Birth Parents2019-02-04T14:33:46+00:00

Birth Parents

Birth Parents

The idea we hope birth parents will clearly perceive is: allowing your child to be adopted is an honorable choice. It is a choice you should be proud of because it takes selflessness, maturity, and sacrifice. We understand that adoption is choice made out of love by birth parents who care more for the child’s present and future health and welfare than their own desires.

If you want to create an adoption plan for your child, it is important to have the support of an adoption attorney. On Point Legal provides birth parents with an unbiased explanation of the adoption laws and procedures that will govern your adoption plan.

We can connect you with social workers to help sort through the feelings or grief and loss. We can also introduce you to potential adoptive families and help you navigate choosing the best family for your child. Our team will work with you to create a budget and discuss allowable birth mother expenses. After you have chosen a family, we can facilitate the sensitive discussion about continuing contact with your child after birth.

If you are considering creating an adoption plan, we would love to talk with you. Give us a call at 225-500-0880.

Birth Parent Resources

Birth Parents Resources

Get the information you need about adoption. See our most frequently asked questions and additional resources below.

BIRTH MOTHERS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What can I expect from On Point Legal?2018-09-19T14:29:26+00:00

Honesty, compassion, respect, inclusion, and accountability. It’s our job to handle all the details throughout the process and see it through to the granting of the adoption. This includes preparing the paperwork, hiring other professionals, and overseeing the process from beginning to end.

If we have been hired by adoptive parents, we cannot formally give you legal advice but that doesn’t mean we cannot work side by side with you. We want you to know you are included and will not be tossed-aside or ignored.

We are compassionate because we know you are going through a significant, emotional challenge, but we also strive to hold everyone accountable–you, the adoptive parents, DCFS, counselors, us– because there is so much at stake.

Will I have My Own Attorney?2018-09-19T14:30:49+00:00

Yes. It is a legal requirement. In every adoption, there must be at least two attorneys– at least one for the adoptive parents and one for the birth parent. Typically, your attorney will meet with talk and meet with you before you sign any documents. The meeting with your attorney usually occurs on the first day you are allowed to sign your surrender but, if requested, this attorney can meet with you prior to that day for extra support and guidance.

Who pays for My Attorney?2018-09-19T14:31:28+00:00

We work with the adoptive parents to develop a budget; the cost of your attorney is included in that budget. You are not responsible for your attorney’s fee.

Should I tell the baby’s father about the adoption plan?2018-09-19T13:42:03+00:00

Any potential father should be informed that he may be the child’s father. Whether you are the person to tell him or not is debatable. If telling him does not create a risk of harm, then yes – we encourage you to tell him. If you are afraid, then there are other ways we can notify him and protect you at the same time.

What If I don’t want the baby’s father to know I’m pregnant?2018-09-19T13:40:07+00:00

Not telling him or misleading him can jeopardize the adoption. Under some circumstances, it is acceptable to delay telling him, for example, if you fear for your life.The adoption cannot be finalized unless all potential fathers are notified.

Is financial assistance available?2018-09-19T13:28:31+00:00

Financial help is allowed under Louisiana law; it is, however, regulated. The law allows for assistance to pay for things like pregnancy related expenses, medical needs and counseling. The amount and which expenses will vary from one situation to another. We will work with you to create a budget that meets your needs and satisfies any legal requirements.

Where do I find adoptive parents?2018-09-19T13:26:18+00:00

We are in contact with several approved families just waiting to work with a birth mom just like you. You may also hear of friends or family members wanting to adopt, we can work with them, too.

Do I have to select adoptive parents?2018-09-19T13:25:05+00:00

No, this is optional. We give you the opportunity to be involved and to assert your choice, but if you really do not want to pick the adoptive family, we can do it for you.

What is an open adoption?2018-09-19T14:32:35+00:00

We define “open adoption” like this– anything that is not closed! Seriously, a close adoption is where the parents and adoptive parents agree not to have any future contact and do not know much about one another. An open adoption is everything else! It could mean limited contact, like periodic cards, pictures, letters, etc. to a lot of contact throughout the year at school functions, holidays, birthday parties. What is acceptable depends on the people involved and what each wants and is comfortable with. On Point Legal will work with you and the adoptive parents to determine what is best for both of you and your child.

What happens at the hospital?2018-09-19T13:23:00+00:00

Our team with work with you to create a hospital plan before your due date. This hospital plan will be used to communicate to the hospital staff what you would like to happen before, during and after delivery. This ensures everyone is on the “same page” to avoid surprises and extra stress. After birth, the hospital staff will discuss your discharge options and plan. We will be in touch with hospital staff and often come to visit everyone. Usually, the hospital, with the mother’s permission, will discharge the baby to the adoptive parents through one of our attorneys.

What will be required of me, after birth, if I want to move forward with the adoption plan?2018-09-19T13:21:48+00:00

After the legally required five day waiting period, you will be asked to sign a voluntary act of surrender transferring custody of the child to adoptive family. Before signing the surrender you are required to participate in two counseling sessions with a licensed professional.We will let you know where you need to be and when; we’ll facilitate the required counseling – and any additional counseling if it will help. We will also provide transportation if that will help you. We want you to feel supported, not pressured; welcomed, not exploited. In exchange, we want you to always be honest with us and to cooperate when action is necessary.

