ROLE OF BIRTH PARENTS
Before the adoption
Prior to the adoption, the birth parent(s) may provide input about the kind of family they would like for their child. The values, lifestyle, education, cultural heritage and other characteristics that are important to the birth parents are considered carefully when choosing the child’s adoptive parents.
Relationships with adopted children and birth parents
Recently there has been a move to create more openness between adopting families and birth families. The degree of openness a child needs, a birth parent wants, or an adopting family can accept, is carefully considered early in the adoption process. It could range from a photo and/or to go with the child upon adoption, to visits between birth parents and children.
There are two options available to maintain these relationships. The court has the option of making a contact order with significant people in a child’s life. A child can still be adopted with this order in place. Another option available to ensure a child maintains contact with significant people in his or her life is with a contact agreement between adoptive parents and birth families.
What if the birth father does not wish to be involved?
We cannot force the involvement of the birth father, but we do make every effort to involve both parents in planning for their child and in signing consent for adoption. It is important to remember that both birth parents can provide vital information about the child that no one else would know. This can include accurate health and social history information for the child. It is in the child’s best interest to have as much information as possible about both birth parents.
Support for birth parents
We recognize that giving up a child for adoption is a very difficult thing to do, and we offer support to birth parents throughout the process, including pregnancy planning and post-adoption counselling.