Services for Birth Parents

Bright Futures offers both pre and post-placement services for pregnant women and couples. Click below to learn more about each of the services offered by Bright Futures.

Education, Counseling and Support
Intake Evaluation
Opportunity to Evaluate and Select Adoptive Parents
Financial Assistance
Post-Placement Services
Facilitation of Ongoing Contact with Your Child’s Adoptive Family
Newsletter

Education, Counseling and Support
Bright Futures offers free education, counseling and support to birth parents throughout the adoption process. Bright Futures first offers education to birth parents about the adoption process, different types of adoption, and alternatives to adoption. Next, Bright Futures provides counseling and support to birth parents making the difficult decision about whether to parent or make an adoption plan for their child. All such education, counseling and support is provided free of charge to birth parents regardless of their final decision. top

Once birth parents decide to make an adoption plan for their child, Bright Futures provides education, counseling and support as needed. Such education, counseling and support may include: (a) counseling birth parents about their role in the adoption triangle and compassionate methods of communicating with adoptive parents and their extended family, (b) providing support in specific situations that may arise prior to or after the birth of their child, (c) assisting birth parents in creating an adoption plan that is appropriate for all parties involved in the adoption and modifying the adoption plan to meet changes in circumstances throughout the adoption process, (d) assisting birth parents in arranging the details of the delivery itself and dealing with the legal and emotional issues that may arise, and (e) counseling and supporting birth parents in managing their relationship with the adoptive family after the birth and placement of a child. In addition, birth parents will have the option of becoming part of a support network comprised of birth parents that have made adoption plans for their children or are in the process of making an adoption plan for their child. top

Intake Evaluation
When birth parents begin working with Bright Futures, a social worker from Bright Futures will meet with the birth parent(s) and do an Intake Evaluation. During the Intake Evaluation, the social worker will discuss with the birth parent(s) their specific needs, desires and concerns about adoption and what type of adoption is right for them. The social worker will also help assess the birth parent(s)’ current situation and make a service plan that addresses the birth parent(s)’ needs. The service plan may address any of the issues described in the next few sentences. If the birth parent(s) would like to have counseling, the service plan will indicate how often the birth parent(s) wish to have counseling, who will provide the counseling and where the counseling will take place. If the birth mother needs financial assistance to pay for doctor or hospital visits, the service plan will indicate how often the birth mother visits the doctor, the expectation for length of hospitalization and who will pay the expenses. If the birth mother needs assistance with housing, living or transportation expenses, the service plan will indicate what the birth mother’s needs are and how they will be addressed. The service plan will also indicate who will provide the birth parent(s) with legal counsel in connection with the adoption and who will cover those legal costs. top

During the Intake Evaluation, the social worker will also help the birth parents complete a Birth Family Medical Information Form and a Birth Parent Social and Family History Form. The information contained in these forms will be passed on to the adoptive parents selected by the birth parent(s) so that the adoptive parent(s) can make it part of their family history and so that it is available to share with the child as he or she grows older and begins to ask questions about his or her birth family. top

Opportunity to Evaluate and Select Adoptive Parents
Once the Intake Evaluation has been completed and Bright Futures has a sense of what the birth parent(s)’ needs are and what type of adoptive family the birth parent(s) would like to have parent their child, Bright Futures will provide the birth parents with pictures and letters from adoptive families that have been approved by Bright Futures and that share the birth parent(s)’ needs and expectations about the adoption (including expectations about the racial, cultural or religious identity of the child, ongoing contact, and financial ability/needs). The birth parent(s) will then have the opportunity to select the family or families that they would like to get to know better. After the birth parent(s) have had the chance to ask questions and speak with the adoptive parents, the birth parent(s) will be allowed to identify the family that they want to work with to make an adoption plan for their child. Although Bright Futures will work hard to match each child with the family selected by the birth parent(s), by law Bright Futures is required to make the final decision about whether the placement is in the best interests of the child. top

Financial Assistance
Bright Futures helps birth parents determine what their counseling, legal, living and medical expenses may be in connection with making an adoption plan for their child and provides birth parents with a plan for how to pay those expenses. An adoption financial plan may involve: (i) obtaining available state and federal aid, such as AFDC, Medicaid or WIC, if the birth parent(s) are eligible, (ii) payment by the prospective adoptive parents of certain pregnancy, birth and adoption-related expenses of the birth parent(s) as permitted by applicable law, such as counseling fees, legal fees, reasonable living expenses, medical expenses and transportation to obtain medical, legal, counseling or other adoption-related services, and (iii) use of any other resources that may be available to the birth parent(s). top

Post-Placement Services
Bright Futures provides birth parents with education, counseling and support services after placement of their child, including counseling regarding adoption-related issues such as identity, roles and relationships between the participants in an adoption plan, assistance in joining or developing a support group, and general information regarding current adoption issues, practices and laws. top

Facilitation of Ongoing Contact with Your Child and Your Child’s Adoptive Family
Building a relationship with your child’s adoptive family based on trust and mutual respect is an important part of a birth parent(s)’ job. Bright Futures helps birth parents build relationships with their child’s adoptive family by:

  • Facilitating the exchange of pictures and letters if the birth parent(s) or the adoptive parents are not comfortable disclosing their address at the outset;
  • Assisting birth parents in creating an ongoing contact plan that is comfortable for the birth parents, comfortable for the adoptive parents and in the best interests of the child (such a plan may include a combination of letters, telephone calls and/or visits);
  • Assisting birth parents in revising an ongoing contact plan that has become uncomfortable for the birth parents, for the adoptive parents or for the child; or
  • Providing a neutral ground for meetings or visits with the adoptive family.

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Newsletter
As a client of Bright Futures, any birth parent that elects to do so will receive Bright Futures’ newsletter. The newsletter contains articles on current adoption issues, letters and articles from birth parents and adoptive parents on their adoption experiences, dates of upcoming adoption conferences and news about Bright Futures, its programs and services. top