May I visit my child after birth?2018-09-19T13:22:05+00:00

Yes, you may visit your child before hospital discharge and after discharge. At the hospital – before discharge, we encourage contact with your baby, if you want it. Future long term contact is an item of discussion, which will be thoroughly covered and the options are explained when you sit down with us.

How do I know the adoptive parents will honor an agreement of continuing contact or keep me involved or informed?2018-09-19T14:33:00+00:00

Great question. An important one. First, if asked, we will put the terms of future contact in writing and ask everyone to sign an agreement called a Continuing Contact Agreement. Everyone will receive a copy and we will remind the adoptive parents about the terms of the agreement and their obligations.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

BIRTH FATHERS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What can I expect from On Point Legal?2018-09-19T14:29:26+00:00

Honesty, compassion, respect, inclusion, and accountability. It’s our job to handle all the details throughout the process and see it through to the granting of the adoption. This includes preparing the paperwork, hiring other professionals, and overseeing the process from beginning to end.

If we have been hired by adoptive parents, we cannot formally give you legal advice but that doesn’t mean we cannot work side by side with you. We want you to know you are included and will not be tossed-aside or ignored.

We are compassionate because we know you are going through a significant, emotional challenge, but we also strive to hold everyone accountable–you, the adoptive parents, DCFS, counselors, us– because there is so much at stake.

Will I have My Own Attorney?2018-09-19T14:30:49+00:00

Yes. It is a legal requirement. In every adoption, there must be at least two attorneys– at least one for the adoptive parents and one for the birth parent. Typically, your attorney will meet with talk and meet with you before you sign any documents. The meeting with your attorney usually occurs on the first day you are allowed to sign your surrender but, if requested, this attorney can meet with you prior to that day for extra support and guidance.

Who pays for My Attorney?2018-09-19T14:31:28+00:00

We work with the adoptive parents to develop a budget; the cost of your attorney is included in that budget. You are not responsible for your attorney’s fee.

Am I entitled to visit my child after birth?2018-09-19T13:56:49+00:00

It will depend on the nature of your relationship with the birth mother. She may or may not allow you access to the baby at the hospital. If you are not on good terms with the mother at the time of the child’s birth and would like to see the baby, then let us know, we can try work out a plan where you can visit the baby.

After discharge, any future or long term contact is an item of discussion, which will be thoroughly covered and the options can be explained when you sit down with us.

What will be required of me, after birth, if I want to move forward with adoption plan?2018-09-19T13:54:03+00:00

Unlike the birth mother, you may sign your Voluntary Act of Surrender before the child is born and you are not required to participate in pre-surrender counseling. If you wait until after the birth to sign your surrender, we will let you know where you need to be and when. We can provide transportation if that will help you. We want you to feel supported, not pressured; welcomed not exploited. In exchange, we want you to always be honest with us and to cooperate when action is necessary.

What are my legal obligations to this child, if I am the biological father?2018-09-19T13:53:06+00:00

It depends on whether you are married to the birth mother or not. If you are not married to the birth mother, you can’t find out for sure if you are the child’s father until after the child is born. But your legal obligations to the mother and the child begin at the moment you learn the mother is pregnant. It is important to know that you are expected to provide significant and consistent support to the mother and, by extension, the child while the child is growing in the mother’s womb.

If you are married to the birth mother, you are considered a legal parent and are presumed to be the legal father of the child. If you believe this child is not your biological child, then you have a short period (1 year in some cases) to formally “disavow” (deny any responsibility or support for) the child; otherwise, you could be legally responsible for this child unless you cooperate in the adoption of that child.

What are some things I can do to protect myself if my girlfriend will not allow me to be involved?2018-09-19T13:50:21+00:00

You should immediately complete an application for a “Putative Father Certificate.” This application can be found online and is managed by the La. Department of Health and Hospitals. Follow the instructions and pay the small fee and send it in. You should receive a confirmation that they received your application. More information can be found here.

You should make a strong effort to communicate with her, preferably in writing, and/or to her family, that you are interested in being a parent to the child;

Send the birth mother money to support her and the child. If she doesn’t accept it, put it in a savings account for later. It will show your intent to support the mother and child – until a formal legal determination is made.

Prepare yourself to be a good parent– maintain employment; be drug-free; make good choices; have resources available to support this child, including safe and adequate housing, etc. Be the kind of role model you would want your child to have.

What is an open adoption?2018-09-19T14:32:35+00:00

We define “open adoption” like this– anything that is not closed! Seriously, a close adoption is where the parents and adoptive parents agree not to have any future contact and do not know much about one another. An open adoption is everything else! It could mean limited contact, like periodic cards, pictures, letters, etc. to a lot of contact throughout the year at school functions, holidays, birthday parties. What is acceptable depends on the people involved and what each wants and is comfortable with. On Point Legal will work with you and the adoptive parents to determine what is best for both of you and your child.

How do I know the adoptive parents will honor an agreement of continuing contact or keep me involved or informed?2018-09-19T14:33:00+00:00

Great question. An important one. First, if asked, we will put the terms of future contact in writing and ask everyone to sign an agreement called a Continuing Contact Agreement. Everyone will receive a copy and we will remind the adoptive parents about the terms of the agreement and their obligations.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Get in Touch with On Point Legal

Please send us a detailed message. We’ll be in touch shortly.