Here are some frequently asked questions that birthparents ask.
What happens after my first phone call?
An agency social worker will contact you within 24 hours of your first call. The social worker will ask you some general questions and make an appointment to meet with you at a mutually acceptable place and time. The purpose of this meeting is to assess your needs and to tell you more about our program. At this time you may choose to complete some beginning paperwork.
Can I choose a family or are there other options?
You are welcome to choose a family by looking at various family profiles, or you can have the agency choose a family for you … whatever makes you more comfortable.
What are open and closed adoptions?
After meetings or talks with your social worker, you will need to decide whether you want an “open” or “closed” adoption. In an open adoption, you may choose to talk with the adoptive family on the phone, meet them in person, receive letters and pictures after the baby is placed with the new family, and in general form a relationship with appropriate boundaries. We can write an agreement signed by both parties detailing the understanding regarding the openness between both families. An open adoption and agreements are done in good faith but are not enforceable by law. In a closed adoption, there is no contact with the child or the adoptive family.

Adoption-Link supports both open and closed adoptions, and we will match you with a family who shares your preference. We encourage you to discuss this with your worker and if you wish Adoption-Link can put you in touch with other birthparents who can help you with these and other questions.
What about the birthfather?
The birthfather can sign surrenders at any time during the pregnancy but has the right to change his mind during the 72 hour waiting period after birth. If the birthfather is identified with a current address, every effort is made to contact him about the pregnancy and inform him of his rights. If the birthmother states she does not know the father or is unwilling to identify him, his rights are then terminated by the courts approximately 75 days after placement. We always register the birthmother and child with the Putative Father Registry.
Do I have to pay legal or medical expenses?
You will not be responsible for legal or medical expenses, if you have an Illinois medical card. Your insurance or public aid card may cover your hospital stay. If you do not have a medical card, Adoption-Link can assist you in obtaining one. In those instances when there are medical expenses for the baby, for instance, if you are employed and you have a co-pay for expenses, we can discuss options for payment including the propspective adoptive family. When you have a medical card and we receive a medical bill from the hospital for the birth, we then make application to public aid for those charges. All legal and court costs will be covered by the adoptive family.
What about financial assistance for myself as a birthmother?
There are strict laws affecting financial assistance. The categories for which assistance can be given are: housing, utilities, medical expenses (usually covered), food, and clothing. You and your social worker will make a determination of needs and then ask the adoptive family if they would be able to assist financially. Help is allowed during the pregnancy and up to two months after delivery of the baby.
What happens to my baby during and after delivery?
Please notify your social worker when you go into labor. Your worker will try to come and see you in the hospital and confirm the adoption plan. Some birthmothers like to have contact with their babies in the hospital, and other prefer not to see the babies. Your worker will pick up the baby at discharge and take him/her to a licensed home where he/she will be very well cared for until surrenders are signed and the adoptive family comes to pick up the baby. The adoptive family will not come to the hospital.
What happens to the birth certificate?
The day after the baby is born, you will be asked to fill out an original birth certificate. You can name the baby if you choose. This birth certificate will be filed with the county. The adoptive family will probably rename the baby and a new birth certificate will be issued in about six months. Sometimes both the biological parents and the adoptive family consult with each other on the baby’s name.
What happens after I am discharged from the hospital?
Your social worker will set a time to meet with you at a place and time of your convenience to sign the final and irrevocable surrenders. By law, this cannot be done until 72 hours after the birth of the baby. There will be another person there to witness your signatures. It is important that you have carefully considered all of your options before signing your consent to the adoption. Once you sign your surrenders, the adoption is final and cannot be changed or undone for any reason.

Ideally, birthparents make this decision together. In many cases, however, the birthfather is absent and cannot be located. Then the adoptive family’s attorney will take steps to terminate the father’s legal rights to the child.
What counseling is available after my child has been placed for adoption?
Your social worker will remain available to you as long as you would need counseling. If you prefer and it is more convenient, a referral can be given to a counseling resource near your residential community.
How is communication handled with the adoptive family and my child if I have chosen an open adoption?
This depends on your comfort level and desire for information about your child. You can exchange letters and pictures and communicate with the family as agreed upon before placement. Most often letters and pictures are sent to the agency for forwarding. The agency will forward any articles to you as long as you keep your address current with us. The agency will also facilitate an agreed-upon meeting with your adoptive family. There is no current legislation requiring an adoptive family to communicate with the child’s biological family, so it is wise to plan ahead and talk with the adoptive family and your worker about expectations and boundaries. You are also encouraged to register with the Illinois Adoption Registry in Springfield to facilitate being contacted by a pertinent registered party in the future.
What about my confidentiality?
Adoption-Link provides the birth family and the adoptive family a statement of their rights and responsibilities in the state of Illinois. The adoptive family gives permission to Adoption-Link for their non-identifying information to be shared with families who are choosing adoptive parents. This information is included in the Adoptive Family Profile, which you have the option of keeping. The birth mother and when available the birthfather, gives permission for their non-identifying information to be shared in the Medical-Social Information Packet and Medical Records from the hospital at the time of birth. Both parties may agree to disclose identifying information in the event of an open adoption. No identifying information may be disclosed to either party or to any outside party without a written release of information unless otherwise required by IL law or court order.

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Adoption-Link is a not for profit licensed child welfare agency #287866

1113 South Boulevard, Oak Park, IL 60302 (708) 524-1433