Common Questions from Birthparents
There are many reasons why Birthparents consider their options when finding out about a pregnancy. Some may not feel emotionally prepared to care for a baby. A Birthmother may not have the support of the Birthfather or her family. Or she may be struggling financially. Sometimes legal factors come into play and the decision to keep their child is out of their hands. For every one of these situations, there is a family waiting and willing to provide the love and stable home their child deserves.
Attorney Thomas Underwood is a private adoption attorney licensed in the state of Arizona. Unlike many agencies, he ONLY represents Birthmothers. Many adoption service providers also represent the adoptive family, which can leave you questioning who they really serve in the adoption process. At Arizona Adoption Help, we will support your wishes and make sure your rights are protected every step of the way. The laws in every state can differ slightly when it comes to adoption, so you want to have a licensed attorney in the state of Arizona on your side.
Yes, if you would like to choose the adoptive family, we will show you profiles that cover the story of their lives with pictures and letters. If you would prefer not to have involvement with the family, we can choose for you. Do not be discouraged, your child’s adoptive family is out there. Once matched, they will be thinking and planning for this baby as much as you are now.
How much or how little involvement you want with the family is completely up to you. Many Birthmothers and adoptive families start with emails, phone calls or Skype calls to better get to know each other during the pregnancy. If you would prefer a confidential adoption, you have that option as well.
If you are uncomfortable having contact with the adoptive family, you don’t have to. We encourage at least a phone call in order to instill trust on both sides, but this is completely up to you.
For health reasons, the adoptive family will know about your medical history. Other than that, it is up to you how much information you would like to share. They would love to get to know you and find out about your interests as this information may be valuable to the child as he or she grows older.
Yes, if you choose so, the adoptive family will stay in touch at your request with pictures and letters up to four times a year until the child is 18 years of age.
Yes, if you would like to. Usually this meeting occurs when the baby is born. The adoptive family will visit you in the hospital and spend time with you and the baby. If you do not wish to meet the family, you don’t have to.
In order to be matched with a family, we need to first fill out intake paperwork and then request medical records from your doctor. At that point we can show you profiles and begin to make the match official.
We find the adoptive families all over the country from attorneys and agencies with whom we have established relationships. All families have been through a very rigorous court testing to be approved to adopt.
An adoption is no cost to the Birthmother. All of your medical, legal and counseling services are covered. Once you are matched with a family, the court will approve a living expense budget that continues until six weeks after the birth of the child.
Living expenses begin when you are matched with a family.
The court will approve a monthly budget that will cover things like rent, utilities, food and clothing. If you do not have a place to live currently, we will help you find immediate shelter and work with you to establish a more permanent residency.
Choosing a future and creating a family for your child, when you personally are unable to, is the most unselfish and courageous decision you will probably ever be called upon to make. This decision is about providing the best possible future for you baby. Your family and friends will understand this when you explain it to them.
If he wants to be, he can. If he is not supportive, or chooses not to take part, or denies paternity, he will be legally notified of the adoption, and the adoption will move forward unless he files a Paternity Action. If he agrees with the decision and wants to be involved, he will sign adoption consents similar to yours.
This is not uncommon and the adoption can proceed legally even if you do not know who he is or where he is.
In Arizona, birthfathers must be informed of an adoption in which they are a potential father. If the birthfather does not consent to the adoption, we can try and contact him in order to explain in detail about the adoption and see if he will consent. If he is not willing, we can have him legally served notification of the adoption, which gives him thirty days to file paternity with the court. If the birthfather is unknown, Arizona law provides that we can issue a publication in the legal section of the newspaper.
The most important thing now is the health of you and your baby. There is no reason for you to be worried about whether you can afford the medical care you need. If you are not already approved for public health insurance, we will help you apply. If you do not qualify, we will find an adoptive family that is able to afford the any extra medical costs that are not covered by health insurance.
No, you do not have to live in Arizona for us to help you with an adoption plan, but you must reside in Arizona during the birth of your child. We can help arrange for transportation and a living situation to facilitate your travels.
Your health insurance provider may offer transportation to medical appointments. If not, we will arrange for transportation to and from any medical, counseling or legal appointments pertaining to the adoption.
Prior to delivery, our counselor Kris will cover a hospital plan with you so you are aware of all the choices you have surrounding the birth of your child. You may choose to see the baby and spend time with the baby in your room or the nursery. You may decide it is too emotionally taxing to have much contact with the baby and you might prefer to have the adoptive family step in and care for the baby right away. It is your choice what kind of involvement you choose to have with the baby and adopting family. We will be with you to help support your decision.
Absolutely. Our certified counselor Kris has been working with our Birthmoms for over 15 years. She is an adoptive mother herself and is here to support you during this time.
In Arizona, adoption consents cannot be signed until three days after the birth of your child. Up until that time, you may change your mind. Once you sign the papers, the consent is irrevocable.
Call the office of Arizona Adoption Attorney Thomas Underwood, collect if necessary. Kim, a supportive woman who loves her involvement with adoption work, will speak with you and arrange to meet you at a time and place convenient to you. We admire any pregnant woman who is brave enough to recognize that parenting may not be the right choice for her and who loves her child so much that she wants to plan a future and find a loving family for them.