Welcome to The Adoption Help Firm
Hughes Law Office provides counsel and legal advice for both expectant mothers and for adoptive families. We also facilitate family matches and provide support throughout the adoption process.
Types of Adoption
Being informed about the types of adoption and the birth certificate process can make your adoption go more smoothly. The Adoption Help Firm is here to answer any and all of your questions.
In an open adoption birth parents can meet potential adoptive families before making the selection. Identifying information including names and addresses is exchanged.
One or both adoptive parent(s) may attend pre-natal visits, and/or be present at birth with the birth mother's permission. Birth parents may visit the adoptive parents’ home, and may gather as extended family members during special occasions and holidays. There can be direct correspondence, telephone contact, and meetings between birthparents, adoptive parents and the child.
It is important to keep in mind that the adoption of a child shall be final and unconditional. The natural parents of an adopted child shall retain no rights or privileges to have visitation or other contact with the child, except in cases of voluntary termination where there is a written pre-adoption agreement between the natural parent or parents and the adoptive parents. Visitation may be exercised only by the adoptive parents when in the child’s best interests.
The extent of interaction between birth parents and adoptive family and child is agreed to in advance.
Birth parents may request profile information to choose adoptive parents or may request a third party to choose the adoptive parents. No identifying information is disclosed or exchanged. There is no contact between the birth parents and adoptive parents once the baby is born and placed with them.
Semi-Open / semi-Closed Adoption
Semi-open / semi-closed adoptions are popular. This type is a customized blend that is created by the parties involved with a pre-agreed degree of contact. The birth mother usually establishes the guidelines by developing a birth plan.
The birth parents choose the adoptive family from a non-identifying profile. A third party mediates the contact between the parties before and after birth.
Adoptive parents may be present at the birth and may meet the birthparents before the birth. Post-placement contact is conducted through a third party. Adoptive parents often share the child’s pictures and letters with the birth parents and may provide video, images, and other media.
With respect to unmarried birth mothers, the name of the birth father can not be entered on the birth certificate without written consent of the birth father or upon judicial determination of the birth father.
Typically the mother’s surname (last name) shall be the legal surname of the child unless an affidavit of acknowledgment of paternity signed by both parents is received.
Once a child is legally adopted, his/her birth certificate will be re-issued and will reflect their new name and the adoptive parents’ names will be listed as the “birth parents.”
The original certificate and the adoption information is sealed when a new certificate is issued. It may only be opened upon order of a court or by the Secretary of Health for purposes of properly administering the vital registration system or once the child is 18 depending on the laws of that state.