Child Adoption Information

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child adoption It's not an easy decision to take, but sometimes personal or social circumstances determine pregnant women to consider offering their child for adoption. Some of them may decide that the baby's life would be better without them. The good news is that there are a lot of good people out there able and willing to offer the very best to a child.

What to do if you're in this situation?

The most important thing to start with is to seek an expert advice.

There are many child adoption agencies out there that would be more than happy to meet you and talk to you about the options, but it is preferable to search for independent advice and information at first, such as social services or the local council officers. You could also consider talking to a charity worker from a national organisation, such as the British Association for Adoption and Fostering.

The social workers might advise you to search for an adoption agency, but it's unlikely that they would recommend a particular one, for neutrality reasons.

The adoption procedure

The adoption agency will go through all the legal matters with you and tell you clearly all the terms and conditions of the contract. Remember, any arrangement can be cancelled at any time without exception, should you change your mind, until the actual Court validation of the adoption.

If the baby's father is on the birth certificate, then he needs to agree with the adoption. If there is no legal father related to the baby in any way, there is no need for the biological father's permission. However, if you are married, your husband will need to officially agree with the adoption, even if he is not the baby's father.

Even before birth, the adoption agency may find a number of families that would be willing to adopt your baby. The agency will have to give you a detailed description for each of them and you will be able to influence the decision of who will be the legal parents of your baby. You should be able to contact them, if they permit it, or even meet them in their house, for a preview of the environment your baby is going to grow up in.

The usual procedure is that the baby is taken from the hospital by the adoptive parents and the future course of action depends entirely on how the baby settles within the family. Legally, the Court cannot declare the adoption until the baby is at least 19 weeks old and had spent at least 13 weeks within the adoptive family.

If the baby and the adoptive family to be have settled properly, the adoptive family will make an application to the Court. Someone on behalf of the Court will then visit you and make sure you understand 100% what adoption involves and that you are 100% willing to offer the baby for adoption and 100% to offer him for adoption to that particular family. You will have to sign a document (not before the baby is at least six weeks old). Based on this report and based on the adoption agency's report regarding the baby's situation within the adoptive family, the Court can then grant the adoption.

Why is an adoption agency important?

If you consider settling an adoption yourself, without the help of an agency, you're probably making the wrong choice. All adoption agencies need to be approved in order to function. Besides, no adoption can be settled outside the Court.

Can you change your mind and the UK Adoption Law

The UK adoption law states that, if you change your mind before the Court granted the adoption, the adoption agency will help return the child back to you. If you change your mind after you signed the Court's document, it will still be possible for the child to be returned to you, but the Court will make some investigations to decide if it is in the child's interest to be returned to the natural parent. If you change your mind after the Court granted the adoption, itís impossible for the child to be returned to you, as you had lost all the legal rights and responsibilities regarding the child and they all had been granted to the new parents.

Can you visit the child?

If you want to visit the child, make sure the contract regulated by the adoption agency states this, otherwise you will not be able to visit him/her, unless private arrangements with the new family, which are not recommended.

Remember, when he/she is 18 (16 in Scotland), the adopted child will have the right to see his birth certificate. Based on it, he/she can trace you and might want to establish contact with you.

Whatever reasons may lead to your decision, make sure you make the right choice for your child. It could be a proof of responsibility and care to choose a better option for your baby. If a family goes through all the legal, bureaucratic and financial efforts to offer the best choice for your child, this should give you the extra assurance that your child is wanted and looked after.

Think of his/her interest primarily and seek advice and information from qualified people before you make any decision.

As a last note, money reimbursements for mothers planning on adoption for their children are illegal; therefore this should never be a reason, regardless of any circumstances.

If you would like to compare adoption against surrogacy, read our article on surrogacy.