Birth Parent Questions

We know that every birth parent we work with will have many questions and many things that they are unsure about. While every person’s questions are different, below are some of the questions we hear most often.

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Birth Parent Questions

Each and every case is different. However, in most cases, if your baby is under 6 months old when you make this decision, you will not have to appear in court in order to place your baby for adoption.


No. In the State of Ohio, you are considered to be an adult when it concerns making a plan for your child. However, we do strongly encourage you to talk with your parents about your plan and with your concerns. Open Arms Adoptions also requires that you speak with an attorney about your decision and this will be provided at no cost to you. We also encourage you to seek counseling throughout this process.


If the birth father has not been involved with you or your pregnancy, has not expressed a desire to raise or support the baby and you are not legally married to him, an adoption can occur without his consent. However, it is generally in everyone’s best interest if the birth father is involved as early in the process as possible. Your baby deserves complete and accurate medical information and a legally sound adoption. Open Arms Adoptions’ staff can assist in speaking to the birth father and collecting the necessary information from him.


Yes! There are many families waiting to adopt a baby. Even if your baby is born with medical problems or if you or your family has a history of medical or other problems, there will be a family willing to love and raise your baby.


All families who are approved through Open Arms Adoptions have met or exceeded all of the rigid requirements of the State of Ohio for adoptive applicants. The families have all had interviews with the social workers in their home to assess their ability and readiness to become adoptive parents. The agency also completes a criminal record check on all adoptive parents and make sure that there is no record of child abuse. All families must also complete an extensive education program that includes how to talk with your child about adoption and recognition of the importance of birth parents in this process.


All approved parents will complete a family book with information about their ages, occupations, physical description, hobbies, interests, etc. It also explains what religion they plan to raise the baby in and what type of relationship they hope to have with you as the child’s birth parent.


If this process becomes overwhelming to you and you truly do not want to make this decision yourself, this is a choice that our administrator and social workers can make on your behalf. Your social worker would talk with you about the things that are most important to you in a family for your child and Open Arms Adoptions would respect and honor those wishes to the best of our ability.


Yes, you may choose to name your baby and that name will appear on the original birth certificate. However, the adoptive family may choose to change that name. Many times they already have names chosen or they may choose to use the name you have selected as the child’s middle name. Please be sure to get a copy of the birth certificate for yourself if this is important to you. After the adoption, the baby’s birth certificate will be changed and you will not be able to get a copy of the original with the name you selected.


The term “open adoption” refers to an adoption where the adoptive parents and birth parents share certain information and, in some cases, agree to some type of ongoing contact. The range of openness can include:

  • Birth parents providing special mementos (baby blanket, frame, book, letter, etc.) to the adoptive parents to share with the baby.
  • Birth parents and adoptive parents exchanging first names and photographs.
  • Ongoing communication between birth parents and adoptive parents in the form of letters or photographs sent through the adoption agency.
  • Birth parents and adoptive parents meeting each other, sharing full identifying information and having ongoing contact directly through years.

It is important to recognize that not everyone is comfortable with all levels of openness. In some cases, you as the birth parent may not desire that level of communication with your child’s adoptive family and in other cases, this may be threatening or uncomfortable for the adoptive family. Open Arms Adoptions believes and respects each person’s right and responsibility to make the decision that is right for their family. Our social workers will assist each person in designing a plan that is right for them.

It is also important to know that any agreement for any level of openness is based on trust and commitment. These agreements are not binding and may, in fact, change over time due to a variety of circumstances.


Absolutely! You can see, hold, hug and love your baby and take as many pictures as you want. This is an important time for you and your baby, and you are free to spend as much or as little time with your baby as you want while you’re in the hospital. You are in charge of the decisions for your baby and we will respect your wishes.


Once you sign a Permanent Surrender, this is a final decision. In the State of Ohio, you cannot sign this document until at least 72 hours after the baby’s birth and only after talking with an Adoption Assessor. It is extremely important to be completely sure about your decision before you sign this document. If you are unsure at all, it is best to sign a Temporary Agreement or to make other arrangements for someone safe and trusted to care for your baby in order to give yourself more time to make a good decision for your baby and for yourself.

If you should decide to parent your child and/or need further assistance, your social worker will provide you with a list of local community resources as requested.


No. You should utilize whatever Medicaid or other health insurance that you have for your prenatal and birth expenses. Your other expenses related to the adoption will be covered by the adoptive family. It is against the law, however, for you to be paid to place your baby for adoption. Only those expenses directly related to the care of your child or the adoption will be covered. The adoptive family cannot give you any money directly. All expenses paid will go through the agency.


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