If you are pregnant and considering adoption, you probably have lots of questions about how to find adoptive parents, expenses, birth father rights, and much more. Our firm can help explain the adoption process to you and answer all of your questions.
Attorneys in New York cannot match you with adoptive parents, but we can help you pick an agency that will be a good fit for you and/or we can direct you to other resources where you can seek potential adoptive parents.
If you choose to work with an adoption agency, the agency will talk to you about what you’re looking for in adoptive parents for your baby. They will also show you profiles of adoptive parents that fit your criteria and that you can select from. You can also decide whether you want to talk to and/or meet the adoptive parents before you give birth.
If you have already found adoptive parents on your own, you do not need an agency to be involved and our firm can represent you in the adoption. Regardless of whether you use an agency or find the adoptive parents yourself, you will need legal representation during the adoption and the adoptive parents will pay for that.
You are also entitled to be reimbursed for certain expenses:
- Uncovered medical expenses for your and the baby at any time during the pregnancy or after the birth
- Attorneys’ fees
- Lost wages during the last two months of your pregnancy and one month after the birth if you are not working due to the pregnancy
- Pregnancy-related living expenses during the last two months of your pregnancy and one month after the birth if you are working (e.g., rent, utilities, transportation expenses, cell phone bill, and food)
- Maternity clothes
With the help of your attorney, you and the adoptive parents will agree on what contact you will have with them and the baby after the adoption. This agreement will be put into a Post-Adoption Contact Agreement (“PACA”) that will be signed by you and the adoptive parents after the baby is born. PACAs are enforceable in New York, which means that if the adoptive parents are not following the agreement, you have the ability to go to Court to enforce your right to contact.
Your attorney can also help you decide on a hospital plan, which involves who will be present during labor and delivery; what, if any, contact you (and other members of your family) will have with the baby after delivery; and what, if any, contact you will have with the adoptive parents at the hospital. Your attorney will come to the hospital to sign the adoption papers with you after the baby is born.