Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption
Do you have questions about the adoption process as a birth parent? Below you’ll find answers to questions frequently asked about domestic adoption by pregnant women and mothers considering adoption. If you don’t find the answers to your questions, please contact us and we’ll answer any questions you have.
Is your baby’s mother considering adoption? Take a look at our Birth Father Questions.
Do you have adoption questions that aren’t answered here? Please pick up the phone. Call us or text us and feel the relief of talking about your pregnancy and adoption options: 1-800-923-6784.
Lifetime is here for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are not alone!
Click on any question about adoption below to read the answer.
Questions About Lifetime Adoption
Why choose Lifetime Adoption?
This is a great question that deserves an in depth answer. The short answer is that our birth mother services are custom-designed with you in mind. We are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day with caring and experienced adoption coordinators here just for you. Our years of experience help us guide you down an adoption path that leads to placing your baby with the perfect adoptive family that you choose.
I’ve been working with another adoption agency but would like to switch to Lifetime. What do I do?
Some women may first connect with an agency only to learn that they don’t have the services or families available that they need. Your first step is to call and speak to one of Lifetime’s caring coordinators. She can gather your information and help you with the next steps to make the change to Lifetime. It’s important to share all the facts of your adoption plan to date with her, so she can give you accurate advice based on your situation.
Why should I choose a Lifetime adoptive family?
We understand that searching for adoptive parents who match the vision you have for your child’s life can feel overwhelming. Here are 11 reasons why it’s beneficial to consider a Lifetime adoptive family for your baby!
Why do I have to answer so many questions to give up my baby?
Your answers to Lifetime’s online questionnaire helps us find the best adoption situation customized to your wishes. Also, providing as much information as you can gives the adoptive family important medical information to assist in treating your child, should any issue come up. As your child grows up, he or she might start asking questions about you. So the information you share will give your child information about your interests, talents, appearance, medical and genetic history.
What kind of assistance and support does Lifetime offer women thinking about adoption?
Lifetime provides every woman thinking about adoption with a variety of help and support, depending on their needs. Counseling, peer counseling, maternity clothes, and a listening ear 24 hours a day are some of the first things we are able to help with. Even a free downloadable book about adoption that anyone can request! We guide you through each step of the adoption planning process, including helping you decide if adoption is the right choice for your baby. Each woman has different needs, so we want to customize your adoption experience to your needs, including helping with pregnancy-related expenses (like rent, phone, utilities, and food) if you need that.
Questions About Adoption in General
Why would I give my baby away?
Adoption isn’t “giving a baby away,” it’s one way a mother can provide for her baby. Through adoption, you can give your baby life, a stable family, and the future you want for him or her. With adoption, you can choose from dozens of home study approved families waiting to adopt, get to know them before you choose, decide how things go at the hospital, and even keep in touch with your child as he or she grows up. You can learn more about adoption without being obligated to do it, and it’s never too late to make an adoption plan, even after your baby is born.
Why choose adoption?
There are so many answers to this question. Some women feel as if they aren’t ready to be a parent or they want to provide safety and stability for their child. Their income or lifestyle may not be appropriate for raising a child. The birth father may not be supportive of the child, the mother may be battling mental illness or facing a jail sentence, or she may simply want her child to be raised in a two parent household.
Is it selfish to consider adoption?
Adoption is one of the most loving decisions you could make for your child. It takes lots of love and maturity to know that raising a child can be difficult and that love is not enough to provide what a child needs to thrive and grow. Some women realize the time is not right for them to become a parent and that adoption is the most sensible and most important decision they will make for their child and their future.
Is open adoption safe & legal?
Yes, a qualified adoption attorney and/or a licensed social worker conducts the legal work of each adoption at Lifetime. Adoption laws are followed, allowing you peace of mind that your adoption is safe, legal, and ethical. An attorney in your state will be provided in advance at no cost to you should you have additional legal questions.
What is Open or Semi Open Adoption?
Open adoptions allow for birth parents to choose the adoptive parents. They can speak with them and meet them as they decide if adoption is right for them and their baby. Through open or semi-open adoption, birth parents may decide on the amount of contact they wish to have in the future after the adoption takes place.
