Adoption can be a lengthy and complicated process. You may wonder, can a birth mother change her mind? When you choose to adopt a newborn infant, it is very likely that you will be making plans and arrangements before the baby is born. Your adoption professional will match you with an expectant mother and you plan to adopt the child once he or she is born. An adoption cannot take place before the baby is born.

This means that the expectant mother may change her mind about putting her baby up for adoption.

An unplanned pregnancy is a very difficult situation, emotionally. The expectant mother may be torn about whether she should try to keep the baby or to give her child the best start in life by finding a stable family to adopt the child. Her feelings may change as her pregnancy progresses. It is possible for an adoption to start out in good faith and yet not be completed. This doesn’t happen often, but it can happen.

Once the baby is born

After the baby is born, the mother gives her consent to the adoption. Each state then gives a certain amount of time for the mother to change her mind. In Arkansas, a birth mother has ten days after relinquishing the baby. At that point, if she has not said that she wants to keep the baby, the adoption can go ahead.

Once the child is adopted, the parents cannot change their minds and regain parental rights.

The statistics on how many women change their minds about adoption after a baby is born vary a great deal from one source to another. A recent long-term study found that women who had placed their infant for adoption expressed an average of 62% satisfaction with their decision. Estimates of the number of women who changed their minds during the 10 day waiting period range from 2% to 20%. Again, it’s not common, but it can happen.

Your adoption lawyer

Once parental consent for the adoption is given, it’s time to file for adoption and complete the legal process. Adoptive parents can take their new baby home.

It is very important to be sure that the adoption is completed correctly according to the law. An adoption lawyer should represent the birth mother and a separate adoption attorney should represent the adoptive parents. This arrangement ensures that all the involved parties clearly understand the terms of the adoption.

Arkansas law allows birth parents to choose not to be represented by an attorney, but it’s not as simple as just saying, “No, thank you.” They must sign — under oath, in the presence of a notary public — an affidavit that they were offered representation by an attorney separate from the adoptive parents’ attorney but paid for by the adoptive parents and chose not to work with that attorney. Their statement must be filed in court before the adoption can take place.

Heimer Law has the experience and compassion to support families through the complex process of adoption. Fill out our simple form to start the conversation.

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