- ABOUT OPENNESS
Open adoptions allow adoptive parents and the adopted child to interact directly with birth parents through letters, e-mails, telephone, or face-to-face visits. The frequency of contact is negotiated among family members and can change as a child grows or as families’ needs change.
- YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
It is important that you know your legal rights and responsibilities before making any decisions. When you are ready, we will proceed with the adoption placement. Your social worker will arrange an appointment with a lawyer for you to sign the adoption consent forms. This will occur no sooner than 10 days after the birth of the baby. You have 30 days from the child’s date of birth to change your mind about the adoption and request that the child be returned to your care. This must be done in writing to the Director of CHOICES Adoption. When the adoption is approved by a judge, the adoptive parents become the child’s legal parents.
- BIRTH FATHER’S RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
While you are not legally required to name the birth father before making an adoption plan, it is in the best interest of the child to know as much as possible about both parents. If a birth father wants to be involved in the adoption process, he needs to be informed about his legal and parental rights and will have access to the same range of services.
Birth fathers can claim paternity of a child through the Parent Registry that is maintained by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. A birth father can do this up to 150 days after an adoption placement. CHOICES will search this registry before placement and before the adoption is finalized in court, regardless of whether the birth father is named. If a birth father has registered and claimed paternity, he will be notified about the adoption plan.