Pregnancy Counseling – Open VS Closed Adoption

OPEN ADOPTION

An open adoption is when the birth parents and adoptive parents establish a trusting relationship so that ongoing contact may occur after placement of the child. This contact may include direct correspondence, written and/or by phone, and/or visits between birth parent(s) and adoptive parents.

SEMI-OPEN ADOPTION

This type of adoption may involve sharing first names only and receiving pictures and letters from adoptive parents after placement.

CLOSED OR CONFIDENTIAL ADOPTION

In some situations, a birth parent(s) may desire a closed adoption. This is defined as a confidential adoption where identities may not be shared and birth parent(s) may choose not to receive annual pictures and update letters on the child from adoptive parents.

Pregnancy Counseling – Planning for Adoptive Placement

FAMILY PROFILES

If you choose to make an adoption plan, the La Familia-Namaste caseworkers will provide you with adoptive family profiles to help you select an adoptive family for your child.

LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT WITH THE ADOPTIVE FAMILY

After you select a family, your La Familia-Namaste caseworker will discuss with you the level of involvement you would like to have with the adoptive family.

HOME SUPERVISION

The home you select will be supervised by a La Familia-Namaste caseworker until the adoption is final.

ADOPTION PLAN FORMS

La Familia-Namaste caseworkers will assist you in the completion of necessary forms if you decide to make an adoption plan.

FINALIZING THE ADOPTION

The La Familia-Namaste caseworker will work with the attorneys and the courts to finalize the adoption.

Pregnancy Counseling – Attorney Referral List

Below is a list of attorneys and their phone numbers. All of them regularly handle adoption cases, and have worked successfully with La Familia-Namaste.

RESOURCES

Anne Assink 505-242-9982
Harold Atencio 505-839-9111
Lauren Baldwin 505-897-8137
Judith Ferrell-Holbrook 505-232-9440
Jeffrey Kauffman 505-242-1754
Richmond Neely 505-243-3727
Lisa Olewine 505-858-3316
Jeane Smith 505-243-2222
 
You are welcome to choose an attorney from other sources, however, we ask that you select an attorney that has experience in the adoption field. The attorney that you choose should have done at a minimum 12 adoptions in the last year.

WHAT TO ASK BEFORE HIRING YOUR ATTORNEY

FINANCES
  • What is the average cost of the adoptions you have handled?
  • How do you bill? Is your fee an hourly fee, or do you charge a flat fee? (Keep in mind that ethical, experienced attorneys may have a higher hourly rate, but charge less because they don't have to spend the same amount of time that a less-experienced attorney would.)
  • Do you require a retainer fee in advance? If so, how much? What happens to my retainer fee if the birth mother changes her mind?
 
QUALIFICATIONS
  • What is your experience, knowledge, competence? How long have you worked in the area of adoption?
  • How many non-relative adoptions do you handle? How many this year? (Ten to twenty a year and several years of experience is desirable.) What percentage of your total practice is comprised of adoptions? (Fifty to one hundred percent suggests adoption expertise.)
  • What services do you provide? Will you actively assist me in finding an adoption situation as well as handle the necessary legal work? Attorneys in some states cannot match you to a birth mother, a practice that is allowed in many states. Make sure that you and the birth parents are represented by different attorneys.
 
WORKING RELATIONSHIPS
  • What is your general philosophy about adoption? Why did you get involved in adoptions?
  • Do you handle open adoptions, or both? Do you have strong feelings about openness?
  • Will you office keep me up to date and involved?
  • Do you see counseling for birth parents as helpful or useful? Why or why not?
  • Will you accept collect calls from birth parents? Do you have an 800 number?
  • When you are away from the office, is another knowledgeable attorney available?
 
THINGS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Does the lawyer answer your questions to your satisfaction?
  • Does the lawyer return your phone calls promptly?
  • Is the lawyer sensitive to your feelings?
  • Is the lawyer well-informed about adoption law?
  • Is the lawyer well-organized?
  • Does the lawyer pressure you or make you feel uncomfortable with the decision making process?
  • Does the lawyer openly discuss the financial and emotional risks involved?
  • Are the lawyer and support staff pleasant people who help me feel at ease and who will assist the birth parent graciously?

SHARE A RESOURCE

If you would like to recommend a resource, please contact us and we'll consider it for inclusion on our list. If your recommendation is approved, we'll add it to the list, and share the good news with other hopeful families!
 

Pregnancy Counseling – Forms

These forms are provided to help you with the Adoption Process. Please click on either the PDF or MS Word links below to open the file(s), then print or save the file(s) as needed.

