Adoption is providing a child with new legal parents.
If you are thinking about adoption ask yourself these six questions.
- Is anyone putting pressure on me to have the baby adopted?
- Who can give me information, help and support?
- How will I feel going through the pregnancy and childbirth, and then giving the baby up for adoption?
- Is the adoption really best for me?
- What are my partner’s views on adoption?
- Do I think I will have any regrets later: next month, next year, in five years?
If I choose To Have the baby Adopted… What Happens Next?
First of all, it would be a good idea to have someone you can talk to, a friend or your parents, partner or anyone else you trust, because this is a huge decision.
If you decide to opt for adoption, you will need to arrange antenatal care as soon as possible, for your own health and for the health of the baby. Visit your local Community Sexual Health Clinic or midwife for advice.
If your baby is adopted, then the adoption parents legally become the parents of the child. You cannot change your mind and have the child back later.
Social services can give you advice on benefits and other help or support you may need during your pregnancy. They can also put you in touch with the adoption agency. Contact Halton Borough Council ‘Adoption & Fostering Services’ for advice 0151 4242061 or St Helens on 01744 671 212.
If you have strong feelings about the sort of family you would like to adopt your child, discuss these with the adoption agency. Wherever possible, they will try to meet your wishes.
If you want to, you can involve the father, but you don’t have to tell anyone who the father is, if you don’t want to.
If you decide, after all, to keep the baby once it has been born, there will be no pressure on you to give it up for adoption.
The adoption becomes legal, (which means you can’t change your mind) once the child has been with its adoptive parents for a while and the adoption has been agreed in court. You will be asked to sign a document agreeing to the adoption officially. This can be as soon as a few weeks after the birth, or later if you need more time to decide.
Young people who have been adopted have the right to apply for access to their original birth records when they reach 18 years old which means they are able to find out who their birth parents are. To do this they must apply to the Registrar General who keeps a confidential record of adoptions and birth details.
Counselling aims to provide adopted people with basic information about their adoption. It helps them to understand some of the possible effects of enquiring after, and tracing their birth family.
Local Adoption Services
- Halton Borough Council (ask for the adoption service): 01928 704 360
- St Helens Borough Council (ask for the adoption service): 01744 671 212
- British Agency for Adoption and Fostering: 0207 4212 600
- Talk Adoption – freephone: 0808 808 1234