Okay, pls let this be one of those ignorant rumors that gets started somewhere and keeps getting passed on...when we decided to share with a friend about our recent probably adoption plans, she was quick to admonish us and to tell us that the birthmother ALWAYS has the right to "fight" to get her child back, no matter how long it's been since the adoption went thru. Is there any truth to this? (I'm in GA by the way.) I've NEVER heard of this. I mean, once a child is LEGALLY relinquished and the adoption has gone thru, that's that, right?
Thanks for all the responses. I thought it was a little outlandish. In our case, the birthparents live together and have 3 other children together. They are both in agreement about giving this child up. As I understand, the bfather will have to sign paperwork for relinquishment too.
I will ask the next atty I talk to as well.
thanks everyone.
Remember that these very well publicized cases are over TEN YEARS old. Since then virtually every state has changed their laws to prevent these situations happening.
For instance, where no putative (not married to birth mother) birth father is named, or where multiple men might be the birth father, notice is published in newspapers where the birth mother lives and where any potential birth fathers live. If they fail to respond, then rights are terminated. Similarly, many states are now coming up with a putative birth father registry, where a man can register himself to be notified if a woman he's had sexual relations with during a period of time gives birth within 9 months of those relations.
This is also why it's VERY IMPORTANT that you engage a qualified, experienced adoption attorney and have the potential birth parents represented by SEPARATE counsel. They can ensure that everything is done properly and that there is no evidence of fraud or coercion as the law defines these activities.
My 2 cents.
Regina, AMom to Ryan Joshua Thomas
I call this the "Lifetime Movie Network" frame of mind. As long as you have a reputable agency/attorney, you should be okay. Also, pay close attention when they discuss "at-risk placements". I've read some really heartrending stories from a-parents who had to return children during the "at risk" time and didn't understand it.
Remember, also, that there are always people who want to tarnish happiness with extreme cautionary tales... these are probably the same people who quoted divorce statistics to you when you were engaged and talk about the dangers of miscarriage with pregnant women...
Thanks to both of you and to everyone who replied. :)
I felt in my heart that it had to be one of those mindsets like Stacy is talking about. Luckily, we have a bmom and bdad who will both be involved in everything, ALL the paperwork. We sat and talked at length with them both and esp the bdad feels that there is no way he can care financially for another child. (The bmom is the one who says that she simply cannot emotionally, with 3 other children ages 5 and under.)
thanks so much to everyone who responded. I feel much more at peace now about this. It is interesting to me, as Stacy pointed out, how there are always those ppl who will try to bring up the negatives in whatever joy you are trying to share.:(
I guess you just gotta push yourself past them and their gloom and doom. ;)
Don't you just hate those horrid tv specials? SO many people have talked to us the same way - I see the fear in their eyes that something will "go wrong" - as everyone here has said, that is ridiculous. As long as you are going through an attorney knowledgeable about adoption, this is virtually impossible as of finalization which is usually when the baby is 3 months old or so (depending). Our child is now 4 1/2months old and there is no way in the entire universe that our adoption could be overturned. As tobeafamily said, those horror stories you hear are OLD and laws have changed to make sure that terrible stuff doesn't happen anymore! Good luck and what a wonderful situation it sounds like you have! What a blessing for you to get to know the bfather as well as bmom! Not many of us get that joy!
It's important to note that there is a BIG difference between the "right to fight to get her child back" and "the right to get her child back".
In the USA, anyone can file a lawsuit about anything. It doesn't need to be legal, it doesn't need to be right, it doesn't even need to make sense. All you have to have is the money to hire a lawyer who cares more about the money than about the chances of winning.
So, yes, a birthmother or birthfather or anybody, really, has the right to *try* to get the child back at any time. Relinquishing your child doesn't include a clause negating one's right to file a lawsuit. Most lawyers wouldn't take the case, explaining that she has an incredibly low chance of winning. They'd go over the legality of the things that happened when she signed relinquishment papers, the liklihood of the judge throwing it out at the first court date, etc. But if she can find a lawyer or learn how to file papers herself, then yes, she could "fight" to get the child back.
But, the chances of winning it are what most other people who answered this are talking about. THAT is next to impossible, especially if you are careful and have everything signed and filed legally.
You can't really protect yourself against a receiving a lawsuit, but you can certainly protect yourself against losing one.
I love that name, Kaden!!!
I guess you're right and never having attempted adoption or even really checking into it in depth before (thought we would never be able to afford), I never really thought about it being "lucky" to know the bfather. It's good to have these things pointed out to you.
I still get scared that he will be the one to change his mind. If either of them changes their mind, I feel he is most likely to. But the financial aspect will be the only thing that will keep us going towards adoption, I believe.