What is the adoption process like if I’m pregnant?
The first step is to learn about your choices. Is adoption right for you? The next step in the adoption process if you’re pregnant, you’ll get to know possible adoptive parents and create an adoption plan. You can choose your baby’s adoptive parents that you pick and speak with them to decide if they’re a good fit. After you find a loving home for your baby, the final step in the adoption process is signing adoption papers and if you wish, continuing contact with the adoptive parents and your child.
So what’s the next step?
You can start by calling or texting us at 1-800-923-6784 for more information on pregnancy and adoption. We’re available, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We can chat about next steps and provide some caring insights on what to expect.
What is the adoption process like if my child is already born?
The adoption process for children that are already born starts by reaching out to a caring adoption coordinator by phone, text, or email. They’ll ask you to put together some information including your child’s birth certificate, social security card, school records, and medical records. You’ll also fill out some informal adoption paperwork. Then you’ll select and meet adoptive parents and determine if they are a good fit for you and your child. After filling out the final legal paperwork and transitioning care to the adoptive parents, you can stay in contact with the family as much or as little as you like.
What is the adoption process like if I call from the hospital or if I just delivered my baby?
Even though adoption from the hospital may feel last-minute, you still can make choices for you and your baby. The first of a few steps is to call or text us and speak with one of our adoption coordinators. Then you’ll look at some profiles of adoptive families before selecting a family or having a coordinator select one for you. A day or two after delivery, you will meet with an adoption attorney or social worker to review the adoption process and papers with you and make sure you understand everything. They will also assist you in signing adoption papers. Usually, the baby will leave the hospital with the adoptive family.
Adoption or abortion: What’s the right choice?
If you’re pregnant and are considering alternatives to abortion, you may be wondering about placing your child for adoption. Is that the right choice for you? It’s possible that a more important question is: What’s the right thing to do for your baby? We encourage you to explore all of your options, so you can make a fully informed decision about what’s best for you.
Are there any costs to me?
There is never any cost to you as a birth parent. Adoptive parents help birth mothers with the financial burden of pregnancy by paying for legal fees, reasonable pregnancy-related expenses, and medical bills not covered by insurance and counseling fees.
Can I get help with my expenses?
Lifetime Adoption can help you get financial aid with your pregnancy-related expenses if allowed by your state’s law. Depending upon the adoption laws in the state you live in, you can receive financial assistance to cover your rent, pregnancy-related medical expenses, groceries, and anything related to the adoption process.
What age range are most of your birth mothers?
We have helped birth mothers from 12 years old to their late-40’s. For some women, this is their first child, and others have children already. Some birth parents are married, some are in school, others work or are planning a future after the child is placed. Most birth parents love their child and want to provide them with the best home and future that they can in choosing adoption.
What if I go into labor, can you work with me from the hospital?
Yes, Lifetime has worked with many women who call us from the hospital, and we can have an adoptive family there within hours. Lifetime has waiting adoptive parents that can travel to hospitals nationwide within a few hours. In most states, the adoptive family will be able to take the baby home from the hospital, avoiding foster care.
I’m worried that I will regret choosing adoption. How do I know if adoption is the right choice for my baby and me?
It’s totally normal to question the decision you’re making. Lifetime has been helping women make open adoption plans that include finding loving adoptive parents for their babies since 1986. And in our experience, women who actively make an adoption plan don’t need to worry about regret — they move forward with peace about their decision, knowing that they remain an important part of their child’s life. The benefits of open adoption make this possible.
Some of my friends say I should keep my baby and that children belong with their birth parents, what should I do?
It’s easy for friends to make comments when they have not been in your position. The only person that can make this decision is you. Consider honestly where you are in your life now and if you are ready for parenting at this time. Choosing adoption doesn’t mean you’re a bad person; it simply means you know you are not at a time and place in your life to parent a child.
I am a single parent and facing a prison sentence of quite a few years. Can you help me find adoptive parents for my children, even though they are not newborns?
