Best Practices in Adoption
- Expectant Parents should receive thorough and independent options counseling prior to moving forward in the adoption process.
- Expectant Parents and Adoptive Parents should work collaboratively with the assistance of qualified, but separate, adoption professionals of their own choosing.
- Expectant Parents and Adoptive Parents should not enter into an adoptive match until they have thoroughly explored one another’s expectations regarding a future relationship.
- In choosing an adoptive family, an Expectant Mother should choose from a wide array of adoptive family profiles and should be presented with as many profiles as necessary in order for her to find a family that matches her criteria.
- An Expectant Mother and Adoptive Parents should be given the opportunity to meet one another in person prior to the match, when at all possible.
- An Expectant Mother should be advised as to the nature and extent of the pregnancy expenses which the adoptive parents are legally allowed to pay as well as the consequences of violating such laws.
- Expectant Parents and Adoptive Parents should not communicate directly with one another regarding the financial needs or support of an expectant mother; Instead, all such communications should be handled by the adoption professional.
- An Expectant Mother should be given adequate time to execute the adoption consent paperwork, even if that period of time exceeds the minimum required by her state’s laws.
- An Expectant Mother should be thoroughly advised by legal counsel as to the nature and consequence of the adoption consents, the terms and enforceability of the PostAdoption Contact Agreement (PACA) if any, and if no PACA is being used, the reason for that decision.
- An Expectant Parent should receive copies of all pertinent paperwork during the course of the adoption, including intake forms, medical records, hospital correspondence and consents.
- An Expectant Parent’s decisions regarding the hospital experience should be clearly communicated and fully respected unless doing so would adversely affect her baby’s health or wellbeing.
- An Expectant Parent who is at risk of losing her baby to the foster care system should be thoroughly advised of her right to place the child for adoption with a couple of her choosing.
- An Expectant Parent should receive as much postplacement support as possible including counseling, peer support from other birth parents, attendance at birth mother retreats and connection with online birth mother support networks.