Thanks for your post.
Thanks for your post as well. This family is not a family with money so I don't foresee a lawsuit but your point is very valid.
I saw the birthmother yesterday and we spoke about her pumping her breastmilk for the 1st couple of weeks so that I can feed the baby the colostrum and allow him/her that benefit and I was very excited that the bmom was thinking along those lines and she was excited that I had been thinking about it too. I take that as another positive sign and I am always looking for those!
I think that is SO great about the pumping milk from the bmom - I did want to make a small suggestion though to be thinking about, because our bmom agreed to pump in the hospital as well (but it didn't work out, which we were fine with), what I didn't know was that it is extremely difficult to pump colostrum because it is SO thick and such a small amount...generally, to get colostrum (just talking the first 1-3 days here) a child would actually have to nurse. Perhaps others know more than I do, but this is what I have come up with. Otherwise, after the initial "milk coming in" the bmom should have no problem pumping regular milk. Any of you correct me if I am wrong. I just want you to be thinking so you know how you feel about the bmom actually nursing the child if that were to come up - it is always a good idea to think about these things just in case they arise later. Hope it all works out - what a neat bmom you must have!
also, thanks for liking the name we chose for our son! :) I am glad... and yes, I am sure you have some nerves about them changing their minds...especially the bdad, but you know that if it is meant to be it will be! I think I noted that it was neat to know him especially since our son is a boy - I just know a time will come down the road when he would have really enjoyed a relationship with his bdad, but at this point, it doesn't look like that is a possibility. Count your blessings. :)
well, you know, I wondered about occurred in my brain that colostrum is very thick but then, I just didn't question it so thanks for bringing it up. I think it would be too much to ask of the bmom to nurse the baby. I think it would overwhelm her as she is concerned about bonding with the baby and says that at this point anyway (may change her mind and that's fine) that she does not even want to hold the baby.
I called someone from Le Leche League to find out about how I could nurse the baby and there are books and pamphlets about how to nurse your adopted baby. I have not gotten the info yet, just found out about it today. Apparently, you have to get a pump and start pumping 2-3 mos ahead of birth to start milk production but it is sooooo fascinating to me that this is even possible!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am not going to get my hopes up too high about this as I am on meds for bipolar disorder but this would be the ultimate in bonding with adoptive baby! Isn't it exciting!!! The human body is absolutely amazing!
Yes, I also looked into breastfeeding the adopted baby, but in the end I decided it wasn't worth it. It is a totally exciting possibility and I am behind you 100% if you decide to do it. Yes, it requires you to pump 2-3 months various times per day before the baby arrives and then you get a supplement line when the baby comes so that it suckles but also gets a small tube (taped to you) that actually gives them milk, so they will continue to suckle and thereby stimulate you to lactate. It is QUITE a process, but might be worth it if you have the time and energy. I heard it recommended various places to get on hormones to aid lactation along with the pumping before the baby comes. Just know that even with all these things, you are unlikely to produce a full milk supply that would not need formula supplements. Average sounds like about 1/2 the milk a baby needs. I did a lot of research! Yes, call La Leche League and also call your local hospital and talk to the lactation specialist. As long as you are aware of the potential for minimum success, I think you can do it, because it is when you think it could come easy that you will get horribly discouraged and quit. Make sure you know what a big commitment it is before you start! If I were you and decided I was really going to pursue this, I would start a new thread asking for advice, because all I have is my research - I never actually tried it. My mother in law is a nurse and she was pretty discouraging about it because of low success rates...but, I still think it would be neat. I just decided it was more stress than I could handle at the time because there was so much going on already. Best of luck and if you do decide to do this I really want to hear about it - maybe I will try it next time!
Thanks so much for your informative post. I did not know it would be as difficult as you described, though I knew it would not be simple. To be honest, I get really excited about ideas and then make myself crazy with them so it would be best if I just backed off from this one now. But it is still amazing!
Thanks again for your post. It is really helpful. :)
I chose not to breastfeed our adopted daughter for the same reasons -- really complicated procedure that's only going to provide partial the amount they need. The colostrum is the most important part and that can't be recreated. Besides, with bottles you know exactly how much they're taking. Other family members get to participate, too.
I believe it is different in every state. Our son was placed with us about 3 months ago. In Iowa, the birth parents have only 96 hours after they sign the papers. The adoption still is not final for 6 months, but it would be very difficult for them to get him back. They would basically have to bring us to court and prove that either something was wrong with the paper work or that we are unfit. We were told the law was changed in Iowa due to the Baby Jessica case. Apparently it happened in Iowa or near by and Iowa decided not to wear egg on their face over adoptions again. I would check with the agency or caseworker you are working with. They should be able to tell you the state laws regarding this.