Can I ever get my baby back if it was an open adoption?

Is it possible to get my baby back if I used an open adoption?

Each State is different in their laws regarding adoptions. As a birth parent, you do have rights, however some are more limited than others. Most importantly, these laws will usually have a time restraint attached, so knowing your rights and any time limitations will be key to your decisions and the success of your planning in the adoption process. As a general rule, birthparents are giving consent when going through the adoption process. In the majority of States, it is a permanent decision, even in an open adoption. Below is a list of the most common issues that differ between States for birth parents:

  • whether a birth mother or birth father might revoke consent (change their minds)
  • whether the State has a birthfather registry for alleged unmarried fathers to assert paternity
  • whether a State allows prebirth consent by the birthfather
  • procedures if the birthmother doesn't know (or refuses to name) the biological father

While this is not a completed list, it is intended to be a starting point for you to have a basic idea of what is different from State to State when inquiring to get your baby back. 

What does giving consent mean exactly?

To give consent means that the birth mother, and hopefully the birth father as well, voluntarily agree that their child may be adopted. When seeking to revoke consent, that means you are wanting to take by the consent you already gave. However, based upon your State laws within the particular State you live in and the child is being adopted in, your consent may be irrevocable and that means that you may never take back your consent, or get your baby back. This all depends upon your State laws. 

Is there a time limitation for me to get my baby back?

Well, this all depends upon your State. Most people assume that birthparents will automatically have until the day of adoption finalization to take back (or revoke) their decision to give consent for adoption. But in the majority of cases, this is not factual. Unless a fraud has been committed (like the birth father was not notified, or specific background information on the adopting parents hidden), many States allow no time after signing adoption consent paperwork to change their minds. While in some States, birth parents are given a small window of opportunity to change their minds and will be able to get the baby back. That window could look like 72 hours after the consent papers have been signed, although there are some States that do allow for a longer window of opportunity to revoke their consent for adoption. It is also important to know that a few States impose a waiting period after the baby is born for birth parents to wait before even being allowed to make the decision to consent for adoption. 

Conclusion

It is important to do your research and be completely aware of your rights to get your baby back as per your specific State laws. Having the necessary information is vital for your peace of mind and in any situation you may find yourself in when looking at the consent given for adoption. 

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