants to?

Open adoption gives her the option to meet the adopting parents and develop a comfortable relationship with them during her pregnancy. Some birthmoms choose to stay in touch with the family after the baby arrives, too. She can receive photos, letters, or even have visits in the future.

Can a birthmother receive financial help?

In California, it is legal for adopting parents to pay legal, medical, counseling, and other expenses directly related to the pregnancy. All expenses must be recorded and reported to the courts before the adoption is finalized.

What if a birthmother chooses adoption and then changes her mind?

Birthmothers are thoroughly advised of their legal rights in advance by a social worker, who is her unbiased advocate. They don’t sign adoption papers or relinquishments until after the birth. The placement agreement is permanent after 30 days. But most women have thought about adoption beforehand and have made a solid decision. They have not been pressured, and have come to this decision on their own. They seldom change their mind. The commitment between birthparents and adoptive parents is based on trust, and is a serious one.

How can birthparents be sure that the baby will have a good home?

Before meeting a birthmother, the prospective parents receive not only a counseling and education but also an evaluation-in fact, each state requires that adoptive parents pass a thorough approval process called a home-study. Maybe even more importantly, though, the birthmother meets them and has a chance to get to know them before they make a decision to place their child with them. She can choose a family that shares her faith and values and meets her ideals.

How are adoptive parents chosen?

At the Adoption Center of San Diego, birthmothers choose their babies’ parents. She can meet them in person, spend time getting to know them, and even visit their home to feel sure that she made the right decision.

What kinds of people want to adopt?

Since 1 in 5 couple in the U.S. have trouble conceiving a child, it is not difficult to find people who want to adopt. Those choosing to adopt are people who want very much to share in the experience of loving and caring for a child. They usually have gone through many years of trying to have a baby; miscarriages, medical treatments, surgeries, etc. They are stable in terms of careers and finances, as they have been preparing for children for several years. These people have a great deal of time to think about having children and are committed to and excited about undertaking the responsibilities that come with parenting.

Do birthparents need their parents’ permission to place a baby for adoption?

In California, birthparents do not need parental permission at any age to make an adoption plan. As the baby’s parent, they are considered an adult for the purposes of making decisions about their pregnancy. Most birthparents want to seek their parents’ support for their pregnancy and adoption, however, adoption is their legal decision. Even though some parents may be hurt or upset about the pregnancy, it is important to have their love and support during this difficult time, if possible.

What do people think of women who choose adoption?

Some people won’t understand why women choose adoption and they can be critical. Others understand that adoption is chosen out of great love for a child and a desire to see them raised in a warm, stable, caring environment-something these women would like to provide for their babies but can’t right now. Ultimately the decision is theirs. Most important is what they think of themselves, knowing that they have made a difficult and courageous decision.

Does the baby’s father need to know about the pregnancy and consent to the adoption?

Even though some may feel reluctant to do so, it is important that the father be told about his child. A counselor can help her talk to the father if needed. At the Adoption Center of San Diego, if it is possible, we encourage the birthfather to come in with the birthmother when making the choice about who will adopt the child. Generally, it is best to enlist the father’s cooperation as much as possible. Birthmothers might want to talk with an adoption counselor or attorney if they are uncertain about whether and how to tell the baby’s father.

Why do women consider placing their babies for adoption?

When a woman chooses adoption, it’s usually because she feels the adoptive parents who are eager and fully prepared for parenting would meet her child’s needs better than her current circumstances would allow. Many young pregnant women have career and educational goals, which they feel cannot be realized while supporting and caring for a child. We also work with many women who are already single parents and they choose adoption because they know how difficult single parenting can be for them and their children. No choice is perfect; they all have a downside. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, NONE of your choices are easy. It’s important to realize that women who place for adoption love their babies very much and they would parent if their circumstances were different. They choose adoption for the sake of their babies.