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Things to know about adoption

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Things to know about adoption

How to help when a mom needs to consider adoption


Social workers have really interesting jobs. I work in an office full of social workers and I am constantly amazed at their ability to tackle difficult conversations with clients about difficult life circumstances. The way they teach and empower clients to try new skills, to care and advocate for themselves, all while holding a client’s trauma and pain is something to be applauded and acknowledged.

One of the best ways to acknowledge social worker’s professional skills is to give them space to do the work they have been trained to do. Many of us non-social workers have been told that we are good listeners, have calming energy and help people in a million other ways. This is a wonderful gift – the world needs good listeners and people who care about others. It is, however, very different than being a trained social worker.

In the past few weeks, Hopeful Beginnings has gotten several calls about very well-meaning folks trying to steer pregnant women in need towards adoption. Having people, especially pregnant persons, aware of adoption as an option is incredibly important. Birth mothers, who decide to place their child or children for adoption are selfless and courageous. They deserve to learn about adoption and be presented information that is factual so they can make an informed decision about their future and the future of their child/children. Here are the most important things to know in order to help a mother/parent considering adoption (in the state of Illinois):

· In Illinois, Safe Haven laws allow mothers/parents to surrender infants at designated sites such as police stations, hospitals, fire stations anonymously until     30 days of age.

· All adoptions must be facilitated through DCFS licensed adoption agencies such as Hopeful Beginnings of St Mary’s.

· All individuals/couples wanting to legally adopt a child must be home-study approved which is a process that includes background checks, interviews and       financial review

· Birth mothers have a right to assistance for medical and pregnancy related expenses up to 60 days post placement of a child

· Birth mothers are not legally required to place their child for adoption even if they have an adoption plan. The soonest a mother can voluntarily terminate her   rights to parent are 72 hours after the birth of her child.

· Fathers have rights too. If a woman is married, the spouse must also consent to the adoption. If a women is not married, mothers have the right to name or     withhold the father’s information if there is a safety risk

Adoption is a beautiful, complicated and emotional process. The absolute best thing a support person can do for a mother/parent considering adoption is to listen, be supportive and to put them in contact with a DCFS licensed agency like Hopeful Beginnings.

Adoption Process for Expectant Mothers

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