Changing Your Mind After Agreeing on Adoption
Sometimes, a woman who becomes pregnant without having planned on it may be pressured to place her child up for adoption. In other cases, a woman who becomes pregnant may feel like she wants to and is able to allow her baby to be adopted, right up until the time that the baby is born. In some cases, she may not change her mind until after her baby is gone and living with her adoptive parents.
Changing your mind after agreeing on adoption is your legal right. No one can force you to agree, and no one can force you to keep from changing your mind after agreeing on adoption. Having said that, when you wind up changing your mind after agreeing on adoption and what you do after changing your mind will determine what happens to you and your baby next.
A birth mother, generally, can change her mind after agreeing on an adoption right up until the time that she goes to court for the purpose of relinquishing her parental rights. This hearing may take a certain amount of time after the birth of the baby, and is often two to four weeks after the baby is born. Generally speaking, after the hearing, the adoption is permanent.
This amount of time and the details about how it works after changing your mind about adoption can vary greatly from one state to another. If your baby has been born already, you will want to contact an attorney immediately to both find out what your rights are, as well as represent you if court action is necessary. Many attorneys will even take a certain number of these sorts of cases on a pro bono basis.
Finally, get your ducks in a row. You will probably have an uphill battle if you change your mind after agreeing on adoption. You will have to convince a great number of people, from social workers to a judge, that getting your baby back is in the best interests of the child, and that you have a reasonable cause for wanting your child to not be adopted. Enlist as much help as you can from family, friends, and anyone else who is willing to help.