Yes, Lifetime Adoption can work with you in finding a loving adoptive family that will legally and permanently adopt your children. We will not separate your children and place them into multiple families because siblings provide one another with a sense of stability and security at their new home. Please contact us as soon as possible to allow for the possible counseling and adjustment as the children transition into their new adoptive home. We want the adjustment time to be as easy for the children as possible and to have you feel comfortable with the family that will adopt the child or children. You have choices.
My parents are kicking me out of the house because I am pregnant. Do you have a home for mothers or a place for me to go?
We can help you find pregnancy housing or get into an apartment that you can maintain after delivery. If you are in this situation, it is best to call or text us as soon as you can at 1-800-923-6784, to allow us to determine what your needs are and to assist you quickly. Some women want to move to another area until after their baby is born, while others want to stay in their own town. It all depends on your situation, how far along you are in your pregnancy, and your plans for your child.
Is there counseling available for me in my home state?
Yes, counseling is available for you and there’s no cost to you. Lifetime can connect you with a licensed counselor for over-the-phone counseling services, and we also offer peer support. Peer support is where you can talk to another woman who has completed her adoption. Sometimes it helps to speak with someone who has a sense of what you might be feeling, and she can also share what to expect throughout the adoption process, having gone through it herself recently.
How long do I have to decide?
Adoption is always an option; it’s never too late. You can take as long as you need to make an adoption decision. Many women decide in the last term of pregnancy that adoption is the best choice for their baby. Others may choose earlier in their pregnancies, right from the hospital, or even after the baby is born.
I’ve used drugs during my pregnancy. Is adoption an option for my baby?
Yes, it is. Lifetime has hopeful adoptive parents ready to adopt babies and older children exposed to drugs or alcohol during pregnancy. If you think you might test positive for drugs at your baby’s birth, making an adoption plan can prevent the state from becoming involved through Child Protective Services. With adoption, you have a say in what happens to your baby, and you can even keep in touch with the adoptive family after the adoption.
Is there help for me after the adoption?
You can receive ongoing counseling and support after your baby’s adoption. In addition, you can apply for the Lifetime Adoption Foundation Educational Scholarship, which can help you to pursue your education and goals. Lifetime is always here for you and can help you with resources for many needs you may have.
Do I have to meet with an adoption counselor in person?
No, it is not necessary to set up an appointment to consider or begin an adoption plan. You can research your adoption choices at your pace and comfort level, 24 hours a day, by phone, text, online, or by mail. Lifetime Adoption can provide you with resources and answers through, phone, email, next-day mail, live online chat, text messaging, or in person, if needed. When you are ready, you can speak or email the adoptive families you are interested in as you consider your choices.
I’m hiding my pregnancy. Is adoption confidential?
Yes, your adoption plans are kept secure, and your privacy and confidentiality are important to us. We will do everything possible to respect your privacy needs during your adoption planning. When you begin your adoption plan, only the adoptive family you choose, and the adoption attorney, will have your information.
What if I change my mind about the adoption?
Researching adoption and even talking with a counselor or adoptive families does not obligate you to choose adoption. You can change your mind any time before the adoption takes place. Take time to consider the options available. Ask questions and get as much information as possible to determine if adoption is a good fit for you and your situation right now.
I'm 16 and pregnant, what should I do?
Parenting a baby when you’re only 16 can be pretty hard, so you need to learn all you can about what’s involved. It’s your body and your choice, but there are physical and emotional risks to abortion. If you decide on adoption, you can choose your baby’s adoptive parents and keep in contact with them.
I haven’t seen a doctor yet. Can I still do adoption?
Yes! Lifetime Adoption has many hopeful adoptive families open to adopting a baby, even if the birth mother didn’t get any prenatal care. Lifetime can help you find free prenatal care in your area. Or, the adoptive family you choose can help pay for your medical bills. If you get on state or private medical insurance, the adoptive parents may be able to pay any portions unpaid by insurance, such as co-payments.
If you have issues with getting to your doctor’s office, the adoptive family you chose may be able to help out, such as paying for a bus pass or a ride from an Uber or Lyft driver. And if you’re on a state healthcare program such as Medi-Cal, they will sometimes pay for transportation to your doctor’s office.
