More Questions About Adoption
Will I have to pay for services at Luthern Social Services of Illinois (LSSI)?
- No, our services are free and confidential.
- We can also help you with other resources to help meet your needs.
What’s the difference between open and closed adoption?
- Open adoption means that there is communication between you and the adoptive parents after the adoption. This can be through pictures, letters or in-person visits.
- Closed adoption is when no identifying information is exchanged between you and the adoptive parents.
- You choose how much communication or contact you want. If you want ongoing contact, you and the adoptive parents come up with a plan together.
When can I sign the final papers making the adoption plan?
- In Illinois, you cannot sign the final surrender until 72 hours after the birth of your baby. If you are not ready to sign after 72 hours, we will not pressure you and will work with you to make your final decision.
- The options for the father are a little different – we can help the father decide on the best plan for him.
Can I change my mind about placing my baby for adoption?
- Yes. You can change your mind up until the time you sign a voluntary surrender of parental rights. Once you sign the final papers, the decision is permanent and cannot be taken back.
- Your LSSI counselor will assist you until you are confident in your decision.
- If you decide to parent your child before signing the final papers, we will support your decision and assist you with community resources to help you get started as a parent.
What about the father?
- The mother and father share equally in the decision-making responsibility, and fathers are encouraged to be involved in adoption planning.
- If one parent wants to make an adoption plan and the other does not, the court may have to be involved. We can assist with this process.
What about staying in touch after the adoption?
- You and the adoptive parents will discuss a plan for the type of ongoing contact you would like after the adoption.
- This can include updates and photos, phone calls or emails, or even getting together for visits. You and the adoptive parents will agree on a plan before the adoption. LSSI will strongly encourage both families to honor their verbal agreement, but in Illinois, these agreements cannot be legally enforced.
What if I say I don’t want contact after the adoption, but later I change my mind?
- Later you may decide you would like to hear about how your child is doing. You may be interested in getting an update about your child or a picture. Maybe you would even like to get together with your child and the adoptive parents.
- LSSI has a service that can help you try to re-connect with your child after adoption. Most of LSSI’s families are willing to have open adoptions, so re-connecting with them after the adoption may be possible.
- If your child is under 21 years old, the adoptive parents will have to agree to what kind of contact there will be. LSSI can help you reach out to the adoptive parents.
- Learn more about LSSI’s search and reunion services.
What if I smoked, drank alcohol or used drugs during my pregnancy?
- First, we want you and your baby to be healthy and safe, so we would encourage you to get prenatal care and not do anything that would hurt you or your baby.
- We have many families who are willing to adopt a child who has been exposed to drugs and/or alcohol or has other special needs. It is important that you tell your counselor about this, so that we can show you families who are prepared to parent a child who may have some special needs.
Do you have adoptive families for African-American or bi-racial babies?
What if my child is already born?
- We can still help. If you have already given birth and you are thinking about an adoption plan, we can help you make the best decision for you and your child.
When should I contact you?
- You can contact us anytime during your pregnancy or after you have given birth.
- It is never too early or too late to discuss an adoption plan.
Who should I call and where are you located?
- LSSI can help you no matter where you live in Illinois. You can phone us or email us – whatever you like. Call 1-888-671-0300 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org