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Expectant/Birth Parent FAQ's

When should I first call Cradle of Life?

  • As soon as you are ready. We have worked with parents who just received their first positive pregnancy test, parents that are actively in labor, and parents of 1 year old children. It is never to early or too late to call us.

What if I do not know yet if I want to place my child for adoption?

  • Contact us anyway. We will discuss all your options and ensure you know all of the alternatives. If after this meeting you decide you are not ready yet to proceed, call us when you are. Your contact with us will always be confidential.

What does this process cost me?

  • This process if free of charge to all expectant and birth parents, that includes all legal fees.

What services can COL provide while I am pregnant and after placing?

  • All agencies in the state of Texas are required to provide the services listed below. These are done in a legal way that is supervised by the administrators of the agency and TX DFPS licensing division.


-Free adoption related legal services

-Adoption based services and support

-Access to good medical care

-Access to counseling while pregnant and for life after placement

-Access to help with some living expenses

-The right to choose the family for your child as well as the adoption type preferred

What is the difference between an agency and CPS/Foster Care?

  • Agency adoption is completely voluntary. You are making all the decisions including choosing the adoptive family, type of adoption preferred, and if you are placing or parenting. CPS does involuntary placements where they will choose where the child goes and if you are allowed pictures and/or visits, the child will be in foster care until the case is settled, and your parental rights can be involuntarily terminated at any point if you do not follow their rules. This is why some parents will choose to place their children for adoption with our agency rather than allowing CPS to take custody: They would prefer the guarantee of an open adoption rather than the hope they will be able to have their children return to them in the distant future.

Do I have to tell my family?

  • You can tell as many people as you want or no one. We always want you to have support, but we are here for you no matter what. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us and no one can know that you are considering this option unless you choose to tell them.

Does the father have to be involved?

  • If the father is known to you, we want him to be involved. If he is unknown, is mentally or physically abusive and you are seeking shelter during an active court case he does not have to be involved according to Texas law. If you are legally married to someone, whether he is the biological father or not, he has to sign legal paperwork and his involvement in the rest of the process is up to you and him.

Should I call an adoption agency or place with a family member or friend?

  • Cradle of Life Adoption Agency can provide many more services for you than individuals in the adoption process. It is illegal in Texas for non-agencies to provide you with any financial assistance, such as housing or other living expenses, regardless of how much assistance you need. Families who apply to adopt with Cradle of Life Adoption Agency must successfully complete a thorough screening process. You will have the confidence that your child will be placed with a stable, loving family. Individuals who advertise online or a friend or family member may have not been thoroughly investigated. Sometimes you can't "judge a book by its cover." The investigation may reveal things that could be very important about the stability or character of someone, which isn't readily apparent otherwise. You are entrusting someone with your child, you deserve that level of confidence.

Do I have to find my own adoptive family or do agencies help me with that?

  • Cradle of Life has a long list of prospective adoptive families that are ready to be presented to you as options for you to choose from. These families have gone through a very long and thorough process called an “adoptive home study” and are trained and ready to become parents at a moment notice. You have the right review as many adoptive family profile books as you want before choosing one and we will make sure all of your preferences are being reflected in those options you are given. If you decided this is too much or too hard, you are able to tell us of your preferences and we can choose the family we feel would be the best fit.

Can I meet the family and get to know them?

  • Of course! During the matching process you can get to know any families you are considering with in person meetings or zooms. Once you have chosen a family you can get to know them better throughout your pregnancy with agency assistance. If you decide that is too hard or uncomfortable, you can choose a family through family profile book review, or you can ask the agency to choose who they think would be the best fit.

What if I change my mind?

  • We want your decision to be made when you are ready. You will not be allowed to sign any permanent legal papers until your baby is at least 48 hours old. That means you have at least two days to consider your decision. If your child is older you can sign when you have a solid plan in place and feel ready. Once you do sign, it is permanent and irrevocable. We do ask that you if you are having second thoughts or know you will not be placing that you inform us at the earliest moment possible. These potential adoptive families have already gone through a very long and arduous journey to get to the matching stage, we want to respect their time and start working with them on moving on as best they can.

Will I have to appear in court?

  • No. The agency will take care of all court appearances and fees. If a third party gets involved then we may need you to testify, but that is extremely rare and would be done confidentially.

If I choose to go through with the adoption, will my child go to foster care?

  • Absolutely not. Your child will go directly from you or the hospital to the chosen adoptive family.

What types of relationships with the Adoptive Family and child are available?

  • There are three different types of adoption Cradle of Life has. These are closed, semi open, and fully open. Closed: no contact with the adoptive family or child, you may wish to choose the family or ask staff to choose for you. Semi open: You have the right to pick the family get to know them and receive pictures and updates on the child for the rest of their life through staff. Open: everything included in the semi open option as well as the possibility for direct contact wit the adoptive family and child and yearly visits as the relationship deepens. 

What type of relationship does COL recommend?

  • We recommend the semi open or fully open adoption relationship style. This not only allows for you to continue having a relationship with the child and watching them grow, but is very beneficial to the adoptee in a number of ways. See our "Level of Contact" blog for more information. 

Can I have contact with my child after the adoption occurs?

  • Absolutely! Most of the placements we do are Open or Semi Open. All of COL’s families are required to be ready for at minimum a semi open adoption. This includes pictures and updates on the child until they reach adulthood, and you are welcome to send letters and gifts to them as they grow up. If you decide you want more contact open adoptions are also available with in person visits and direct contact with the family and child. However, if you decide that you are not ready for that, closed adoptions are also an option, but only at the request of the birth/first family.

If I choose to do a closed or semi open adoption at first can I change my mind?

  • You always have the option to receive updates and pictures on your child. If you decide in the future you want more openness than that, that could include visits, it is up to the discretion of the adoptive family. It is however very much recommended and an option should the relationship grow in a positive way.

If I choose to have a closed adoption, or fall out of contact with COL, can I have a reunion with my child when they become an adult?

  • Yes, in fact COL will facilitate it. As long as both sides are wanting the reunion and are ready for it we will do what needs to be done to ensure it occurs. Just reach out to us when you are ready.

*The sentiments and policies expressed in this blog represent Cradle of Life Staff and/or Clients and do not necessarily reflect the sentiments or policies of all adoption agencies.