This is a question that we at the Adoption Law Firm of Kirsh & Kirsh, P.C. (“Kirsh & Kirsh”) receive all the time. But it’s important to note that in the adoption world, we don’t use the phrase, “give up baby for adoption,” or “put baby up for adoption.” Instead, we use “place a baby for adoption.” Or “make an adoption plan.” “Give up,” or “put up,” implies that someone is forfeiting or that the story ends at placement. That couldn’t be further from the truth. When choosing adoption for your baby, you are choosing to give your child the best life possible – one that maybe you feel that you couldn’t provide at this moment in your life and NOT because you are bad person or bad mother. We understand it is because of your present circumstances. By the way, putting your child’s interest ahead of your own needs is a very motherly thing to do and one which most people, even your family and close friends, may never understand. Adoption is a lifelong gift to your child and the adoptive parents, and placement is just the beginning of the story.
Contact Kirsh & Kirsh
Even if you’re not 100% sure that you’d like to place a baby for adoption, you can still contact Kirsh & Kirsh at any point in your pregnancy or after you have already delivered.
You can call, text and or email us anytime. To contact us—call: 317-575-5555, text: 317-721-2030, email: AdoptionSupport@kirsh.com, or Facebook message: https://www.facebook.com/KirshandKirsh/. We answer our office phone 24 hours a day, every single day. We try to respond to emails and text messages within minutes of receipt. Any contact you make with us will be private and confidential. You will decide who, if anyone, to involve in your adoption plan. Some women want a family member or friend with them. Others do not want anyone to know of their plans.
If you would like more detailed, personalized information about adoption, we will meet with you wherever is most convenient — in our offices, at your home, or any location where you feel safe, throughout Indiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Three of our attorneys are pilots so getting to you is often relatively easy, especially if you are in Indiana. If you’re not ready to meet at this time, we understand. We are always available to meet by phone, Face Time, Skype, or correspond via text, social media or email.
Exploring Your Options
If you wish, we will arrange for you to speak with an independent counselor to help you understand the emotional and practical issues of making parenting and adoption plans. Unlike adoption agencies who would have your receive counseling from an employee of the adoption agency, we work with private, independent counselors. You might wonder why does it matter if the counselor works for the adoption agency or has an independent practice? An adoption agency employee has a vested interest in whether or not you proceed with an adoption – the agency gets paid a placement fee only if you proceed with an adoption. While most adoption agency social workers are ethical, they have an inescapable, built-in conflict of interest, if the agency for whom they work only gets paid, if you place your baby for adoption. The counselors Kirsh & Kirsh would arrange for you to meet are not employees of Kirsh & Kirsh. They get paid for the services they provide you WHETHER OR NOT you proceed with an adoption. In other words, they do NOT have a vested interest in the outcome of your decision.
If you chose to participate in counseling, we will arrange for you to meet with a counselor either in-person or by phone. They will first get to know you a little bit — they’ll try to better understand your values, your situation and your wishes for the child. They’ll also help you explore any feelings you have about your pregnancy, your support network, and your other pregnancy options. During this time, you will receive unbiased and accurate information — they won’t try to sway you in any direction and will straight forward about adoption, parenting, foster care, and abortion.
Resources Available To You
At NO COST to you, we will assist you with
- Finding a doctor, if you do not already have one
- Your Medicaid application, if you do not have private insurance
- Counseling before and after birth
- Payment of pregnancy-related, living expenses, including medical bills
- Having your own attorney, who can provide confidential, legal advice about adoption
Creating A Hospital Plan
We like to let the hospital at which you will deliver know that you are considering adoption so that you do not have to tell several people at the hospital your plan. Likewise, we like to let the hospital know you wishes for your stay at the hospital so that you do not have to answer a lot of questions while you are in labor. The hospital plan may contain a list of people who you’d like to be there with you for labor and delivery, plans for the baby’s care while at the hospital and the overall involvement you’d like the adoptive parents have during this time. Your hospital plan may also include a list of things that you’d like to have with you at the hospital, and things that will make your stay more comfortable.
Labor And Delivery
When you go into labor, it’s important that you notify us by telephone or via text. We will not come to the hospital unless and until you are ready to see us. We will not just show up unannounced. We want you to be expecting us and have the time and space to make a final decision. You might consider putting into the bag you will have packed for the hospital a copy of the “Reasons for Making Parenting/Adoption Plan” Worksheet which we gave you at the initial meeting. This form will help you organize your thoughts and record the reasons supporting parenting the child and making an adoption plan. You will NOT return this form to us. In fact, we will never even know if you completed the form. However, in our experience, the pregnant women and birth mothers who make a decision based on good reasons find peace with their decision more easily than those who make a decision based solely on emotions.
If you are still comfortable with your adoption plan after you give birth, you would sign a consent to adoption. This usually happens a day or so after you deliver. The laws of some states may impose a waiting period. Indiana does not. Of course, Kirsh & Kirsh will abide by all laws governing adoption.
We will check with you after the baby is born to see when you would be ready for us to come to the hospital. We will not show up unannounced. We will call you to arrange a day and time for us to come to the hospital. You are welcome to have whomever you would like with you for the consent signing.
Unlike an adoption agency which may have its social worker at the hospital with you for labor and delivery, we will give you space. You won’t find us hovering over you. If you would like the prospective adoptive parents with you, that will be for you to decide. In fact, you will make all the decisions in the hospital – who is with you for labor and delivery, who can see and spend time with the baby, and when and how much time you want to spend with the baby both before and after you sign the consent to adoption.
Again, unlike some adoption agencies and prospective adoptive parents, Kirsh & Kirsh and the prospective adoptive parents who we represent will respect your wishes with respect to the time you spend with the baby in the hospital even after you sign a consent to adoption. Every mom is different. Some want to spend every waking minute with the baby. Others just want to know that the baby is okay and prefer that the adoptive parents take care of the baby in their own room at the hospital.
Please know that you will never be pressured to continue with your adoption plan if you don’t wish to move forward, even after birth. The adoption will only be made complete once you’ve signed the consent forms, typically a day or so after you deliver. At the time of signing, an attorney from Kirsh & Kirsh will be present and your attorney, if you wish to have one, will be present in person or by telephone Your attorney will only represent you and your best interests. They will make sure you understand exactly what you’re doing and that you’re completely comfortable with your plan.
It is not uncommon for birth parents to feel a wide range of emotions after placement. It’s important that you know that you’re not alone, and it is critical that you have someone with whom you can share your feelings and who can answer any questions you might have. Your counselor may also help connect you with appropriate services to help you continue to lead a safe, healthy and happy life.