What are My Rights as a Birth Mother in New York?
Whether you are considering putting your child up for adoption or have already decided to do so, it is important to consider your rights — both during your pregnancy and after the adoption is finalized.
It is important to remember that during the pregnancy and your adoption journey you are in control of your body, and you have the right to make the decisions that are best for you and your pregnancy. It is also important to remember that after your baby is born and your adoption is finalized, you will no longer have parental rights.
Your Rights as a Birth Mother in New York before the Adoption
At Adoption Choices of New York, we want to make sure you know your rights as a pregnant woman pursuing adoption. Before the adoption is finalized, you have full control over your pregnancy, your adoption journey and the decisions you make.
- The Right to Support and Counseling
At Adoption Choices of New York, we believe that every pregnant woman considering adoption has the right to counseling and support. We know that you may be going through a difficult time right now, and we are here to offer counseling free of charge. We understand that you may have questions that you need answers to, and we are here to provide you with answers. Some examples of what our adoption counselors could speak with you about are.
- Difficult emotions you are experiencing
- Postpartum depression
- The differences between open, semi-open, and closed adoption
- Avenues for financial support
- Any legal questions you may have about adoption
No matter what questions you have about your adoption journey, we are here to support you.
- The Right to Choose What Type of Adoption You Want
We know that every woman is different, and, as a result, every adoption will be different as well. No matter what type of adoption you choose, we will support you through your unique adoption journey.
Some women may want to pursue an open adoption, where they will have open communication with their adoptive family and possible visitation rights in the future. Others may prioritize their privacy and decide they want to remain completely anonymous and choose to have a closed adoption. Some women may fall somewhere in the middle and choose a semi-open adoption. They might decide they want to have some limited communication with their adoptive family, but still remain completely anonymous
- The Right to Choose Your Adoptive Family
If you decide to have an open adoption, you will be able to choose your child’s adoptive family from our list of waiting families. You may have a certain vision for the type of adoptive family you want, and although it may be impossible to always get a perfect match, there are several great families who may have the important qualities you are looking for. Some things you might want to consider are:
- Would you rather your child go to a couple, or to a single parent?
- Would you want your child to be raised in a specific religion?
- Do you want your child to go to a small family or a large family?
While you may not be able to find a family that checks off every box you want, it is important to think about what you want your ideal adoptive family to look like so your selection process is easier.
- The Right to Change Your Mind up Until the Adoption is Finalized
Up until the point your adoption is finalized, you are able to decide you no longer want to place your child for adoption. It is understandable that sometimes pregnant women decide adoption is no longer the right choice for them, especially because adoption is such a big decision.
This is why it is crucial for you to think about your choice carefully before you decide you want to pursue adoption, because it is easier to change your mind earlier than it is later.
Your Rights as a Birth Mother in New York after the Adoption is Finalized
In the state of New York, after you have given birth and signed the legal adoption documentation, you relinquish all parental rights. After you make the decision to place your child with their adoptive family, you will no longer be their legal guardian.
Sometimes, in an open adoption, you may have set up certain communication and visitation rights beforehand, but you will still not have parental rights. This is important to realize before you begin the adoption process.
It’s very important for you to make sure you are okay with someone else raising your biological child before you decide adoption is right for you. For many women, adoption was the best choice they could make for themselves and their child, but it isn’t for anybody. You need to be honest with yourself throughout your adoption journey to make sure that adoption is truly the best choice for you.
How Can I Learn More about Adoption in New York?
It can be difficult to know all of your rights and options as a birth mother if you have no background knowledge about adoption. Feel free to contact us so we can speak about any questions you may have and to make sure you are as informed as possible.
About the Author: Alexandra Georgiton is a fourth-year student at the University of Cincinnati studying Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and is receiving certification in Copyediting and Publishing. She has been passionate about the English language for her entire life, and reading and writing have always been her favorite hobbies. She enjoys professional writing and editing because she loves to use her talent and love of writing to make a difference in the world.