I’m pregnant, and I have a friend who I want to adopt my baby. What do I do?
Having a friend adopt your baby can seem like the perfect answer. Placing your baby for adoption with a friend is better than placing them with a stranger, right? Not necessarily. Rather than focusing on adopting to grow their family, they are adopting to help you out. They didn’t begin the adoption process and then agreed to adopt your baby. Instead, they agreed to adopt your baby and then started the process.
Many steps will be required before your friend can legally adopt your baby. First, they will need a home study from a licensed social worker, a process that can take up to six months. They will also need to hire adoption attorneys: one to represent you and the other to represent them.
Lifetime is here to assist pregnant mothers as they consider their options and learn about what adoption can be for them. We will ensure that you get the services, help, and support you need through your pregnancy and beyond.
For more information, call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784. We can show you profiles of couples who are already approved and ready to adopt your baby!
Questions About the Adoptive Families
How do I know my baby will be safe with the adoptive parents?
Lifetime’s adoptive family screening process is thorough and strict. Before they can adopt, couples must have background checks, an in-depth screening, interviews, and a home inspection.
If I don’t see a family on the site that meets my needs, do you have other families to select from?
Yes, as not all of our families are currently shown on the Lifetime Adoption website, many new families join Lifetime each month. This gives you a large variety of families of all races and backgrounds to select from. To request more adoptive family profiles, just call or text anytime at 1-800-923-6784.
Can I select a family from a state other than my own?
Yes, this is both legal and workable. The Internet allows you access to many qualified hopeful adoptive parents that will meet your specifications. You can select any adoptive parents from any state, and adoptive parents can adopt from a child from any state as well. Lifetime Adoption has adoptive families in almost every state across the country, and we can locate and screen available families in your region.
How soon can I see waiting couples or match with an adoptive family?
At Lifetime, you can begin looking at waiting adoptive parents as early as you’d like. There are many available on our website, or we can send you adoptive family profiles confidentially by mail. You are able to select and officially “match” with an adoptive family as early as 16 weeks into your pregnancy. At Lifetime, we want to be sure you can make the choices you want to make as you design your own custom adoption plan.
How do I use the Lifetime site to find a family? Once I do, how do I contact them?
Visit Lifetime’s “Search Adoptive Families” page to choose what is important for you in your baby’s parents. You can search for a family by various criteria, including family type, state, ethnicity, religion, whether there will be a stay-at-home parent, and more!
Once you see a couple you’d like to learn more about, you can click on their names and read a quick overview of who they are, what they like, and where they live. Their web page might even include a video!
After finding an adoptive family you like, you might want to talk to them and learn more. Scroll to the bottom of their website, and you will see boxes for you to fill out with your contact information and a place to leave a note if you would like. The information you submit goes to one of our Adoption Coordinators, who will reach out to you ASAP, to hear more about you and what you’re looking for in a family.
Once you do the necessary steps, your coordinator will reach out to your first-choice family and let them know that you are interested in talking to them and getting to know them better.
Could I meet the adoptive parents?
Yes, you can speak with adoptive parents over the phone, by meeting them in person, connecting through email, or even by having a video call. It’s up to you, and if you decide to meet the adoptive family in person, they’ll travel to you if needed. All of Lifetime’s adoptive families have toll-free (“800”) phone numbers, and they are eager to talk during a time best for you.
I noticed some of the adoptive couples only want a girl or a boy. Why?
Just how birth mothers get to choose their baby’s adoptive family, Lifetime’s families get to determine if they are open to adopting either gender, only a boy, or only a girl. Our adoptive families have preferences on what they are looking for in an adoption, just as you do. Lifetime Adoption uses these preferences so that we can give you all the adoptive family profiles that best match with you, your baby, and what you are looking for in your baby’s parents. Most Lifetime families are open to a child of either gender!
How soon after birth is the baby placed with the adoptive family?
If you have an open adoption plan, you may wish to have the adoptive family present at the hospital. In some states, the adoptive family may be allowed to take the baby home when the hospital discharges both you and your baby. It all depends on how you want your adoption plan to go and the state you live in, as every state has different adoption laws. To learn specific information tailored to your situation, make sure to ask your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime.
