Making the decision to give your child a loving and nurturing home will set him or her up on a solid path for life. It’s an incredibly strong and brave decision. Upbring Adoption is here to help you decide whether to provide that home yourself or to work with someone else who can provide it.
On this page, you will find answers to frequently asked questions regarding the adoption process through Upbring.
What is options counseling?
We understand that as an expectant mother you have a lot going on. On top of maintaining your everyday responsibilities, you are dealing with the physical and emotional demands of pregnancy as well as deciding what needs to be done next. Upbring guides you through the process of options counseling, so you can make a clear and informed decision on the future of your child. These steps include:
- Discussion regarding the different approaches you can take on the pending birth of your child, and the lifetime impact it will have on both of you.
- Referrals to resources within the community if you need assistance that is not pregnancy-related, or if you choose to parent your baby.
- Involvement of the baby’s biological father in the decision-making process.
- Navigating the communication between you and your family members about this decision process.
- Discussion of your feelings in regard to peer pressure and self-doubt about how a loving mother could possibly choose adoption.
- Explanation and assistance with understanding the legal process of adoption.
- Discussions about the criteria you desire in an adoptive couple.
- Assistance in selecting a family and developing a relationship with them.
- Guidance in creating an individualized plan regarding the delivery process and hospital experience.
- Help with preparing documents that will be given to your child and the adoptive family. These include a social and medical history as well as a statement explaining your wishes in the lifelong journey that now connects you with your child and the adoptive family.
- Discussions regarding future plans beyond this pregnancy and delivery.
What is open adoption?
Open adoption builds a bridge between birth parents and adoptive parents. It is the beginning of a relationship that focuses on the best interest of the child who you both care deeply about.
Today, most domestic adoptions are “open” or “semi-open,” meaning there is some contact between the adoptive family and birth parents. The amount and type of contact is individualized and mutually agreed upon, and the roles between the two families are clearly defined: The birth parents give the child life, personality traits, talents and interests, and their genetic makeup. The adoptive family nurtures and financially supports the child, shapes the child’s values, builds on the child’s interests and talents, and provides the child opportunities to become the person he/she was meant to be.
Why Open Adoption?
- It reassures birth parents that their child is doing well. Correspondence can be exchanged through the agency for as long as desired.
- It gives adoptive parents information about their child’s biological history.
- It gives families a sense of security (studies have shown that adoptive parents in closed arrangements are more anxious about losing their child than those in open ones).
- It allows adopted children and adults to have longed-for connections to their biological family.
- The relationship evolves, ebbs and flows, as the needs of all parties change.
Benefits of Open Adoption to the Child
- The child has access to knowledge of who he/she is and better understands why the adoption decision was made.
- The child does not have to fantasize or wonder about his/her birth parents.
- Openness helps to normalize the experience and understanding of being adopted, which helps the child build self-esteem.
- It gives the child both roots and wings.
If you have more questions about open adoption or other related topics, please ask.
How do I know the family will offer a safe and loving environment for my child?
Each adoptive couple approved by Upbring goes through an extensive process to be presented as a waiting couple. This process includes a background history, health history and an interview by a licensed social worker in the applicant’s home. At this time they discuss, both individually and jointly with their spouse, why they are seeking to adopt, issues with their own infertility, what they foresee in their relationship with the birth parents, and their hopes and desires for a child.
Eligibility requirements specify that the adoptive parents are Texas residents and that they are either unable to have a child biologically, or that they have been advised not to have a child for medical reasons. As a result of infertility, many couples have suffered with the loss of their hopes and plans much like you may be experiencing with an unexpected pregnancy. They have a home and life where they are prepared and more than willing to welcome a child into their home. They also have a strong desire to provide unconditional love and acceptance for a child.
- Parenting and marriage questionnaires.
- Documentation of medical health, financial stability, character references, educational background and employment history.
- Background checks that include reports from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Department of Family and Protective Services and the FBI’s criminal history database.
- Home inspections that include environmental safety and fire prevention.
- Proof of secure storage of any firearms kept in the home.
- Proof of CPR/First Aid certification.
- Attendance at an eight-hour training seminar regarding adoption and infant care issues.
What is the legal process for adoption?
If you, as the biological parent(s), decide it is in the best interest of the child to be placed with another family through adoption, there is a legal process you must follow. Upbring is here to help you through it.
The State of Texas requires at least a 48-hour waiting period after the child’s birth before the legal paperwork is signed. This waiting process gives the parent(s) time to make their decision from an informed point of view. Upbring does not pressure any client into choosing one option over another. If you, as the parent(s), decide to move forward with the adoption process after that 48 -hour period, Upbring will assist you in completing the documents stating your wish to relinquish parental rights.
What if the birth parents are not married?
If the birth mother and father are not married, and he has not been declared the legal father, a Waiver of Interest can be signed by him prior to the birth. This document gives his consent for an adoption to take place. Even if he is not currently involved in the decision-making process for the child’s future, Texas law still requires that Upbring, as the child placing agency, makes a documented effort to notify him and gain his consent whenever possible.
Who can help me facilitate the signing of the legal documents?
Upbring will facilitate the signing of all legal documents, and the court will not require a parent to appear in person to state their wishes for adoption.
How much does it cost to have Upbring facilitate the signing of legal documents?
All services provided to birth parents by Upbring, including the signing of legal documents, are free of charge.
Is there financial assistance available during the adoption process?
Yes. When you make an adoption plan, your legal, miscellaneous and medical expenses (other than those paid by Medicaid or insurance) are paid for by the new parents through their adoption fees. If you are struggling with your bills because of pregnancy-related difficulties, your caseworker will help you to locate additional resources. Upbring is sometimes able to assist with certain expenses as well. If you choose to parent your child, Upbring does not require that you reimburse the agency for expenses paid on your behalf.
What if I have other questions?
If you have any questions about any of this information, please ask. Upbring knows from experience that this is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make. We want to help you make an informed decision that is best suited for you, your baby, the father and other important people in your life.