In domestic infant adoption usually the expectant mom (or expectant parents) will select adoptive parents while she is pregnant. Even though she has chosen the adoptive parents that she wants to raise her child, it is still her child and she can still change her mind until she has relinquished her parental right and the revocation period is over (if the state has a revocation period).
The time from when an adoptive family and an expectant mother or couple is matched until the revocation period is a strange kind of limbo for the adoptive family.
On the one hand they are getting ready to become parents, with all the excitement and preparation that entails. On the other hand, they know that the child they are preparing for is not theirs yet and may never be theirs. The child is still firmly and fully the child of his biological parents. This is how is should be.
Adoptive parents may fully know and accept this, but still hope wildly in their hearts that this child will eventually become their child. They don’t want to put undue pressure on the expectant mom, but they also don’t want their heart broken. They are looking for any sign that they need to guard their heart.
Adoption attorney Jim Thompson has been practicing adoption law for more than 25 years. He shares the top 5 warning signs that an expectant mom will change her mind.
Top 5 Red Flags that Expectant Mom Will Change Her Mind
- Stage of Pregnancy. Woman who match with adoptive families early in their pregnancy are more likely to change their mind. Matches made before the 5th month of pregnancy are a red flag.
- Focus on money. It is a major warning sign if the expectant mom is more focused on money and living expenses than on forming a connection with the family she has chosen to raise her child.
- Age and maturity of the expectant mom. Younger moms are less likely to ultimately go through with the adoption plan.
- First baby. If this is the expectant moms first baby, she is less likely to follow through on the adoption plan.
- Support system. If the expectant mom’s family either does not know about the pregnancy or is not supportive of the adoption, the mother is less likely to place her child.
Jim shared more legal risk factors to be aware of on a Creating a Family show on Legal and Medical Risk Factors in Domestic Infant Adoption.
What has your experience been with an expectant mom changing her mind?Image credit: Tim Green
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DD’s bmom hid her pregnancy. She was older, but was still living with her dad. He knew about the pregnancy, but no one else did. Clearly, she still placed. I wouldn’t think that hiding a pregnancy would be a red flag for placing.
I have been a birth parent counselor for an adoption agency for 8 years. The reason hiding the pregnancy can introduce additional obstacles to placing, in my experience, is because if family finds out for some reason, they may not be in agreement and may try to use their influence over the birth Mom to convince her to parent, often with promises of support. This isn’t always a bad thing. We believe a birth parent shouldn’t make a decision to place unless she’s considered all her options and if family doesn’t know about the pregnancy or adoption, then she hasn’t considered all of her options. An aunt may find out and offer to raise the child or provide childcare and financial assitance, which could enable a birth parent to parent their child more feasibly. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule if the birth parent comes from a family that is not safe.