For any midwesterners out there, this Nebraska Adoption Guide will walk you through certain steps of the adoption process. If you are a birth parent assessing your options for your baby or an adoptive parents weighing your adoption options in the state of Nebraska, this outline will provide a simple jumpstart to this important decision.
Pregnancy – Adoption Decision:
If you have decided to place your child for adoption, choosing this new life for your unborn child not only shows love, but also incredible courage. Even when faced with such uncertainty, you are already making motherly decisions by putting the needs of your child, and the life of your child, ahead of your own. Choosing adoption amidst tough circumstances is not one to take lightly. It is one of the most important decisions a woman can make for her child. During times of confusion, remember the reasons you came to this decision in the first place. Sometimes, write them down. If you ever feel distressed or conflicted, revisiting these thoughts will help refresh your memory and come to terms with the decision.
Finding an Adoption Professional:
After making the decision to place your child for adoption, the next and vital steps in the journey will be choosing an adoption professional to help you along the way. In the state of Nebraska, there are many adoption professionals such as adoption agencies or an adoption attorney that can walk you through the process. Even though adoption agencies are usually the initial choice for a birth parent, an adoption attorney can also provide similar support, connections to prospective adoptive parents, and the knowledge required to finalize the adoption in the state of Nebraska.
Here are some helpful links to get you started on your search for both an agency or adoption attorney in Nebraska:
The Gladney Center for Adoption
Continue Prenatal Care:
After choosing an adoption professional for your journey, continuing your prenatal care should be a top priority. As a birth mother, you have a responsibility to make every appointment to check on your baby, and take care of yourself in regards to your meals, sleep, stress, and overall mental health. Following through on these vital steps can exemplify your love for your child, especially in these initial parts of the process. Agencies usually have representatives that will support and accompany you at your prenatal visits. Additionally, many agencies will direct you through the proper channels to receive proper prenatal care and medical services necessary for your pregnancy. In addition to medical care, counseling, transportation, housing, food, and clothing needs are all things you might need help with during the pregnancy. Whether you are working with an agency or an adoption attorney, a representative often will arrange accommodations once you are matched with the perfect adoptive parents.
Agencies and adoption attorneys have networks of waiting adoptive parents ready for perusal and don’t worry, you will have many profiles to view before making the final placement decision. When viewing parent profiles, birth mothers typically cite an instant connection with the chosen couple. Whether it is a religious affiliation, how they were raised, pets, hobbies, jobs, favorite vacation spots, etc., it could literally be anything that sparks a connection with your child’s future parents. Go with your gut and what you feel in your heart.
When my husband and I went through our own adoption journey, I’m not quite sure the specific detail that connected our daughter’s birth mother to us, but she made a point to discuss the fact that she had wanted to pursue a career as a paralegal, which is what I’ve done for the past 12 years. That single connection could have been it, or maybe it was something else. It’s just an example of how unsuspecting the connection might be for you.
As you start to walk through the beginning phases of the process, you will start to wonder whether you are interested in open or closed adoption for your child. Whether you choose open or closed determines how much contact and how many defining details will be shared with the adoptive parents before and post-birth. Some birth parents want monthly or yearly updates and/or visits, while some would rather not have any contact until the child is older. If the adoption is completely closed, all communication and all details are handled by the adoption professionals: the birth parents and adoptive parents do not know any specific details about the other party, such as names, cities, etc. It is all private. Something you will want to think about as a birth parent is your preferences for delivery and how involved you would like the adoptive parents to be. It is all ultimately up to you as a birth parent.
As a birth mother placing her child for adoption, there are certain requirements in Nebraska. In the state of Nebraska, the surrender timeline is 48 hours after birth, no matter if the surrender is being facilitated by an agency or an adoption attorney. In the state of Nebraska, the surrender is irrevocable and can only be reversed if proven to be taken fraudulently or while under duress.
In regards to the birth father, consent is required for adoption in Nebraska, aside from certain circumstances such as an unknown birth father or paternal abandonment for at least six months. These particulars are best discussed with an adoption attorney that is well versed in Nebraska law.
Nebraska does have a Safe Haven Act which was created in 2008 to prevent the abandonment of newborn babies. It also allows babies to be surrendered at specific locations such as a medical facility, fire department, hospital, police department, pregnancy center, etc. In the beginning, there wasn’t an age limit included in the Nebraska Safe Haven Law which, as you can imagine, allowed parents to surrender older children at hospitals and other locations too. Because this became such an issue, the law was later revised to allow babies within 30 days or less to be surrendered by the parents. Babies that are surrendered in this manner are then placed in foster care until permanent placement is made through family members or adoptive parents.
