Presenting is when you see an expecting momma scenario and want her to see your profile. Please also write a hand-written letter to the birth mother each time. Please be open and honest in this letter. I'm happy to provide feedback on your letter. Write from the heart and take your time.
Tip: Make sure the match feels right. I know it’s easy to just say yes because you desperately want it work out but don’t compromise on something you’re not willing to follow through on in the future (example: if the birth mom used drugs or wants open/closed adoption etc.).
*I’m a big believer that a match will be meant to be when it is but you need to make sure it’s genuine.
Watch this video on what a birth mom would like you to know.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT MAKE PROMISES YOU CANNOT KEEP! For example if the expecting mom wants an open adoption with updates and you don't. Or if the expecting mom wants yearly visits and you do not.
Please also read these RED FLAGS.
Be aware that some agencies/places do not allow you to use credit which means you need a fair amount of cash on hand if the expecting momma/family pick you. Also, please be aware of the "at risk" money. At risk money means the money you would not get back if expecting mom decided to parent. Some agencies/attorneys will not work with you on a refund. Most do not refund any expecting mom expenses. Some will work with you if that does happen to find you a match again (typically a story drop). A stork drop is a baby that has already been born. Also, know that once selected many agencies require $15,000-$20,000 within 5 business days of expecting mom selecting you.
If their are any concerns you would like to discuss about an expecting mother scenario I'm happy to chat. You can also contact a local pediatrician and discuss too (sometimes the cases don't allow time for that). There is also a great website to check out called Mother to Baby that is helpful.
I never want you to agree to a situation you are not comfortable with but I do like to remind people that typically there is a reason expecting mommas are considering adoption as an option for their baby for a reason. The stricter your stipulations on race/drug exposure create longer wait times for you as you are not presented as often. "Unicorn" expecting moms is a term for a Caucasian and drug free baby. This term is called "unicorn" because this scenario is rare.
*Be prepared for no control and change of plans at birth.*
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT MAKE PROMISES YOU CANNOT KEEP!
Information you should know:
Tobacco. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of health problems for developing babies, including preterm birth, low birth weight, and birth defects of themouth and lip. Smoking during and after pregnancy also increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Alcohol. Children born to women who engage in moderate to severe drinking during pregnancy run the risk of their child being born with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Marijuana. Moderate marijuana use during pregnancy is not associated with any long-term ill side effects, though heavy prenatal exposure may result, as with other drugs, in low birth weight and behavioral issues later on.
Common Side Effects with Prenatal Drug Exposure: Please visit here to see fact sheets for each scenario.
Low birth weight
Smaller head circumference
Difficulty holding jobs
Difficulty maintaining relationships
Increased risk of drug abuse
A baby born to a drug-addicted parent can become a fully functional and successful adult, though any exposure to the toxic effects of alcohol or drugs can make this process more challenging. Understanding the risks and delays associated with prenatal drug exposure is one defense against many of the issues these individuals face.
Every 25 minutes a baby is born addicted to drugs. Typically this requires a NICU stay and many states have a mandatory minimum 5 day stay to monitor baby if he/she test positive at birth. This stay is to monitor the symptoms of withdrawal like tremors and stiffness. The nursing staff "score" NAS (neonatal abstinence syndrome-term for withdrawing). If baby is scoring high (above an 8 or 9 many times in a row than that may indicate a longer NICU stay and potential use of medication to help baby withdraw.
*Methadone is a medication prescribed to help curb a woman's addiction while pregnant because it is actually more detrimental to her and baby if she stops using her drug of choice completely. Methadone is not a guarantee that she will stop using. Methadone is actually more addictive for baby than the drug the mom is using, meaning withdrawal is more likely with methadone. The methadone dose does not matter (high or low) it is all how baby absorbs it.
Some studies suggest if baby is born early (which drug use and cigarette smoking can cause) that baby will experience less withdrawal symptoms because it had less time to be absorbed by baby. The last couple weeks is when baby fat forms and when it is absorbed more. Withdrawal symptoms if extreme can last as long as 6 months. I'm happy to share my personal experience with this on the phone as well.
State Laws: Although my main focus isn't on "Adoption Friendly" states (its more on the ethics of the agency) I thought this information would be good to share still: https://adoptionnetwork.com/adoption-consent-laws-by-state
*Arizona- 72 hours wait, then irrevocable
*Colorado- no wait, no revocation except Clear fraud/duress
*Connecticut- 48 hours for file, no revocation after filed.
*Florida- 48 hours.
*Georgia- 4 days after signing.
*Hawaii- can sign after 6 months of pregnancy, can not be revoked once in adoptive parents care.
*Iowa- 72 hour wait to file, then 96 hours after signed.
*Kansas- wait till 12 hours to file, then final
*Louisiana- 3 days wait to file if agency 5 if not, irrevocable after.
*Maine- no wait to file, 3 days
*Massachusetts- wait to file 4 days, then final.
*Missouri- wait 48 hours to file, Written consent may be withdrawn anytime until it has been reviewed and accepted by a judge.
*Montana- 72 hours wait to file (counseling required), not revocable after unless mutually agreed by all parties.
*Nebraska- 48 hours wait to file. revocation not addressed.
*Nevada- wait 72 hours to file, A minor parent may execute a relinquishment for adoption and cannot revoke it upon coming of age.
*New Hampshire- 72 hours wait to file, not revocation after final decree.
*New Jersey- 72 hours,. The denial of paternity by an alleged father, at any time including prior to the birth of the child, shall be deemed a surrender for purposes of allowing the child to be adopted.
*New Mexico- 48 hours wait to file.
*North Carolina- no wait, 7 days if minor.
*North Dakota- no wait, no revocation after court issues decree.
*Ohio- 72 hour wait to file, no revoking after the entry of an interlocutory order or after the entry of a final decree of adoption.
*Oregon- none and none.
*Texas- 48 hours to file, 11 days or stated date on paperwork.
*Utah- 24 hours.
*Wyoming no wait.