Birth Mother Rights After An Adoption In New York
There are common misconceptions surrounding what goes on during the adoption journey and what a birth mother’s legal rights are in adoption. Although each state has its own laws and regulations, the state of New York operates with laws that don’t just benefit the adoptive family. After birth, the adoptive family is physically given the child in most cases, even though legal custody lies with the adoption agency until rights are moved over. Adoptive families can take away a birth mother’s ability to see the child in an open adoption if they feel the birth mother is a danger to the child. However, in New York, the birth mother can change her mind within a specific time frame or pre-delivery, thus ending the adoption agreement.
Expectant women and birth mothers are granted rights that allow you privacy, control of the adoption process, and the reinstatement of parental rights if you change your mind. Deciding what type of adoption is completely up to you is the choice of which adoptive family you would like to place your child with. You can change your mind about the family before any papers are signed, and there are no ramifications.
If you’re considering adoption in the New York area and want to talk more about your legal rights before and after placement, contact us at Adoption Choices of New York. We’re here to help guide you through the journey, whether you’re still deciding or have an adoption plan in mind!
Birth Mother and Pregnant Women’s Rights in New York
Your rights as a birth mother begin at the start of your adoption process and proceed through till after placement. In New York, you cannot sign away your rights as a parent until the baby is born. Once your child is born, the baby is under the adoption agency’s care, but in most cases, your child will be physically placed with the adoptive family. This means that at any point during your adoption process before birth, you can change your mind. Adoption ultimately is your decision. As a pregnant woman, you know what is best for your unborn child and yourself. If at any point before birth you feel that adoption is the wrong choice, you have every legal right in New York to change your mind.
More often than not, the biological father is not involved in the adoption process at all. In New York, you do not have to legally include the biological father for any decisions legally or otherwise. You will not have to give the name of the child’s biological father to the adoptive family or tell your adoption professional. However, you can if you want to. Legally, though, the biological father does not have to be present at all for the adoption to proceed. Unless you are married to the biological father, then he will have to terminate his parental rights and agree to the terms of the adoption plan.
Birth Mother Rights After Placement
Birth mother rights after placing her baby up for adoption in New York become more strict after birth. After your child is delivered and your parental rights are signed away, you have up to thirty days to rescind the decision. Some agencies will return your child to you upon your decision to revoke termination of your parental rights unless the agency feels you are a threat to your child’s safety. If you are determined to end the adoption completely, be prepared to prove that it is in your child’s best interest for you to be given custody. Some agencies want proof of this fact before you are given custody again. If you think you may change your mind at any point, ask your adoption professional about their policies.
There are situations where birth mothers don’t change their minds within the thirty-day window, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t able to attempt to regain custody. If you want to reinstate your parental rights and regain custody, you will have to go through the New York court system and hire a lawyer yourself. This is another situation where proving you are the better choice for your child is going to be extremely important and the basis of a judge’s decision.
Birth Mother Rights in an Open Adoption
Choosing to place your child in an open adoption gives you the ability to remain in his or her life after placement. Birth mother rights after an adoption in New York still ends after the thirty-day mark. Post-delivery visits and updates are created in your adoption plan beforehand and will be carried out in the way you designed per the adoption contract. Communication consistency and type of updates are decided upon by you in the pre-delivery stage of your adoption journey. After creating your plan, your adoption professional will match you with an adoptive family that is willing and ready to go along with your ideal form of communication.
Open adoptions do not mean you have the same rights as the adoptive parents. Sometimes it can get confusing because you are playing an active role in your child’s life. Decisions about medical care, school, diet, and all other choices come down to the adoptive family. That is why having a detailed adoption plan outlining boundaries for both parties is incredibly important. This not only helps you and the adoptive parents, but it will help your child understand later down the line.
You Still Have Rights as a Birth Mother in New York
Choosing to place your child up for adoption does not mean you are no longer legally allowed to change your mind before or after placement. You still have up to a month to revoke the decision and reinstate parental rights if you believe adoption was not the best choice for you.
Are you an expectant woman considering adoption but are unsure of your rights? Contact us at Adoption Choices of New York for answers to your questions regarding your parental rights before and after placement, adoption options, and anything else that’s on your mind.
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