Nevada Birth Parent Handbook Form

Nevada Birth Parent Handbook

A Letter from Adoption Choices of Nevada

When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, many women don’t consider adoption because they don’t know much about it. However, once they become informed about the reality of adoption, they often view it as a wonderful solution to a challenging situation. Therefore, before making a decision, we encourage you to educate yourself about the potential benefits of adoption for both you and your baby. We are here to assist you throughout this process because we genuinely care about you and your child. Rest assured, you have come to the right place!

As a licensed adoption agency, we offer a perfect blend of modern professionalism and resources and down-to-earth local support from compassionate individuals who prioritize your happiness and well-being. Our approach to adoption aims to empower you to make informed choices, providing a solid foundation for your future success. Even after you have completed our program, we will continue to offer unwavering support throughout your lifetime.

It is natural to have concerns about adoption initially, fearing that it may imply "abandonment" of your baby. However, the more you learn about adoption, the clearer it becomes that this is not the case at all. Adoption means the best choice for your child, ensuring they are placed with a loving family and provided with a beautiful life full of opportunities that you may not currently be able to provide. In other words, it means you are a good mother.

The most remarkable aspect of choosing adoption with us is that you retain control. Your baby's adoption plan will be tailored according to your preferences and choices. You have the right to select the family based on detailed information about their background and the type of home they will offer your child. Moreover, you have the freedom to decide the level of contact you wish to maintain with the family, both before and after the birth of the baby. Whether you choose to get to know them well, simply meet them once, or never meet them at all, the decisions are entirely in your hands. And we will be right beside you throughout, providing guidance and support.

We are excited for the opportunity to work with you and support through the adoption journey!

Adoption Language

EXPECTANT PARENT:
Prior to the baby’s birth, we use the term "expectant parent". Sometimes there are two expectant parents: an expectant mom and an expectant dad. But in the majority of adoptions, only the expectant mom is involved. Therefore, in most of the material and information we provide here, we will refer to the expectant mom or the birth mom rather than two expectant parents or birth parents.

BIRTH PARENT:
A birth parent is a parent who has placed a child for adoption. Before the baby is born, people sometimes use the term "expectant parent" or the term "birth parent" interchangeably. Birth parent, birth mother, and birth father are frequently used terms.

PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENT:
An individual or family who hopes to adopt, but hasn't finalized the adoption yet.

ADOPTIVE PARENT(S):
An individual or couple who has finalized the adoption. Sometimes, people use the term "adoptive parent" when talking about a prospective adoptive parent.

PLACE FOR ADOPTION:
This is an important term that is used instead of "give up for adoption" or "give up the baby". When a birth mother places her child for adoption, she has made a conscious decision for her child's future. She hasn't "given up."

ADOPTION PLAN:
An adoption plan is the plan expectant parents put together (with our help) for their unique and individual adoption. It involves many different elements like picking a family, receiving support and emotional counseling from an Adoption Specialist, creating a birth plan for the hospital, the type of contact they will have with the adoptive family, financial support needed, and more.

MATCH WITH A FAMILY:
A match occurs when the expectant parents select a family to adopt their child. A match can also occur if the agency is asked to select a family on behalf of the expectant parent(s).

Open, Semi-Open, and Closed Adoptions

Adoption Choices of Nevada is dedicated to supporting your preferred adoption plan in collaboration with prospective adoptive parents. We prioritize your ability to make an informed decision that aligns with your own feelings and values, and we will assist you in exploring all available options. We strive to connect you with families who share your desired level of openness if you choose an open adoption. It is important to note that every adoption plan is distinct, and no two are identical. Some birth mothers may opt for openness before the placement, but prefer closedness after the placement. The Post Adoption Communication Agreement is enforceable under Nevada law and is a binding contract between you and the adoptive parents. The agency is also here to encourage families to follow their agreed post adoption agreement. To give you an overview, we have provided general guidelines on the various types of adoption options below.

OPEN ADOPTION:
This is a common choice for many expectant mothers. The adoption is open because the expectant mother will get to know the family and she will have a plan for an ongoing relationship. With an open adoption, the expectant mother or the agency will select the family.

