When adopting a child, the adoptive parents understand that the birth mother is making an enormous sacrifice. So it makes sense to ask the question, can a birth mother change her mind?
A birth mother can change her mind and decide to keep her baby at any time during her pregnancy. The mother generally has 48-72 hours after birth to sign over her parental rights, yet some states have a revocation period that allows the birth mother between one week to 30 days to change her mind.
The state in which you live will determine the amount of time the birth mother has to change her mind. This can be a daunting time for the adoptive parents.
You have waited for the moment to finally adopt, and the birth mother is now in labor. This is the big moment you have been waiting for, yet there is a heart-wrenching feeling of worry that lingers. What if the birth mother changes her mind?
The decision for a birth mother to provide her baby with a better life than what she would be able to offer is enough for her to follow through with allowing her baby to be adopted. It is expected that a birth mother will experience a rollercoaster of emotions during her pregnancy.
Not only is pregnancy for any woman a more emotional time, but you can also only imagine how it must be for the birth mother knowing she is planning on putting her baby up for adoption.
Birth mothers do not decide to adopt because they do not feel love for their babies. Adoption is an option that makes sense to them and is in the best interest of their baby.
Related Article: Adoption is such a long, drawn-out process, and your focus will be finalizing your adoption and bringing your child home. But then what? How to Make Your Adopted Child Feel Welcome: 11 Tip Checklist is a terrific resource for helping you make that adjustment after adoption.
Adoptive parents need to understand that birth mothers can and sometimes do change their minds. And if the birth mother is within that permitted timeframe, she is indeed allowed to change her mind. You want to read more about contested adoptions.
What then, would make a birth mother change her mind? The number one reason could be the natural motherly instinct to love and nurture her baby. Humans and animals alike have the innate longing to protect and be with their offspring.
Each birth parent’s situations are different and will determine the outcome of following through with the adoption they initiated.
Percentage of Birth Mothers that Change Their Minds
What then might be your chances of your birth mother changing her mind? You naturally want to know, what percentage of birth mothers change their minds?
An estimated 6% percentage of birth mothers change their minds about adoption. A birth mother is more apt to change her mind between the time she contacts an adoption agency until before she meets the adoptive family. During this time, she has no emotional connection to the adoption.
Near the beginning of when a birth mother finds out she is pregnant, she may be feeling extremely scared, alone, and possibly a combination of emotions all at the same time.
Early in a birth mother’s pregnancy, she may initially reach out to an adoption agency to learn more about her options.
In the meantime, the birth mother may share the pregnancy news with others who share with her alternative options other than adoption.
Perhaps a woman was scared that she was not going to be able to financially care for and properly nurture a child, yet someone shared with her an option that encouraged her to change her mind about adoption.
Once a birth mother has chosen an adoptive family, she becomes emotionally connected and gets deeper into the adoption process.
During this time, the impulse and strength to move forward with the process become almost automatic, and the birth mothers rarely change their minds at this point.
It is even rarer that a birth mother changes her mind after the baby has left the hospital with the adoptive parents.
What Rights Do Birth Parents Have After Adoption?
Birth mothers typically are given between 48 to 72 hours to sign the adoption papers, which is generally done at the hospital. What rights, though, do birth parents have after adoption?
Birth parents’ rights in some states are terminated immediately after they sign the adoption papers and are irrevocable. Other states, however, have a revocation period that can last from one week up to 30 days. During this revocation period, birth parents have a legal right to change their minds.
Due to the laws in each state being different, prospective adoptive parents are highly encouraged to research the laws in the state in which they wish to adopt.
Based on what your research uncovers, you may wish to adopt in a neighboring state that you feel more comfortable with.
Once the birth mother signs the Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) and any required revocation period has ended, her parental rights are terminated and she is not granted visitation rights.
In open adoptions and depending on the comfort level of the adoptive parents and the birth parents, some level of contact, as well as voluntary visitation, may be allowed.
This contact and any possible visitations, however, are not a right of the birth parents and are at the sole discretion of the adoptive parents.
8 Signs a Birth Mother Will Change Her Mind
1. She has not told her family or partner.
3. The birth mom’s mom doesn’t agree with adoption.
3. She turns down counseling.
4. She’s a HS dropout with no education plans.
5. On and off relationship with her partner.
6. She’s more concerned about what she can get.
7. She doesn’t talk about plans after adoption.
8. She doesn’t realize how hard motherhood is.
There are so many other signs that a birth mother will change her mind, but these are a few big ones you will want to watch out for.
I know it is easier said than done, but try not to get too emotionally attached to the idea of your adoption going through until you are confident that the birth mother is on board and does not give off any red flags.