Frequently Asked Questions
Who might a typical birth parent be?
An expectant mother might be 17 or 42. She might have other children. She might be of any race, religion or culture. Each birthparent we work with is different in many ways.
Are we able to have any medical history on the baby?
Birthparents are required by the state of Utah to fill out forms with non-identifying health information. This includes mental health, genetic history and current health concerns. This is all provided to the adoptive parents.
How long will we wait?
Because the majority of expectant parents choose the potential adoptive family, it is difficult to predict how long a family will wait. Families have waited as little as three days and as long as three years. The length of your wait often depends on your level of openness regarding contact with the birthparents after placement, adopting a child of a different race, or openness to substance abuse and mental health.
Is financial support available to the birthmother?
If the birth mother is in need of financial support, she will be provided with housing and living expenses as deemed appropriate for her condition and related to the pregnancy. This assistance may include rent, maternity clothing, and food. She may also be provided assistance for up to six weeks following delivery. A portion of the adoptive family’s adoption fee goes toward this financial support. Any hospital bills related to delivery not covered under her insurance are to be paid by the adoptive parents should she make a plan of adoption.
How long does a birthparent have to change their mind once they have signed the relinquishment?
Relinquishment laws are different in each state. In the state of Utah, once a birthparent has signed the relinquishment papers, they are not able to change their mind. This is why it is so important that birthparents are clear on their decision before signing. The earliest a birth mother can sign relinquishment papers in the state of Utah is 24 hours after delivery. Most women choose to sign prior to hospital discharge which is typically at 48 hours. CSS will notify any potential birth father and make him aware of his rights and responsibilities. You will be notified of any legal risk that is known if he has not also signed relinquishments. We encourage birth father involvement and we will not participate in the unethical placement of a child.
What happens if a birth mother decides to parent her baby?
Please understand the difficult decision an expectant mother is making. Some women who plan to place a child for adoption have a change of heart before they sign the relinquishment papers. This will be a very difficult time for you if it happens. Your caseworker will be there to provide support through this difficult time. We recommend that you prepare yourself and your family for the high likelihood of this happening as many women do change their mind after delivery. They have the right to change their mind at any time before signing the relinquishment papers and this right should be fully respected.
Can a biological father come back and claim his right to the child if he didn't sign relinquishment at the time of the adoption?
In the state of Utah, any potential father must pursue his parental rights before the adoption takes place by filing a claim for paternity with the Utah Department of Health Office of Vital Records. If he does not do this, he cannot come back after the adoption. This becomes more difficult if he lives out of state. In that situation the laws of the other state must be followed as well. We will inform you of the father’s rights and any legal risk. CSS believes it is important to notify any potential fathers as soon as possible and to involve them in planning for their child. Their information and input is invaluable to the child. We will not participate in any adoption that is not up to the highest ethical standards. You should have an adoption attorney readily available to you to consult with on such legal matters that involve potential birth fathers.
How do I adopt a child out of state custody?
CSS will prepare a homestudy and provide post placemetn supervision for children adopted out of state custody. We highly recommend that you become a licensed foster parent in the state of Utah before considering adopting a child out state custody. Children in custody of the state are there because they have been abused and/or neglected and have special needs because of their traumatic histories. You need to be well prepared for the unique challenges of parenting a child with a history of trauma. Utah does not require that you become a licensed foster parent in order to adopt a child out of foster care however, many other states do require you to be licensed before they will consider placing a child in their custody into your home for adoption. Every state is different so if you are looking to adopt a child in another state, we always recommend you become licensed in order to broaden your possibilities of receiving placement of a child.
How do I adopt internationally?
CSS will prepare a homestudy and provide post placement supervision for international adoptions, but you will need to find an international agency to complete the child referral portion of an international adoption. Every country has different requirements and you will need to seek the guidance of the international agency regarding those requirements.