The relationship typically starts before delivery. A meet and greet face-to-face meeting will occur typically within 2 weeks after selecting a family. Depending on how the connection progresses, the expectant mother and the prospective adoptive parents may want to exchange direct contact information, such as phone numbers and email addresses.

After delivery, the birth mom may want to spend time with the adoptive family and the baby at the hospital, depending on how she is feeling. Then, she may want to keep up with the family through direct contact (phone calls, texts), and all might even later visit. In many open adoptions, the visits are annual.

SEMI-OPEN (SEMI-PRIVATE) ADOPTION:
This is another common option. The expectant mother (or the agency) chooses the family and may decide to meet the family and build a relationship before delivery. After the baby is placed, the contact is mostly through pictures and letters, and there are usually no personal visits or contact.

CLOSED ADOPTION:
In modern adoption, this is far less common. In many cases the expectant mother will ask the agency to choose a family on her behalf, although that's not the case every time. After the family is chosen, the expectant mom typically won't meet or have a relationship with the family. There are usually no updates, pictures, letters, nor contact between the birth mom and the adoptive family.

Alternative Options

PARENTING:
Being a parent is an incredible experience, but it also carries significant responsibilities. It is crucial to consider various factors before embarking on this journey. Are you financially prepared to afford the expenses of raising a child? How will being a parent impact your future aspirations and dreams? Do you have a solid support system comprising friends, family, or a partner who can offer the necessary assistance? These are just a few of the many important questions that we will help you in considering. Our goal is for you to make an informed decision about whether adoption is the right path for you and your baby. If you determine that it is, we are here to guide and support you in taking the next steps.

ADOPTION:
The adoption journey is undeniably beautiful, yet it also poses emotional challenges. Fortunately, the advancement in adoption practices today offers an array of options. We will assist you in designing your own adoption plan and connect you with families who are aligned with your preferences. This ensures that the family seeking to adopt your baby shares your aspirations. Whether you opt to choose the family or not and/or meet them before delivery or not, the decision is entirely yours. You are in complete control prior to placement, and we will provide unwavering support at every step of this journey, including after placement.

FRIENDS & FAMILY:
Whether it be close friends or members of your own family, there might be individuals who are willing to take on the responsibility of parenting your child or providing short-term care until you are able to do so.

FOSTER CARE:
You have the option of temporarily placing your child under the care of Child Protective Services while you take necessary steps to become capable of parenting the child. This choice allows you the opportunity to secure employment, save up for an apartment, and obtain the financial means to afford necessities like diapers and childcare. However, regaining custody of your child will involve meeting specific state requirements, such as attending parenting classes and demonstrating your ability to provide a safe environment for them.

ABORTION:
Undoubtedly, abortion remains a highly controversial issue in American society, thereby making conversations surrounding it challenging and often uncomfortable. Should you want to explore this subject further or seek comprehensive information, it is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider. Ultimately, the choice of whether to undergo an abortion is an intensely personal decision that solely rests within your hands.

WHAT IF I'M NOT SURE? WHAT IF I CAN'T DECIDE?
If your pregnancy was unexpected, it's completely normal to initially feel overwhelmed and unsure about your next steps.

However, take comfort in the fact that you have the power to regain control and we are here to offer support and empathy. By carefully examining your choices and considering your true emotions, you will find a resolution that brings you peace and tranquility. Trust your instincts and prioritize what aligns with your own aspirations and the future you envision.

About Adoption Choices of Nevada

WHO WE ARE:
Adoption Choices of Nevada is licensed by the State of Nevada to provide professional, full-service adoption assistance statewide. We understand that everyone faces different circumstances and has different needs. For Expectant Parents: We are here to help you make an adoption plan that meets your needs.

OUR LOCATIONS:
We have compassionate adoption professionals who work across Nevada to provide services to the birth parents and adoptive families we serve. We have offices in Reno and Las Vegas and a satellite office in Carson City.

