TODAY BIRTH PARENTS HAVE MORE OPTIONS THAN EVER BEFORE.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.
Understanding your options empowers you to make the critical decisions that effect you and your child's future.
Combinations of above
What are the differences between them?
Which plan will best suit your needs?
Which option would you feel most comfortable with?
As an adoption attorney I represent only the birth parents or the adoptive parents.
To avoid any potential conflict of interest, I never represent both sides for the same adoption plan.
I DO NOT represent adoption agencies, nor do I receive compensation for children privately placed in adoptive homes. As such, you can be certain that any advice I give will be impartial and unbiased. When I represent a birth parent they can be certain that I will represent them and advocate for them whole-heartedly.
Should you decide that you want to parent your child, I am can help you find resources available in your area that can assist you.
If you choose to proceed with an adoption plan I can assist you in choosing an adoptive plan that is right for you.
Whether you decide to make an adoptive plan or not, your decision should be based on sound legal advice and in a voluntary manner.
There is no charge for consultation.
Should you decide to make an adoption plan, the adoptive parents or agency will traditionally pay for your legal fees.
CHOOSING Adoptive Parents:
You may choose to work with an adoption agency which permits you to select the adoptive parents from profiles and photographs they present to you. In most cases, you can choose to meet with the adoptive family and get to know them before you make a decision. If you choose to, you can actively participate in the selection of an adoptive family for your child. You can specify the characteristics you are looking for in an adoptive home such as religion, or whether to place your child within Illinois or outside of Illinois and so on. Birth parents may also choose to find their own adoptive family that they already know or have met through relatives or friends. A birth mother may also locate adoptive parents through advertisements placed by adoptive families.
Whether you decide work with an agency or make a private placement, birth parents today can choose between open adoption plans or a "closed adoption" plan. In an "open adoption" the adoptive parents maintain some communication or contact with the birth parents. How much contact and what kind of contact you have, both during and after the pregnancy, are other aspects of the adoption plan you can decide. In many open adoptions the adoptive parents agree to send a picture of the child and a letter to the birth parents once a year. Some adoptive parents and birth parents develop a closer relationship and maintain occasional visits. In Illinois, there are many parents that have open adoption arrangements. It is important to note, however, that the Illinois courts have held that these agreements are not legally enforceable, so any agreement about staying in contact with the child are strictly good faith agreements and are not enforced by the Courts.
"Closed adoption" usually refers to an adoption where the birth parent selects the adoptive parents from a number of profiles, learns a limited amount of non-identifying information about the adoptive parents and does not go on to meet them. In a closed adoption the birth mother typically chooses not to have any contact with the adoptive parents during the pregnancy nor after the child is placed. Closed adoption can also refer to an adoption where the birth parent decides to let the agency select the adoptive parents based on the characteristics they have stated they are looking for in an adoptive family.
Whether you choose to proceed with an agency adoption or a private adoption, counseling should always be offered to you. Counseling services can be paid for by the adoptive parents. At a minimum, counseling should be made available to provide support for you during the pregnancy, at the hospital, and for a brief time afterward. Counseling can help birth parents prepare for any feelings of loss and grief they may experience, as well as other emotions they may encounter post-birth.
Illinois law allows adoptive parents to assist birth mothers with expenses reasonably related to the birth of a child. What is considered "reasonable" will depend on the birth parents' circumstances. Traditionally, courts and agencies have permitted assistance with living expenses rent, utilities, food, medical expenses (not covered by insurance), transportation, attorney fees, maternity clothing, and counseling but again these expenses will be scrutinized by the agency and court.