FAQs For Birthparents
1. Will it cost me anything?
No – There is never any cost to meet with a counselor, or to create an adoption plan for your child.
2. Who adopts my baby?
You can choose the adoptive family who will raise your child. Every family that St. Elizabeth works with is carefully screened and you will be able to view their profile, which includes a biography, photos and additional information about their plans, hopes and dreams.
3. Can I meet the adoptive family before I decide?
Yes. Families who wish to have an open adoption are usually very willing to meet birthmothers. And there is no obligation to choose that family. The meeting is just to get to know each other better.
4. Can I stay in touch with my child after placement?
Yes. Part of creating an adoption plan is deciding how much contact you want to have with the adoptive parents and with your child now and in the future. Your counselor will help you to create a communication plan that is comfortable for you.
5. What if I do not want to have any contact with the adoptive family?
Then you can choose to have what is called a “closed adoption”. Your name and contact inspiration will be kept confidential, and not provided to the adopting family.
6. What about the birth father?
While it is always better for the birth father to be involved, we understand that this isn’t always possible. The father does have certain legal rights, and your counselor can talk with you about all the options available.
7. Can I change my mind?
Yes, you can change your mind until you sign the final adoption papers. According to Louisiana law, this legal document cannot be signed until 72 hours after the birth of your baby.
8. When is the adoption "final?"
Nothing can be finalized until 72 hours after the birth. It is only then that the birthparent(s) are able to sign the "Final and Irrevocable Surrender for Adoption" form. Once this is signed the adoption is legally binding and cannot be changed.
9. Can my baby go directly to the adoptive parents from the hospital?
Yes, if that is what you request and the adoptive parents agree.
10. I used drugs or alcohol before I knew I was pregnant. Does that make a difference?
No – but it IS important to be honest and tell you counselor about your consumption, especially if you are a heavy drinker or user of recreational drugs, as this can lead to birth defects.
11. What if my baby is born with severe health problems, what then?
St. Elizabeth is proud to have found loving homes for every baby placed in our care, including those with complex medical needs or disabilities. If the adoptive family that you have chosen is unable to move forward, we will continue to work with you to find another loving and appropriate family for your child.
12. What if my circumstances change later (and I do or don’t want contact)?
If you have chosen a closed adoption and find you want to make contact after all, you can meet with a counselor and explore the options. Of course the adoptive family will need to agree to the new terms.
In any open adoption, when personal circumstances change, so can the level of contact. The plan is always flexible and open to renegotiation.
13. If I make an adoption plan, will my child go into the system?
Adoption is not the same as foster care, and it does not involve the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). In adoption, you are voluntarily transferring your parental rights to the adoptive family.
14. Can I make a short term adoption plan?
No, adoption is permanent. You can, however, place your child in temporary care while you consider making a permanent adoption plan. Temporary care is usually available for several days to several weeks, and the child is placed in the home of one of our loving, licensed families.
15. Can I place a child who is already born?
It is never too late to explore adoption. Whether you have just given birth, or have an older child, we are here to help you understand and consider adoption.
16. Do I need my parents’ permission if I am under 18?
No, the decision to place your baby for adoption is completely up to you. But family support can be very helpful, and if you would like to include them in the process, we can help you find the best way to tell them about your decision.
17. What kinds of counseling services are available before and after I make an adoption plan?
Our compassionate and experienced adoption counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They will help you at every step of the process: from making the decision to parent or place your child, choosing the adoptive family, even being with you at the hospital when you give birth if that is what you wish. You can continue to work with a counselor for as long as you choose after placement, until you feel ready and able to move on.
18. Are you a non-profit agency?
Yes. St. Elizabeth Foundation is a licensed non-profit charitable organization. We do not have any religious or political affiliation, and are fully committed to helping children find permanent loving families.