111 Washington St. Reno, NV 89503

500 N. Rainbow Suite 300 Las Vegas, NV 89107

CONTACT US:
- Birth Parent Hotline: 855-940-4673
- Text Us: 702-608-1241
(Call or text 24/7)

Our Services

INTAKE SERVICES:
Our intake services are with qualified adoption specialists that are compassionate, understanding, and ready to start your choice of your adoption plan.

FINANCIAL STABILITY:
We can help meet your needs with approved living expenses during pregnancy.

CASE MANAGEMENT SERVICES:
An Expert Adoption Specialist will be assigned to you to guide you through all adoption services that we provide. They work hand-in-hand with the Executive Director to provide a wrap around approach. Your assigned Adoption Specialist will be with you every step of the way.

LEGAL SERVICES:
Our agency will arrange legal services for all your questions answered with an attorney for one-on-one service.

MEDICAL CARE:
Taking care of yourself during pregnancy is the most important thing you can do for the baby. We can help you get medical care for a healthy pregnancy.

A SAFE PLACE TO STAY:
If you are experiencing unsafe or unstable housing, we can assist in finding a safe and comfortable place for you.

PLACEMENT & POST-PLACEMENT SERVICES:
Our Adoption Specialists are qualified to help with your placement paperwork around a plan around your choices. We follow that up with post-placement support after finalization. We have a free birth parent support group so you can connect with other mothers who have made an adoption plan for their child.

SUPPORT COUNSELING:
Our counselors are here to listen and to help. Call us now to start getting support and understanding your choices. We offer counseling both during the pregnancy and after the adoption.

Your Adoption Specialist

Your Adoption Specialist will provide unwavering support throughout your adoption journey. Here are the some of the valuable services she will offer:

- Your Adoption Specialist will be available for appointments. She can accompany you to your medical appointments, assisting with both transportation and companionship.
- Assistance will be provided with applications for health insurance, if you do not already have coverage.
- Emotional support will be offered before, during, and after the birth of your baby, as long as you require it.
- If part of your adoption plan involves a relationship with the adoptive family, your Adoption Specialist will facilitate and cultivate this connection.
- Ensuring your safety and stability during pregnancy will be prioritized, and she will also assist with your financial plan.
- Birth parents can contact the birth parent hotline 24/7 via call or text at 855-940-4673 or 702-608-1241.

It is important to note what your Adoption Specialist is not:

- Despite her knowledge and expertise in the field of adoption, your Adoption Specialist cannot fulfill every possible need. It is best to communicate your needs in advance to allow time for finding appropriate resources.
- She is not a licensed attorney and cannot provide you with legal advice, but you will be provided an opportunity to speak with an attorney.
- While she can arrange transportation to certain appointments, your Adoption Specialist cannot act as a personal chauffeur for all your activities during the time you work together.
- Financial assistance cannot be provided by your Adoption Specialist. Your financial situation will be assessed and approved by the relevant individuals at Adoption Choices of Nevada. It is essential to discuss your support plan thoroughly to determine your needs.

We understand the immense stress and emotional toll that this process can have on you. Remember, your Adoption Specialist is here to support you. Openly discussing your emotions with her will allow us to guide you through this journey with our wealth of experience.

Grievance Procedure

You have the right to file a grievance or appeal a decision at any time. The Agency is committed to treating all clients fairly and with the dignity and respect they deserve.

To file a grievance or appeal, please submit a written grievance to your Adoption Specialist. They will respond in writing within three business days.

If the matter remains unresolved, your Adoption Specialist will escalate your grievance to the Agency's Executive Director within one business day. The Executive Director will then provide a written response to you within three business days.

If the issue persists, the Executive Director will forward the grievance to the Agency's CEO within one business day. The CEO will respond in writing to you within three business days.

If a resolution cannot be reached, you have the option to take your grievance to the Licensing Representative assigned to Adoption Choices of Nevada.

Any alleged violations of licensing requirements can be reported to the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services at 775-684-3732.

Nevada Adoption Laws

BIRTH MOTHER:
To proceed with the adoption process, you are required to sign an irrevocable relinquishment of parental rights, which allows for the termination of your parental rights. This relinquishment can only be signed after the child has reached 72 hours of age. It is crucial that you sign the relinquishment when you are physically and emotionally prepared, free from the influence of any medication. Hence, the minimum 72-hour period from the child's birth to the signing of the affidavit ensures that you have ample time to make this decision. Once you sign the relinquishment in front of a social worker, witness and notary, it is not able to be revoked, meaning your parental rights to the child have been severed.