Nebraska Adoptive Parents:
Finding an Adoption Professional:
After deciding to expand your family by adoption, the first step you should take is finding an adoption professional to walk you through the journey. Agencies employ representatives/employees that handle steps and guide along the way. Some of their added assistance include: guiding you through profile book preparation, facilitating the birth parent and adoptive parent match, setting up proper counseling for the birth mother, attending prenatal visits with the birth mother, guidance on birth mother financial assistance, and providing added support to the adoptive parents.
For our daughter’s adoption, my husband and I used an adoption attorney because we had a family tie to our daughter’s birth mother and her immediate family. It was the most logical choice for us since we were already matched with the birth mother. One thing I loved about our adoption attorney was the tight-knit community we were a part of when we hired them to represent us as adoptive parents. We immediately became a part of their family and that meant the world to us as we were beginning our journey to expand our own family. After it was all said and done, we walked away feeling prepared with guidance and advice at our fingertips.
Preparing Your Finances:
For anyone considering adoption and has done even a sliver of research, you already know there are serious financial implications of such a decision. Not everyone has the reserves it may take to begin the adoption process. Taking time to analyze your financial commitments, how you can save, and fundraise, is a necessary step for most couples just starting the adoption process. From home study costs, background checks, adoption attorney fees, agency fees, birth mother expenses to post-placement costs, and finalization, adoptive couples are facing a large financial burden. Costs and fees rise very quickly. If the child is born early or there are health complications, medical costs rise quickly too.
The finances of adoption are one of the biggest parts of the process and are serious conversations you need to have in the beginning before you even begin. How you will finance your journey whether it is savings, loans, sell investments or certificates of deposit, request a family loan, or take the time to save your pennies, it is all very important. If adoption has been placed on your heart, don’t waver. I believe that God will provide a way and will take care of the unexplained, matching what you need every step of the way. If adoption is your path, trust in the Lord’s plan for the journey.
Preparing a profile book is sort of like creating an advertisement for you and your spouse as parents. This book will tell your story through pictures and simple paragraphs, allowing the birth parents to discover who you are as a couple, your core beliefs, extracurricular activities, favorite travel destinations, and the community the child will be involved in. Now that everything has turned remote in the wake of COVID, many agencies and adoption attorneys use PDF versions of profile books. Using a PDF version of a profile book saves on the expense of printing many profile books which was a common practice in the past.
A social worker found through an agency, independently, or through the Department of Health and Hospitals will conduct one or two home visits and walk through the steps of background checks, medical information, criminal checks, and access at least three personal references and complete a financial assessment. The paperwork can be extensive but absolutely necessary to gather all information to make an informative decision on the couple applying for certification to adopt. Although it is hard to not go crazy cleaning, home visits aren’t anything to stress over. After placement is made, there are post-placement visits conducted to make sure the child is thriving in his or her new environment. These visits are all part of the finalization process.
Once a birth mother chooses you, remember it is all part of a journey and the relationship/bond you are forming with the birth parents is very important. If it is an open adoption, you will forever be linked in some way or another with the birth parent. Even if it is closed, remember the adoptee may want more information about their birth parents when they are older. You are still forever connected. The main focus will always be on the adoptee and what is in their best interest.
Whether you are living with an unexpected pregnancy or are adoptive parents sitting in wait, there are so many resources available at your fingertips to help you. Adoption is beautiful for the child and all parties involved. Adoption doesn’t come without hardship and emotional trauma for the birth mother, but it is still an unbelievable representation of Christ’s love. The adoption community is growing leaps and bounds each year, furthering the discussion for necessary birth mother counseling and adoptee resources. Hopefully, this guide is an informative starting point if you are considering adoption for your child or starting the adoption process to expand your family.Considering adoption? Choose a family to adopt your child. Visit Parent Profiles on Adoption.com or call 1-800-ADOPT-98.
Legal assistant by day and farm girl by night, Catherine Spivey enjoys the simple life in South Louisiana with her husband, daughter, and a menagerie of rescued farm animals by her side. After walking through several years of infertility, one disrupted adoption, foster parent certification, and many farm animals later, the Lord blessed her family with a beloved baby girl that changed the course of their life and everyone’s in between. Sharing her own experience, hoping to impart wisdom, and encouraging those walking through the beautiful roller coaster ride of adoption has become her passion. Catherine enjoys sharing it all through writing and photography on her blog www.thebayougypsy.com and Instagram @thebayougypsy.