What Are My Rights as a Birth Mother?
Adoption is a sensitive process for any birth mother, especially for those who are hesitant. Even more, it is not a straightforward process and is dependent on several personal factors. For this reason, it is important that birth mothers know their rights when proceeding with the adoption process.
Nevertheless and without a doubt, adoption laws are often hard to understand and muddled with the industry lingo. To help you understand, we’ve broken down adoption birth mother rights by state.
Learn Your Adoption Birth Mother Rights by State
By and large, adoption laws vary by state. The rights you have in one state may not carry over into the next. The Child Welfare Information Gateway has a complete guide to birth mother rights by state regarding consent for adoption, termination of parental rights, and more.
To provide an example of what you may expect, we’ll be discussing Texas adoption laws and the rights that birth mothers can expect.
Pre-Adoption Birth Mother Rights
First and foremost, birth mothers do have parental rights; however, they give up those legal rights upon the completion of the adoption. To explain, Texas has an adoption law in which the birth mother has to maintain parental rights for at least 48 hours after giving birth. During this time, the birth mother has full parental rights. After this 48 hour period, birth mothers have the freedom to place their baby for adoption.
At this point in the adoption process, birth mothers may sign a relinquishment of parental rights document. This document releases the birth mother of all parental rights. The adoptive family then receives parental rights. Even more, it is important to note that the relinquishment of parental rights signed with a licensed adoption agency is irrevocable. This means it cannot be taken back. The relinquishment of parental rights is one of the primary adoption requirements in Texas.
It’s important to note, however, that in the state of Texas, parental rights must be terminated freely. Your Adoption Specialist can walk you through this process and ensure that all Texas adoption laws are followed and consent is freely given. It is important to work with an agency that does not coerce or pressure their clients to sign anything.
Post-Adoption Birth Mother Rights
Once the adoptive family takes parental rights, the birth mother does not have parental rights to the child according to Texas adoption laws. Traditionally, the birth mother and adoptive family will meet prior to the birth. During this meeting, they will discuss the level of involvement the birth mother may have. This interaction is often facilitated by an adoption agency, like Texas Adoption Center, to ensure that everyone’s needs are met. Additionally, Texas Adoption Center will work with both parties to ensure that all sides uphold the agreement for ongoing communication.
Relinquishing parental rights can be a stressful decision. However, birth mothers with a solid adoption plan can make the decision feeling empowered.
Birth Mother Legal Resources
As you go through the adoption process, you’ll likely have some legal questions regarding Texas adoption laws. Finding legal aid for adoption is an essential part of getting these questions answered.
Texas Adoption Law is an excellent legal aid for adoption. This organization provides legal information regarding the termination of parental rights, what to expect throughout the adoption process, and the information that should be considered when selecting an adoptive family.
In addition to online resources, meeting with an adoption lawyer can be a useful resource. Texas Adoption Center funds a confidential consultation with an adoption lawyer. Keep in mind that the lawyer is not affiliated with Texas Adoption Center. The adoption lawyer completely represents the birth mother. During this consultation, you can delve deep into adoption law. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss your legal rights during the process and ensure that your rights are not violated at any point. In addition, you can ask the appropriate questions that will help you make an educated decision about adoption.
Furthermore, the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE) is an excellent resource for answering preliminary questions regarding adoption requirements in Texas. This includes information regarding the termination of rights and the steps that adoptive parents must take to welcome a child into their home. As a birth mother, you can use these resources to ensure that your chosen adoptive family has met the adoption requirements in Texas.
Discuss Your Rights With An Adoption Specialist
Considering that each adoption is unique, it is important to talk with a professional in your given state. Talk with a Texas Adoption Center specialist to better understand your rights in regard to Texas adoption laws. The adoption specialist can also help you determine the best course of action for your adoption. We’ll provide adoption counseling to help you through the process.
In the end, Texas Adoption Center has the knowledge and resources to answer your questions. Even more, they are able to address your unique situation. Whether that be placing a child for adoption without the father’s consent, returning the child after adoption, or otherwise, contact Texas Adoption Center at 844-893-7943 for a private one-on-one session.