If you desire, you have the right to review the adoption homestudy (the report conducted on the adoptive parents by a licensed agency) prior to signing your relinquishment. We are not able to give you a copy of the homestudy, however you will have ample time to review the report in our office. Due to confidentiality, we redact certain identifying information from the homestudy.

Prior to the signing of your relinquishment of parental rights, per Nevada law, the baby is required to either be in your care, in the care of the hospital or in an approved cradle care home. A cradle care home is a home specially approved by Adoption Choices and licensed in the State of Nevada.

LEGAL COUNSEL:
Adoption Choices provides the opportunity for every birth parent to receive legal counsel. We will connect you with your own attorney prior to signing relinquishment documents, to go over your legal rights and have the paperwork thoroughly explained.

BIRTH FATHERS (Not all fathers are the same):
Legal Father:
Any person married to you at the time of the conception or birth of the child. Even if they are not the biological father, we must terminate their potential rights so we need them to sign a relinquishment just like you. If they are not the biological father and are unwilling to sign an affidavit or relinquishment, we may be able to terminate their potential rights involuntarily, but a signed relinquishment is always preferable.

Alleged or Biological Father:
This is the legal term for any potential biological father. If you are not legally married, he can sign the relinquishment prior to the birth of the child. If he signs prior to the birth of the child, the relinquishment is irrevocable unless 1) you marry each other prior to the birth of the child 2). The parent who gave birth to the child does not execute a relinquishment within 6 months of the birth of the child or 3) no Petition for adoption is filed within 2 years of the birth of the child.

Unknown Father/Unable to Locate:
If you do not know the identity or do not have contact information for the biological father of the child, our agency attorney will attempt to locate him with the information provided by you. It is important that you are honest about all of the information you have regarding the biological father. If we are unable to locate him, our agency will file a Termination of Parental Rights Petition in court following your signing of your relinquishment of parental rights. There will be a court hearing to determine if the parental rights of the father will be terminated by the court. You are not required to attend this court hearing- an agency representative with attend and the court will be provided with the Affidavit of Paternity you submitted to the agency.

Next Legal Steps & Adoption-Related Registries

After you sign your relinquishment of parental rights, the child can be placed with the adoptive parents. After the child has spent six months in the adoptive parents' home, an adoption hearing will take place. Prior to this hearing, all post-placement visits must be finalized, and the agency must provide consent for the adoption.

The Nevada Division of Child and Family Services operates an Adoption Reunion Registry, located in Carson City, Nevada. This registry allows biological parents, adoptees and biological siblings to register their names. In the event that both parties register and there is a match, the registry will notify them, providing a means of communication if desired.

Community Resources

Children/Parenting/Pregnancy Services:
- Abortion Services: https://nevadaabortioninformation.org
- Adoption Services: www.adoptionchoicesofnevada.org | 855-940-4673
- Child Support: https://www.clarkcountynv.gov
- Child Care Assistance: https://www.childcarelv.org
- Children’s Cabinet: www.childrenscabinet.org

Food Assistance:
- Snap Benefits: https://dwss.nv.gov
- WIC Services: https://nevadawic.org

Domestic Violence Assistance:
- Domestic Violence Assistance: https://safehousenv.org

Government Benefits:
- TANF: https://accessnevada.dwss.nv.gov
- Employment Security Division: https://detr.nv.gov
- Social Security: https://www.ssa.gov
- Unemployment: https://www.ssa.gov

Medical Assistance:
- Insurance: https://www.medicaid.nv.gov

Housing/Shelter:
- Housing Authority: https://housing.nv.gov
- Emergency Shelter: https://www.vegasrescue.org or https://theshadetree.org

Expectant Parent Handbook Receipt of Information

I have read and reviewed the Expectant Parent Handbook with my Adoption Specialist. I have a copy that I can keep and refer to.
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