Signing papers to terminate your parental rights to your child is not a fun thing and not one that I like to talk about often, but one that I feel should be discussed here occasionally as it is something you will have to do if you follow through with making an adoption plan. With all the corruption in adoptions nowadays, you must be educated on your rights and the laws regarding terminating your rights. I am not an expert on adoption laws and don’t claim to be, so please do your homework regarding the laws in your state!
Laws on relinquishment procedures vary from state to state and various agencies even handle things differently within states, but that is just their policies within the law. Sometimes relinquishment papers are signed in the hospital. I do not agree with this practice for a few reasons. One, I think it taints the hospital experience. Even if you do place your child for adoption, the hospital experience should still be your time to say hello and goodbye to your baby. Two, you should not sign a legal document from a hospital bed. A legal document should be signed in an attorney’s office or courtroom.
In some states, parents can not terminate rights for a certain amount of time (example, 72 hours in Arizona) and the laws often differ for the biological mother and father. Sometimes fathers can terminate their rights prior to the birth of their child.
Again depending on your state, their may be a revocation period, meaning a pre-determined allotted amount of time that you can change your mind and reclaim your child. This can vary from twenty four hours to twelve days or even a month, depending on the state you sign relinquishment papers in.
In some states, (Minnesota for example) you may be required to go to court and sign papers before a judge. The point of this is to make sure that you are crystal clear that once you sign those papers you will no longer have any legal rights to your child.
The revocation period varies from state to state as well. In some states (like mine, South Carolina) you have no revocation period. In other states you have a longer revoke period, like Delaware which allows birth parents 12 days to revoke their consent. But be warned that revoking your consent is not always as easy as it sounds.
Find out the laws in your state, ask many questions, and be as positive as possible that you do want to sign those papers before you do. Don’t let anyone pressure you into signing them sooner than you feel comfortable.
Examples used in this post from here.
More information on the laws in your state, here.