ADOPTION FORMS

Adoption Choices
PDF  
Birth Mother Medical History
PDF  
Birth Parents Fact Sheet
PDF  
Birth Parents FAQ
PDF  
Birth Preferences
PDF  
Client Rights
PDF  
Decision Making Worksheets
PDF  
Delivery and Post Delivery Preferences
PDF  
Domestic Violence
PDF  
Father Registry
PDF  
Grief History Strengths Assessment
PDF  
HIV Information
PDF  
Plan of Service
PDF  
Release of Information
PDF  
Release of Medical Information
PDF  
The Stages of Grief
PDF  
Statement of Understanding
PDF  
Statement of Legal Rights, Obligations, and Responsibilities
(Biological Parents)
PDF  

FORM NOTES

  • You must have Adobe Reader to view PDF files
  • You must have MS-Word or the Viewer to view MS-Word files
  • Click the applicable link(s) below to download a FREE viewer
 
Get Adobe Reader   Get MS Word Viewer  
 

Pregnancy Counseling – FAQs

What services are available if I decide to investigate adoption?
La Familia-Namaste's Pregnancy Counseling Program is committed to assisting birth parents experiencing a problem (unexpected or unplanned) pregnancy. We help birth parents plan for the future of their child, whether they choose to parent, make an adoption plan, or end the pregnancy. Children and families are served without regard to age, handicap, national origin, race, ethnic identity, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, or economic status, consistent with the equal opportunity goals of the agency.

La Familia-Namaste provides a full range of pregnancy counseling services. We have trained counselors who will provide support and education regarding the options of parenting, adoption, abortion and family care.

La Familia-Namaste provides emotional support to birth parents throughout the pregnancy, and assists with pregnancy related financial concerns. If adoption is the birth parent's choice, the agency handles all the elements of an adoption. We also investigate the whereabouts of absent birth parents, conduct searches for any member of the adoption triad after the adoptee turns 18 years old, and act as an intermediary between parties. We are prepared to offer or provide referrals for whatever services our clients may require.
Do I get to choose the family that will raise my baby?
We support each birth parent's preference regarding the adoptive family's characteristics, and will attempt to locate a family that matches the birth parent's specifications. We have pictures and letters from adoptive families to help you choose the right family for your baby. You can even meet the family if you would like. You can locate a family on your own if you wish, however the family has to complete a homestudy and be approved to adopt.
Can my family have counseling too?
Yes. La Familia-Namaste provides client-centered supportive counseling. Our counselors take the approach that the birth parents have the right to decide their child's future, and they deserve warm, caring, knowledgeable and non-judgmental counseling throughout the entire process.

La Familia-Namaste's counseling approach is inclusive. We recognize that a crisis pregnancy affects not only the unborn child and birth parents, but extended family members or support persons. La Familia-Namaste provides free pregnancy counseling to birth mothers and fathers, single or married, and family members who may want counseling, all regardless of age.
What kind of input does the baby's father have?
La Familia-Namaste makes every attempt to contact the birth father, according to state and federal laws and standards. La Familia-Namaste also encourages the involvement of the birth father whenever possible. It is sometimes in the best interest of the child to contact and involve the birth father. In many situations, La Familia-Namaste's primary client is the birth mother, but there are various ways we can assist with including the birth father, even if the birth mother does not want to have contact with him.

If the birth mother does not want La Familia-Namaste to provide counseling to the birth father, we will provide the birth father with referrals to other counseling services. The birth father is welcome to come to birth parent group, we have books available for him to read, and we provide him with his own attorney. We also provide full counseling services, to the birth father, whether he participates with the birth mother or not.
Who has to know about my pregnancy or my adoption plan?
No one in your family has to know about the pregnancy or adoption. For adoption purposes, you can sign all necessary legal documents without the knowledge or approval of your family. Adoption is an option that protects your confidentiality!

La Familia-Namaste extends confidentiality to all parties, according to all state regulations and standards. La Familia-Namaste's staff may not reveal information about clients in the Pregnancy Counseling Program. Information concerning the client shall be treated with respect at all times and used only in the course of normal, authorized La Familia-Namaste activities. No information regarding a client shall be released unless authorization in writing from the client is on file.
How will I know my baby is okay?
La Familia-Namaste respects the wishes of birth parents and prospective adoptive parents about the degree of "openness" in each adoption. The agency will assist with negotiating strategies ranging from complete confidentiality to a totally open adoption, as the parties request.

It is La Familia-Namaste's role to mediate and support the agreement of the parties, keep both parties involved and focused on what is best for the child, and to facilitate an acceptable adoption agreement between the birth parent(s) and prospective adoptive parents.

  • Open Adoption: An open adoption is when the birth parents and adoptive parents establish a trusting relationship so that ongoing contact may occur after placement of the child. This contact may include direct correspondence, written and/or by phone, and/or visits between birth parent(s) and adoptive parents.

  • Semi-open adoption: This type of adoption may involve sharing first names only and receiving pictures and letters from adoptive parents after placement.

  • Closed or Confidential Adoption: In some situations, a birth parent(s) may desire a closed adoption. This is defined as a confidential adoption where identities may not be shared and birth parent(s) may choose not to receive annual pictures and update letters on the child from adoptive parents
How much does this cost?
Biological parents do not pay anything for adoption services. Your medical bills and pregnancy-related expenses could be covered by the adoptive family.