What kind of adoptive parents can I choose from to adopt my child?
Lifetime Adoption has hopeful adoptive parents of all races, approved and hoping to adopt children of any age or background. You can decide the faith, values, and lifestyle you want for your child’s life, as well as where in the US you want them to grow up. You can browse adoptive parent profiles right now using our Search Families page!
Will the parents I choose want to adopt my baby?
Absolutely! Lifetime works with families who are excited to adopt a child. No matter what you’ve been through, or what your situation is now, any adoptive family would be happy to get to know you and will honor the future you want for your baby through the adoption.
What if I want to choose the parents who adopt my baby, but don’t feel comfortable keeping in touch later on?
With open adoption, it’s up to you how involved you want to be with the adoptive parents before or after the adoption. You may also decide later if you’re comfortable receiving updates or staying in touch. Even if you want little to no contact with the adoptive family, they are open to sharing updates with you in the future if you ever change your mind about keeping in touch or want to know how your baby is doing. Open adoption allows flexibility throughout your child’s life to stay in touch at your comfort level or to remain out of contact.
How do I know my baby will be safe with the adoptive couple?
When you browse the adoptive parent websites, they might all look nice and friendly and say things that you like. But, you may be wondering, “How do I know the adoptive families would be good parents? How do I know that my baby will be safe with the adoptive couple?” In order to adopt, every hopeful adoptive parent must go through some pretty serious screening and background checks.
How much contact should I have with my baby after delivery?
Some birth moms want to hold their baby and talk to him or her. Others feel that it’d be too hard, and choose not to have any contact at all. Get tips on determining how much contact is right for you.
Questions About Me and the Father
I am married and the father of the baby is not my husband. Can you help?
Yes, Lifetime can help you with the adoption process in a situation like this. Our experienced and caring staff will help you with your decision and options. We have attorneys that you can speak with confidentially about any questions you might have, free of charge.
I’ve been dating the father of my baby. Wouldn’t it be better if we just got married and tried to raise the child together even if I don’t love him?
Before you make this decision, please read about unplanned pregnancy statistics with regard to marriage.
Does my baby’s father have a say?
Your baby’s father can be as involved in the adoption as he desires. He can help in choosing the adoptive family and participate in ongoing contact if he wishes. If he is no longer in your life, we can help you determine the legal steps needed regarding your baby’s father.
Can I put my baby up for adoption without the father knowing?
It’s important that you’re upfront and truthful with your baby’s father right now. If you don’t want to speak with him, an adoption attorney and Lifetime can communicate with him for you. The attorney will look into your situation and decide if the adoption can go forward without his approval.
Questions About My Baby or Child
Can I see my baby in the hospital?
Yes, you can see and hold your baby if you wish, as well as feed and care for them. You’re able to choose how things go at the hospital, including how much you’d like the adoptive parents to be involved. This is a very personal experience, and many women don’t know right away how they want things to go at the hospital. You can make a birth plan ahead of time, and Lifetime will communicate your wishes to the hospital before or during your time there.
Can my family see the baby and receive updates too?
Absolutely! Lifetime encourages our adoptive families to be open to meeting your other family members. Your family is welcome to come to the hospital if you’re comfortable with that and if the hospital allows it. Talk with your family, share what open adoption looks like for you, and let them know if you want them to be part of your open adoption. Together you can discuss the best possible way to include your family in the open adoption.
Can I ever see my child again?
Yes! Open adoption allows you to stay in touch with your child and the adoptive parents you select. Many adoptive families are happy to share pictures and updates of your baby, write letters or emails, share phone calls, and even have visits with you. The adoptive parents you choose will honor the level of contact you are comfortable with during and after the adoption process.
Do you have families that are interested in older children or sibling groups?
We have many loving adoptive families seeking to adopt children up to seven years old. It is our policy not to separate siblings, so we will work hard to find just the right family for you to interview to adopt siblings. You may also determine what type of contact you desire, if any, after the adoption. Find out more about the adoption process for an older child here.
