How long does the mother have to “change her mind?”

If the birth mother has given an out-of-court consent, she may request a revocation within 5 working days (excluding weekends and holidays). The court is not required to grant the request for revocation. If the court does schedule a hearing, they may ask questions to determine if the consent was voluntarily given, and, if it was, determine what is in the best interest of the child. Many factors are outlined in the statute for the court to consider if they grant the hearing.

Whether an in-court or out of court consent was given, the parent has 21 days after termination of parental rights to file an appeal.

How soon after delivery may a birth mother consent to the adoption?

If the birth mother is going to do an out-of-court consent, she may do that after a 72 hour waiting period.

If the birth mother is going to give her consent in court, it may be given whenever the hearing may be scheduled on the judge’s court docket. Is should be noted that, while adoptions are to have the highest priority on the court docket, the hearing may take a short while to schedule.

How much contact should there be between the adoptive parents and the birth mother after the adoption is finalized?

There is no one right answer here. Once the birth mother chooses the adoptive parents, they may decide with their respective attorneys how open or how closed to make the adoption. Topics include:

  • Attendance at prenatal visits
  • Attendance at delivery
  • The amount and type of information to share before delivery
  • The amount and type of information to share after delivery
  • Any visits/contact by Facebook after placement
  • Pictures

How “open” or “closed” should the direct placement adoption be?

Direct placement adoptions may be as open or as closed as the parties agree. I have done adoptions where all information about the parties was kept as absolutely confidential as it could be. I have also done them where all information was shared. It is up to the parties to determine the amount of information shared before and after the adoption.

One thing I tell all adoptive parents whom I represent—and that I ask of adoptive parents when I represent the birth mother—is to please not promise the birth mother anything that you do not intend to do.