BIRTHMOTHERS... Need answers? ~ Call or Text 559.905.1000

What if I change my mind before my baby is born?

> If you decide that adoption is not right for you, your social worker will revisit your options and help you find resources to parent your child. By law, you are not able to sign any relinquishment paperwork prior to the birth of your child. Once you have signed relinquishment paperwork, you have a limited amount of time to change your adoption plan. Prior to the State of California acknowledging the relinquishment paperwork, you have the right to change you mind about placing your child for adoption. After your paperwork is acknowledged by the State, it becomes more difficult for you to change you mind about the adoption plan. At Chrysalis House, we make sure that you are absolutely comfortable with your adoption plan before you sign any paperwork to make the adoption final.

Can I receive financial help?

> Yes. We will help you locate local resources for many of your needs, and we are able to assist with pregnancy related expenses during the 'confinement period', which is usually the last trimester of pregnancy. You can receive assistance for pregnancy-related expenses such as housing, food, clothing, and utilities. Financial help can be requested for any bill or cost that would cause stress to the birth mother during her pregnancy.

Do I need the father's permission?

> In most cases, the consent of the birth father is not needed for an adoption plan, though the State of California requires that he be notified about an adoption plan. The rights of the birth father are based on his legal relationship to the child and the level of support he provided to the birth mother during her pregnancy. We will determine what type of legal rights he may have and then work to handle his portion of the case. If you do not want to have any contact with the birth father or inform him about the adoption plan, we can do that for you.

What if I don't want to choose an adoptive family?

> In those cases, we would ask about any desires you have for the adoptive family, and we would match you with a waiting family.

Can I get updates about my child?

> Yes. You have the right to request an open adoption, which would allow you to continue to have contact with your child and the adoptive family. You can request to have updates sent to you, or even have visits on an on-going basis. At Chrysalis House, we respect your right to have an open adoption and we ask the adoptive families to adjust to the level of contact that you are requesting.

I used drugs or alcohol during my pregnancy. Can I still make an adoption plan?

> Yes. Even if there is prenatal drug or alcohol use, we will still be able to match you with a family that would give your child a loving and permanent home. Each potential adoptive family is asked about their level of comfort regarding prenatal drug and alcohol use. As long as you are honest with us about what/when you used, we'll match you with a family that is open to the exposure your child has experienced.

How can I be sure my child is going to a loving and stable family?

> Each of our adoptive families go through an extensive process that prepares them to be adoptive parents. They go through a background s screening, submit financial information, complete a medical exam, take parenting classes, and are interviewed extensively as part of their home study process. If you would like more information about the process for adoptive parents, we would be happy to explain it further in detail.

Will I have to work with CPS?

> No. A birth parent making a voluntary plan does not have to have any contact with Child Protective Services (CPS). Since you are choosing to make an adoption plan, CPS is not involved. If your child tests positive for drugs at birth, CPS may be called by the hospital staff, but they would not take custody of your child if you followed through with a voluntary adoption plan. You have the right to make an adoption plan even if your child tests positive for drugs at birth, and even if you did not make the plan before your child was born. If CPS becomes involved in your case and you wish to voluntarily relinquish your child, immediately request to contact an agency that can help you complete a voluntary adoption plan.

Can I make an adoption plan if I didn't contact you prior to the birth?

> Yes. You have the right to make a voluntary plan of adoption at any time. Some women work with our agency during their pregnancy, while others contact us months or even years after their child is born. Many women do not begin the adoption planning process before they arrive at the hospital; in these cases, a social worker can meet you there as soon as possible to give you support and discuss your options.