What if my child has a disability or medical problem, do you have adoptive families available? I don’t want my child put into foster care, can you help?
Yes, Lifetime has adoptive families that have shown interest in special needs babies and older children. The process is easier than you think, confidential, and completely legal. Explore our families interested in special needs adoption. There is a home for every child with Lifetime.
My child has been removed from my home and is in foster care now, but my rights have not been terminated. Can I still work with your program and find a family to adopt my child?
While Lifetime is not a foster care adoption agency, we can assist moms with kids currently in foster care who can still choose their child’s future. We will work with you and one of our attorneys — at no cost to you. In some cases and some states, you may be able to remove your child from foster care and work with an adoption agency to place the child into a forever family instead. You can choose the adoptive parents, meet them, talk with them, and become acquainted before deciding.
My baby will be African American-do you have black families available?
We do! Many African American and biracial couples are turning to adoption to build their families. On Lifetime Adoption website you can view adoptive families who are waiting to adopt an African American or biracial child to read about the lifestyles of these prospective adoptive families. You can also view their photos before speaking to them on the phone about adopting your baby.
Will my baby go to foster care before going to the adoptive parents I choose?
Your baby will not go to foster care and will be able to leave the hospital with the adoptive parents you choose. With adoption, you decide how things go at the hospital or after your baby is born. Making an adoption plan does not mean that Child Services is involved, and even if they are involved with your other children already, they cannot disrupt an adoption plan for your newborn.
I don’t have U.S. citizenship and I’m an undocumented immigrant. Can I still make an adoption plan for my baby?
Lifetime is committed to helping every woman who is considering adoption, including those who do not have U.S. citizenship. If you are expecting and undocumented, you have just as much right as any other mother to choose adoption for your baby in the United States. So long as your child is born in the US, you can choose a loving, supportive adoptive family for them, despite your own citizenship status. Making an adoption plan for your baby without U.S. citizenship is a safe and secure process, and you do not need a sponsor.
Can I place my baby for adoption if she was premature?
Yes! Lifetime Adoption has loving adoptive families ready and able to adopt a premature baby. We have a variety of adoptive families of different races and backgrounds living all over the U.S. for you to choose from. All of our hopeful families have gone through background checks and excited to become parents through adoption.
How do I put my baby up for adoption?
Lifetime is here to give you guidance on how open adoption works so that you can make a decision that’s right for you and your baby. The adoption process is different for every woman. Lifetime will help you make your own customized adoption plan so that it fits your life and your needs.
Will I get deported if I do adoption?
No, you will not get deported if you choose adoption for your child. Your immigration status will not have an impact on your adoption plan. You can choose a family for your baby and create a hospital plan, and you can be sure your information will be kept confidential and private. You have the right to place your baby for adoption if that is your choice, regardless of your immigration status.
Can I get financial assistance if I’m undocumented?
Yes, you can get financial assistance if you are undocumented. In addition, in some states, such as California, you may be eligible for health insurance such as WIC and Medi-Cal. While access to pregnancy-related expenses when choosing adoption varies from state to state, your adoption coordinator will help you find the resources you need.
Will I get arrested if I’m undocumented and do adoption?
No, you will not get arrested if you choose to create an adoption plan for your baby. Your immigration status will not impact your ability to choose adoption for your baby. As long as your baby is born in the U.S., it is your right to decide what is best for your baby. The adoption process is completely confidential and private.
You will have the same rights as any other mother choosing adoption. You can choose a family, decide how things will go during delivery, and you can create a post-adoption contact agreement with the adoptive family. You can decide if you want photos, updates, social media contact, and even occasional visits.
I’m pregnant and scared to go to the doctor or hospital. Will they report me?
It can be scary to be undocumented and pregnant, but you should not fear that you will be reported if you go to a doctor or hospital. Neither your doctor nor the hospital will report you to any immigration or government office. HIPAA privacy laws actually prohibit healthcare providers from providing any information regarding a patient to anyone without the consent of the patient.
Get Help Now With Questions About Adoption
This form is intended for pregnant women or women wanting to place their child for adoption.
If you wish to adopt a child into your home, please click here. If you live outside of the U.S., please click here.
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