Q. Are there fees for your services?
A. No. There are no charges for our services to birth parents.
Q. Must I be sure that I want to plan an adoption before I come to see you?
A. No. Our counsellors will spend as much time as you need to review your options and help you get the information you need to make the choices that are right for you. If you decide not to plan an adoption, we will refer you to resources and organizations, which can assist you. We can put you in touch with birth mothers who have placed a child for adoption, or birth mothers who have chosen to parent their children, who would be available to talk with you.
Q. How do I choose an adoptive family?
A. The counsellors at Sunrise will provide you with the profiles of prospective adoptive families, for your review. In many cases, birth parents will select a few families that they are drawn to; Sunrise will then give you the homestudy packages of the families you are interested in knowing more about. After you have reviewed the homestudies and profile information, and have selected a family who is the right match for you, your counsellor will contact the family to discuss the potential for placement. You will likely meet the family you choose before the baby is born, at a meeting arranged by your counsellor. It is only after this meeting that you confirm that this is the right family for you.
Q. How much will I know about the adoptive family?
A. You will read their homestudy, the content of which includes: a description of the prospective adoptive parents, and information about their home environment, relationships, education/work experience, interests, parenting philosophies and attitudes about adoption. The homestudy is usually accompanied by photos and personal touches from each family. When you meet the family, you will learn more about each other, and ask any additional questions you may have.
Q. What will the adoptive family learn about me?
A. You will complete a social and medical history which we will share with the adoptive family. Sunrise will not release any identifying information you have provided to us, such as a last name or contact information. However, once you meet the family, you can share as much information as you feel appropriate.
Q. What happens after I choose a family and we meet?
A. After the initial meeting with the family, you can discuss how much contact you would like before the baby is born. Where you meet and the amount of contact you have with the adopting family is up to you. You can also discuss the kind of openness you will have after the adoption.
You will work with your counsellor to develop a birth plan, including: whether or not the adoptive family will be with you during the birth, who will care for baby in hospital, how long you would like to spend with the baby before you sign the consents to adoption, when the baby will go home with the adopting parents, how the placement of the baby with the adopting parents will occur, and any plans that are important to you.
Q. Who will choose the baby’s name?
A. The name given to the baby at birth can be chosen by you, the adoptive parents, or you can give the baby a name together; it is really up to you to decide what feels right. Some birth parents find that giving the baby a name which is significant to them is an important part of the adoption process.
Q. What about the birth father?
A. Some birth fathers are involved in the adoption planning, some are not, and some in fact wish to parent. Whatever the situation, we can help. While it is ideal if the birth father is involved and supporting you in your adoption plan, that is not always the case. However, if he is involved, we can offer counselling support, and provide information regarding a birth father's legal rights.
If the birth father is not supportive of an adoption plan, you can talk to your counsellor about the implications, options and decision-making for the best possible outcome for the baby. Even when the birth father is not involved you can provide any known medical and social information, to preserve for the child.
Q. What happens when the baby is born?
A. Usually a hospital-stay or birth plan is in place before you deliver. However, your wishes may change when the time arrives. This is often a very emotional time and you may need more time and support than you initially anticipated. Your counsellor will be on hand to ensure your experience is what you want.
Q. Are my parents, friends and birth father allowed to see the baby?
A. Yes - you can invite whomever you wish to visit you while you are in the hospital.
Q. When do I sign adoption papers?
A. In British Columbia, a birth mother cannot sign a legally binding consent for
adoption until 10 days after the baby is born. She has 30 days following the birth to
change her mind and revoke a signed consent. A birth father can sign consents to adoption anytime after the birth of the child. His consents can be revoked up until the baby is placed in the care
of the adoptive parents.
Q. What about ongoing openness?
A. You and the adoptive family will decide what kind of relationship and contact you might have. Having a discussion about openness before the baby is born can help to clarify what you are looking for in terms of openness and contact, and ensure that the adopting family is a suitable match.
Q. Is open adoption good for my baby?
A. The literature about open adoption is overwhelmingly positive about the benefits of openness, not only for the child, but the birth parents and adopting family. Openness takes a commitment to relationship building, by the birth-parents and adopting parents, but the outcome is incredibly positive for the child, who will benefit from loving relationships with many people.
Q. Will the agency continue to give me support? What support does the agency offer post-adoption placement?
A. Sunrise offers post-placement counselling and facilitates a support group in Vancouver that is available once a month. Our counsellors can provide you with one on one counselling in person, or over the telephone. You are invited to participate in or attend any agency events, such as our birth-parent information panels which occur three times a year.
Q. What if I already know someone who would like to adopt my baby?
A. This is called a direct placement. If you have someone in mind who you would like to place your baby with, we will work with you and the family to facilitate this process, and provide you with whatever support you need.