Adoption Dreams Come True is a strong advocate for both birth parents and adoptive parents. For this reason, we offer free lifelong counseling associated with the adoption process. People often confuse Counseling and Therapy.
Counseling is not Therapy
- Counseling is the process by which a counselor helps an individual understand and solve problems to help him or her cope with mental or emotional stressors and make decisions around those stressors. Counselors work with the patient to determine the best way for the counseling sessions to provide preferred outcomes. Counseling can result in recommending Therapy as a next step.
- Therapy usually involves talking about your situation in order to gain more understanding about issues such as mood, feelings, behavior, and ways of thinking. Therapists can diagnose and treat disorders.
Counseling for adoption includes a mandated legal requirement for birth parents, a problem solving/support aspect for coping with emotions and decisions, and most importantly a safe haven environment for those who need it. We offer these same services for our adoptive families, if needed.
The Legal Requirements for Birth Parents
Any person who plans to petition the court for relinquishment of his/her child must obtain counseling about the relinquishment from a licensed child placement agency or a county department of social/human services. A court may refer a petitioner to a licensed child placement agency for counseling.
An agency must provide counseling to birth parents without regard to age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or disability of either birth parent.
The content of the counseling must include at least the following:
- Discussion of the birth parent(s) motivation to consider relinquishment of the child(ren).
- Discussion as to whether the birth parent(s) have been pressured or coerced to relinquish the child.
- Discussion as to whether the birth parent(s) have been promised or have received money, goods, services, or anything of value to motivate the relinquishment of the child(ren).
- Discussion of alternatives to relinquishment and the resources available in the community if the birth parent(s) choose to parent the child(ren).
- Discussion of the permanency of the decision to relinquish a child(ren).
- Discussion of lifelong loss and grief issues that include, but are not limited to, helping the birth parent(s) identify and understand the present emotional impact of the relinquishment decision, and gaining an understanding of possible future grief-related emotions and behaviors.
- Discussion of the life-changing effect of pregnancy and birth of a child, including physiological changes.
- Discussion of the birth parent(s) and birth family’s social developmental history, including the gathering of information regarding previous losses and life stability.
- An assessment of the birth parent(s) ability to understand the consequences of the relinquishment decision and her/his ability to intellectually and emotionally understand the options.
- Discussion regarding the identification of the birth father(s), the serious ramifications of failing to provide known information and the possible impact to the finalization of the adoption.
- Discussion of whether the birth mother or the birth father is a member of or are eligible to be a member of a Native American Tribe.
- Discussion that the birth parent(s) may only be reimbursed for pregnancy related expenses.
Adoption is complex and emotional.
You are not alone when you have a partner to help you navigate the process.
Adoption Dreams Come True is here for you.