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Family Builders of Catawba Valley:
All About Adoption - Questions and Answers

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Phone: (828) 465-8901

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3050 11th Avenue Drive SE
Hickory, NC 28602


Mailing Address:
PO Box 669
Newton, NC 28658

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Office Hours:
Mon - Fri, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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Decisions Before Delivery

Q. What does it mean to place your baby for adoption?
A. Adoption is the permanent legal placement of a child with a family who will rear the child as their own.

Q. Why would a person release his/her baby for adoption?
A. Some persons feel they are unable or not ready to be a parent and want their baby to have things they cannot give him/her. Parents who place their baby for adoption are not trying to "get rid" of their child, but do this because they feel adoption would provide the very best home for the baby.

Q. What kinds of adoption are there?
A. Types of adoptions include:

  • Independent Placement:*The birth parents of the child choose the family who will adopt and rear their child.
  • Relative Placement:* The birth parents of the child choose relatives who will adopt and rear the child.
  • Agency Placement: Birth parents place their child with an agency whose staff select an approved family who will rear their child. The birth parents may choose to be involved in selecting an approved adoptive family.

    (*There are often risks involved in independent and relative placements. These need to be discussed with an adoption social worker.)

Q. When should I talk to someone about making adoption plans for my baby?
A. As soon as you know you're pregnant. Most expectant mothers have mixed feelings about being pregnant. It's a good idea to talk about your feelings. Counseling is also available for birth fathers.

Q. What if I'm not quite sure?
A. Talking to someone about adoption does not mean that you absolutely have decided to release your baby. It gives you an opportunity to look at your options and to make a good plan for your child.

Q. Will Family Builders of Catawba Valley pressure me to release my baby for adoption?
A. No

Q. Is it legal for anyone to pay me for my baby?
A. No. However, an adoptive parent, or other person acting on behalf of an adoptive parent, may pay reasonable and actual fees for certain expenses of the birth mother, during her pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after the baby's birth.

After the Baby Arrives

Q. When do I sign papers to release my baby?
A. The birth mother signs a legal release only after your baby is born.
    The birth father can sign a release before the baby is born.

Q. Can I see the baby at the hospital?
A. Yes

Q. Do I have to see the baby?
A. No, but we think it is helpful for you to see the baby.

Q. Can my family see the baby at the hospital?
A. Yes

Q. Where does the baby go if I don't take him/her home?
A. To an approved adoptive family if plans have been made previously.

Q. After I have signed papers, can I still change my mind?
A. Yes, you can change your mind anytime during the pregnancy, at delivery or up to 7 days after you have signed the legal forms giving up your rights as the parent.

Q. May I see my baby during my hospital stay?
A. Yes.

Q. Does the father of my baby have any say about what I plan to do?
A. Yes! If you know who the father of your baby is, we must get in touch with him and explain your decision. He has the right to be involved. He can agree or not agree with your decision. If he does not agree, we will discuss what other plans he would suggest. If he says he is not the father, he gives up any say in the matter and the decision will be totally up to you.

Q. What if I don't know who the father is?
A. After delivery of your baby, Family Builders of Catawba Valley will take steps with the court to make sure the baby can be placed for adoption without the father's consent.

Q. How are adopted parents selected?
A. Families who want to adopt must meet certain conditions/requirements to show that they can provide a safe and loving home for a child.

Q. Can I help choose the adoptive parents?
A. You can suggest things that you would like for your child, such as other brothers and sisters, religion or race of the family. You can be given summaries/information about families from which to choose.

Q. Will I know where my baby is?
A. Under North Carolina law, the placing agency cannot tell you the name of your baby's new adoptive parents or their address. But you will be given non-identifying information (such as adoptive parents' education, employment, income, etc.). You will have the option to meet the adoptive parents prior to your signing of the legal documents. If you choose to make an Independent Placement, North Carolina law requires that you are given the name(s) of those adopting your child as well as an assessment of the family completed by a licensed adoption agency.

Q. Will my baby know my name?
A. Under current North Carolina law, the agency cannot give out your name and/or address to the adoptive parents or to your child. An adoption law enacted in 2008 allows the agency share information with you and your child with mutual consent after the age of 18.

Q. Can I have any contact with my baby after he/she is placed with an adoptive family?
A. No, but some birth parents write letters to their baby through the agency. Some adoptive families may also send a baby picture to you through the agency. Your adoption social worker can also keep you informed about how your baby is getting along in his or her adoptive home.