FINDING YOUR BIRTH MOM
BIRTH MOTHER OUTREACH FUND
Once you have retained our services, you will be asked to deposit a $5,000 a non-refundable fee to our “Birth Mother Outreach Fund.” If we, rather than you, create an appropriate birth mother opportunity that you accept, an additional $10,000 will be requested and deposited (and becomes non-refundable at that point) to our Birth Mother Outreach Fund. If through your own networking, you find your own birth mother, we will screen, educate and counsel your birth mother which service is included in your initial contribution of $5,000. These funds are applied towards the expenses associated with the items listed below.
OUTREACH & EDUCATION
We have established a national “birth parent outreach” system consisting of an advertising and education program which allows us to share information with birth parents (including their friends, family, medical and legal advisors) throughout the country about the option of open formatted independent adoption. Our outreach program consists of one or more of the following:
a. Direct advertising: We place ads for our law firm on the internet and in adoption listings throughout the country in the states where such advertising is legal.
b. Communication with the independent adoption community: Our firm has an excellent reputation and goodwill in the community. We have been in the field of adoption for many years, and many birth parents are attracted to our services because of our reputation and our counseling services. In addition, we have developed contacts in the medical community and adoption community, and birth parents are referred to us through doctors, medical facilities, school counselors, and adoptive parents and birth parents who have previously worked with us.
c. Placing your own ads: You may also wish to consider placing your own ad or other marketing option through us. We will assist you in creating your advertisements and adoptive parent profile, assist you in choosing the media source through which your ad will run and then allow you to include our 800 number for potential birth parents to call in. We will screen the calls for you thereby eliminating the need for you to be available 24/7 for birth parent calls. The only additional cost to you for this service is the actual cost of the ad, which varies with the type of media source you select. Placing ads is strictly optional after retaining our services, which many times shortens the waiting period in meeting an appropriate birth mother.
SCREENING OUT INAPPROPRIATE BIRTH PARENTS
a. Birth parent(s) with Substance Abuse or Other Health Problems. As you are most likely aware, substance abuse has been a great problem in the past and continues to be an issue. It is not our practice to routinely request that a birth parent submit to a hair follicle drug test. We are not medical experts and therefore, we do not participate in the collection or testing of the hair follicle. If the birth parents communicated to our staff that the child might suffer serious effects from substance abuse, the birth parents would not be introduced to prospective adoptive parents through our office. Other health problems may be a result of the lack of prenatal care, insufficient diet, unsuitable housing, or a basic ignorance as to the proper care a pregnant woman needs. If there appears to be a possibility of any health problems, we would make you aware immediately and assist you in scheduling an appointment with an appropriate medical provider. If there is evidence of a serious health problem, determined either in our communication with the birth parents or by medical testing requested by you, we would refer the birth parents to an appropriate source for assistance. Adoptive parents acknowledge that the Law Offices of D. Durand Cook will rely in good faith on all information provided by a birth mother. If a further investigation of health or drug use issues is desired beyond the information provided to our office by the birth parents or her medical records, the adoptive parents will be responsible for initiating any such further investigation.
b. Birth Parent(s) Not “At Choice.” Sometimes birth parents have not yet made a commitment to adoption when they come to our office, and after exploring the possibility of adoption and considering their options, they determine that keeping the child would be best for their situation. Our intake and counseling procedures can help a birth parent come to a decision and either meet adoptive parents or proceed with another plan. You ultimately need to assess the birth parent’s commitment to adoption as you will be directly affected emotionally and financially by her or their ultimate decision.