FAQs For Birth Parents
Why should I place my child for adoption?
We understand that the decision to place your child for adoption can be very difficult for you. The thought of choosing adoption for your child probably fills you with all kinds of thoughts and fears.
However, to Ray’s office, adoption is one of the most loving choices a mother can make for her child. Adoption not only provides an answer to a crisis pregnancy but also gives a child a life and experiences he or she might never have known. Adoption also provides loving, caring couples and families with a precious child that they might have never known.
As a birth mother working with Ray, you will have the opportunity to voice your opinions about the type of family you would like to place your child with. Ray and his staff will search for couples who match your description and you will be able to choose which adoptive couple will care for your child. In many cases, birth mothers maintain contact with the adoptive couple, often receiving pictures and general updates about their child many years after the adoption is finalized.
How do I start the adoption process?
If you are considering placing your child for adoption, please contact our office to speak with our attorney, Raymond W. Godwin. During your initial visit, Ray will provide you with information and counsel on how best to approach your particular situation. He will help you decide which avenue is best to take at this point in your life.
After your meeting with Ray, if you decide you would like to pursue adoption through our office, we will begin searching for a loving adoptive couple who can provide your baby with the stable, caring home you are looking for.
What can I, as the birth mother, expect during the adoption process?
As a birth mother working with our office, you can expect understanding, our availability to answer your questions, financial assistance and general information about how our office assists in adoptions.
After your initial consultation with Ray, we will review his adoptive couples. Once we find an adoptive couple or couples whom we think would be a good match for you, we will show you their portfolios — photo albums that describe what life in their family would be like. From there, you will choose which couple you believe represents your ideal for your child’s life. While many of our birth mothers choose to meet with their adoptive couple face-to-face in a casual setting, some prefer to write letters or talk on the phone to share concerns or questions relating to the adoption.
Throughout the entire adoption process, our staff will stay in contact with you as much as you would like. Our office keeps regular day hours and, if necessary, evening hours to answer your questions, help you run errands or take you to appointments. While Ray cannot be the lawyer for you and the adoptive couple, he and his staff are available to answer your questions relating to your adoption plan. Our office will also refer you to trusted attorneys or other state-certified legal representation to assist you during the adoption process.
How do I choose an adoptive couple?
Choosing an adoptive couple can be an intimidating thought, but at Ray’s office, we help you choose who you want to raise your baby. After talking with you, we search for caring couples who can provide your child with a stable, loving environment.
Once we come in contact with those couples, we will show you their portfolios — photo albums that describe what life in their family would be like. From there, you will choose which couple you believe represents your ideal for your child’s life. After choosing their couple, many birth mothers even meet them face-to-face in a casual setting to introduce themselves and exchange questions related to the adoption. Telephone contact between you and the adoptive couple is common, if that is what you desire.
What rights does the birth father have?
In the state of South Carolina, the birth father has the same rights to the child as a birth mother; however, he only retains those rights if he is actively involved in the birth mother’s pregnancy and assertively makes his desire to be a father known.
Although the situation varies from case to case, a court will generally evaluate whether a birth father has abandoned his rights because he has not revealed himself, offered financial support for the baby before or after birth, or has shown no inclination to be responsible for the child. Because each case is unique, please contact our office if you have any concerns about the birth father and his rights.
How long does the adoption process take?
No matter how smoothly it may run, adoption is a long process. The state of South Carolina (like many states) requires a waiting period after placement before an adoption can be officially finalized in court. In South Carolina, an adoptive couple must wait at least three months from when the baby is born before the case can be considered for finalization.
During those three months before the finalization, many birth mothers fear that they will be completely forgotten about once the baby is delivered and the adoption is finalized. However, even after your baby is placed, our office still provides you with counseling and assistance to help you get settled.
Can I get help financially?
In the state of South Carolina, adoptive couples are permitted to pay for reasonable expenses for their birth mothers. These expenses include living expenses, certain medical expenses and legal fees.
Our office works with you and the adoptive couple to compose a reasonable budget that will meet the needs of you and your baby.
Will I be judged for my situation?
Despite your fears regarding your pregnancy, rest assured that you will not be blamed, disrespected or looked down upon for your decision to place your child in the care of an adoptive couple.
At Ray’s office, we take adoption very seriously, and want not only to make the adoption process easier for you, but also to make sure that your needs as an individual are met. That is why we make ourselves available to you and maintain the utmost confidentiality of all our clients, birth mothers and adoptive couples alike.
What services can the office of Raymond W. Godwin offer me?
Our office is composed of compassionate, and experienced individuals who are willing to counsel you on the benefits and wisdom of adoption.
In addition, we collaborate with an attorney or an adoption agency who counsel you in your decision to place your child with an adoptive couple. This attorney will represent and protect your best interests during your adoption plan.
Depending on your particular situation, we initiate or terminate the birth father or legal father’s parental rights. If you have more questions regarding the rights of a birth father, see “What rights does the birth father have?” above or contact our office.
If you need help with some of your expenses, Ray and your adoptive couple will work with you to help pay for medical bills and reasonable living expenses. Our financial assistant will disperse funds directly to you to help you pay for such things as groceries and maternity clothes.