When can the birth mother start the adoption process?

The birth mother may start the adoption process at any time during the pregnancy or after the birth of the baby. The birth mother cannot make a legal decision until after the baby is born. In Arizona the baby must be at least 72 hours old before the mother can sign consents.

Can the birth mother choose the adoptive parents?

Yes, she may choose the adoptive family from a list of court approved families available through an adoption agency or attorney. She may choose to review non-identifying information and/or she may choose to meet one or more prospective families before selecting one. She may want a relative to adopt her child. Close relatives do have an abbreviated approval process though still need to be approved by the court.

Can the mother see and hold the baby after the birth?

Yes, the new mother can do anything any other mother may choose to do. She has not relinquished any of her parental rights at this time. She has the right to see, hold and care for the baby, and name the baby. However, if she doesn’t want to do any of these things, she has the right not to and still be treated with respect by hospital staff. In adoption, this is referred to as the birthing plan. She is the parent who signs the birth certificate and may choose any name for the baby, including the name the adopting parents selected, if that is her choice.
If she has chosen a family to adopt the baby, she may request THEY be the ones to care for the baby in the hospital. She may also request they be in the delivery room.