As with all things related to adoption, the rules and procedures that apply to an adoption depend upon what state the birth and adoption take place in. One common question that birth parents often have about adoption is whether they will be able to spend any time with their baby after they give birth. This is an important question because the feelings of a birth parent can change dramatically during the days and hours before and after labor and delivery.
The feelings of some parents towards choosing adoption for their child will remain the same or be even stronger after the child is born. These parents can take heart in knowing that they can then relinquish their parental rights twelve hours or more after the birth. (K.S.A. 59-2116) Other parents may find that the experience of giving birth and then holding their baby and caring for them after they are born changes their view towards adoption dramatically. These parents can feel relief in knowing that they do not have to relinquish their parental rights immediately after the birth. They can take some time to think about whether they still want to relinquish their rights and move forward with adoption, and if they choose to relinquish their parental rights, they may do so anytime after the twelve hours has passed.
The minimum twelve hour waiting period between a baby’s birth and a parent’s ability to relinquish their parental rights to that child is extremely important. Childbirth is a powerful life event, and there is no way to predict during pregnancy how you will feel after you experience it. You must have time to decide for yourself whether adoption is the right choice for you, and time must be made available to you after the baby is born for you to be able to make your decision with more complete information. Twelve hours is not a lot of time, but there is no requirement that a parent relinquish their child exactly at the twelve-hour mark – they can take the time that they need to make that choice. Many birth parents choose to receive counseling both during pregnancy and after birth to ensure that they have the emotional support that they need as they make a decision regarding adoption.
If you do choose to relinquish your parental rights, it is a good idea to do so in court and not at the hospital. By putting some distance between the birth of your child and the relinquishment of your parental rights, you can stand firmly in your decision and feel as though you made your choice in your time and not on anyone else’s schedule. You can feel as though you made your choice in the way that you wanted to make it, and that can give you peace moving forward.
Adoption can be a challenging process for both birth parents and adoptive parents. If you have questions about the Kansas adoption process, Kansas Adoption Attorney Thomas McDowell may be able to assist you. Call our office today, at (316) 633-4322 to make an appointment for an initial consultation.