You are not Alone
Finding out that you are pregnant and not ready or able to provide for a child can be an overwhelming discovery. You may be feeling ashamed, alone, rejected. Millions of different thoughts and fears may be filling your head, leaving you clueless about what to do, who to trust, and where to turn for help. But remember, you are not alone.
For more than 20 years, Attorney Raymond Godwin has been helping women just like you conquer their fear, discover hope in their unexpected situation, and find peace and acceptance in their decision to consider adoption. As an adoptive father, Ray understands the fears and concerns many birth mothers have regarding adoption.
Working as an adoption attorney, Ray Godwin has completed more than 2,000 successful adoptions by helping birth mothers just like you. These birth mothers worked closely with Ray and his staff throughout the adoption process and even chose which caring adoptive couples their babies were placed with. Ray believes that choosing adoption must be a "win-win" for you, your child and the adoptive couple.
Is adoption the choice for you?
Like many women facing an unexpected pregnancy, you are probably unsure what to do or whether adoption is the right choice for you and your baby. The thought of choosing to place your baby with strangers involves questions, concerns and fears that are normal for you to have.
For this reason, it is important that you have as much information as possible about adoption. Part of our mission is to answer questions and provide information for women who are considering adoption or who have decided on an adoption plan.
For example, there are different types of adoption plans that you and the adoptive parents will have to choose from. Choosing an adoption plan is not easy because it must meet the needs of you, your child, and the adoptive couple. We explain the adoption process to you and help you make the best decision for you and your baby. In addition to our own expertise, we collaborate with other adoption lawyers, counselors, and social workers who also assist birth parents in their decision to place a child for adoption.
Despite their doubts about choosing adoption, many women have found peace and confidence in their decision to work with Ray.
Your Legal Rights
At this point, you might be asking yourself, "what exactly is the adoption process?" or "what would my rights in an adoption plan include?"
Well, you may be relieved to hear that in today's adoption world, you as the birth mother have a right to choose the adoptive couple that you believe would be the right for your child. That means you have the right to reject any couple presented to you by an attorney or adoption agency; it is critical that you are comfortable with the couple who will adopt your child.
In the state of South Carolina and many other states, you are, by law in your adoption plan, entitled to various forms of financial assistance including reasonable living expenses, counseling fees, medical expenses and attorney fees. After your child is born, you can also insist that he or she be taken straight into an adoptive couple's home, rather than having him or her placed first in foster care.
From One Birth Mother to Another
Along with our birth mother, the staff at Ray's office has worked with all kinds of adoptions. They will compassionately assist you throughout the adoption process, helping with such things as living expenses, shopping for groceries, and providing moral support before, during and after your pregnancy.
Our birth mother will gladly speak with you. Simply call or email our office and we will put you in touch with her. We also invite you to read her and another birth parent's unique adoption stories below.
A Birth Mother's Story
"Dear Adoptive Parents,
"I am so happy for you guys. I am so glad that my Stephen* has such a great family. We are so thankful to have met you and are blessed that our baby could have the life that we always wanted for him. We love you guys and love Stephen with all of our hearts. We want nothing but the best for you all. LOVE YOU GUYS!"
*names changed for confidentiality
"During the first phone call I made, I talked directly to Ray and scheduled an appointment. I was nervous when I walked into his office because of the unknown, but everyone there was so kind and so friendly. I had many questions, and every one of my questions was answered with care and compassion.
"Ray set up meetings with two different couples from me to choose from. When I met the couple that eventually adopted my child I knew that they were the ones; I had been told that I would "just know" and I did. The adoptive couple that I chose is the most wonderful family I could have ever asked for. I will always know that my child is in the most loving home he could have; I have Ray and his staff to thank for that!
"It is a very difficult decision to place your child for adoption, but Ray and his staff make it so much easier."
"I would like to thank you and everyone in your office for helping me with everything. I would also like to thank you for finding such a great and loving family for my son. Please let them know that I am very sorry for the stress that they endure with him being in the hospital."
"Thank you for everything that you've done for me. Thank you for picking the best couple (mommy and daddy) that there is. I sleep peacefully every night because I know my baby is in good hands. I only hope we can keep in contact throughout our lives.
"As for me, I'm still at a big turning point in my life. I have a long road ahead of me and I pray every night that God helps me make the right choices.
"Again, thank you, Ray, for coming into my life. You have truly changed my life, for the better. And my baby's. You have no idea how much you mean to me. Thank you for your time."
"Dear Adoptive Parents,
"Thank you very much for the pictures of your son. He looks very happy and healthy. I do wish your family the best. You have no worries from me - I'm not trying to break your family apart. I just wanted to know he's happy and safe. I made a decision and God watching over is going to protect Joey and your family. He looks a lot like his sister. I wish him a happy early birthday. He's almost 1! I hope Joey brings you a lot of joy over the years. It's hard on this end. I did what's best for Joey. I don't think I could ever provide for him the way I should. Maybe over the years I could receive more pictures. I bring myself to tears writing this and thinking about him. The pictures make me happy knowing he's safe and your family was willing to share them with me. I thank you very much for providing for Joey and loving him. I only wish the best for your family. God bless and take care!"
A Birth Father's Story
"Dear Adoptive Parents,
"I'm glad she went to you guys! ... I'm glad she's with a family that will treat her good.... Thank you so very much and please take very good care of her!"
"In all the commotion and picture taking after the hearing I didn't get a chance to thank Ray for all he has done and to complement him [and the staff] on how smoothly this process has gone. In what could have been a very stressful situation--from the delivery to their stay in Indiana to the final hearing Ray [and the office staff] has given Phil and Susan the support needed and made each step as stress free as possible. Please pass this along to Ray (I can't locate his direct email address) and thank him for the professional way Layne's adoption has been handled. I will certainly refer him to anyone I run into who is in need of his service."
Need More Information?
We understand that adoption can be an intimidating and confusing process. It can be difficult making such a big decision without knowing much about adoption. For this reason, we believe that one of the best ways we can help you by providing the information you need to make a good decision. In addition, we are here all week long to help answer your questions.
To explain a little bit more about the adoption process and help make it a little less intimidating for you, Ray and his wife, Laura, poured their combined expertise into The Complete Adoption Book , an adoption guide that has grown from their personal experience, fears, and frustrations from adopting children into their own family. The Complete Adoption Book contains valuable information that you as a birth mother should know, including a description of the different types of adoption, legal rights of birth parents, and how to care for your unborn child.
To help answer your specific questions, please consider reading through our FAQs or portions of Ray and Laura's book. We are more than willing to send you a free copy of The Complete Adoption Book. As always, please contact our office to have your questions answered directly.
If you would like some more information about the services we can provide or if you feel that you are ready to place your child with an adoptive couple, please contact us by phone or complete our online form. Your personal information will be kept completely confidential and we will do our best to answer any of your questions or concerns.
Contact us today by phone, fax, or e-mail to arrange your initial consultation with Ray Godwin. We will handle your unique situation with the utmost sensitivity and confidentiality.