Birth Parent Information

Adoption is never an easy choice for birth parents to make. However, if you feel parenting is not the right option for you and are considering placing your baby up for adoption, you are not giving up on them—you are making the choice to give your baby the best life possible.

Should you consider adoption for your child?

An unplanned pregnancy may require you to make difficult decisions and plans. Social workers and other professionals are available to help you through this process. Adoption is a legal procedure, which cannot be reversed once you sign relinquishment papers or consents for a specific family to adopt your child. It is important to take adequate time to carefully make this decision. Counseling services are available through the Washoe County Human Services Agency (WCHSA) office or other licensed child-placing agencies.

What if you decide to pursue adoption?

There are two ways to plan an adoptive placement. One is for you to work with WCHSA or another licensed adoption agency to place your child for adoption with one of its approved and waiting families. The other is to find an adoptive family of your own and contact WCHSA or another licensed adoption agency to provide services for both you and your chosen family.

What if you decide to request adoption placement through WCHSA?

If you decide to use the placement services of WCHSA, a caseworker will be assigned to help you. You may choose to participate in selecting the adoptive family or you can allow WCHSA to choose the adoptive family. If you require medical or financial assistance, the WCHSA caseworker can assist in identifying resources. Ongoing counseling is given in preparation of the child’s birth and what can be expected after the baby is born. After the baby is born and prior to your discharge from the hospital, you and the caseworker will discuss the plans for the placement of the baby. Pending your decision to place your baby for adoption (and for at least 72 hours after birth) you may decide to:
  • Take the baby home and care for it yourself
  • In some circumstances, the hospital will agree to continue to care for the child
  • Permit WCHSA to place the baby in a temporary foster care placement. You may ask for the child’s return to you at any time before you sign the relinquishment or Consents to Adopt
Law prohibits the birth mother from signing a relinquishment of Consent to Adopt prior to 72 hours after the birth of your child. You must be free from the effects of any medications, which might affect your decision, and be under no pressure at the time you sign these important documents. You will receive a copy of all paperwork you sign for your records.

What if I find a family with whom I want to adopt my baby?

If you find a family with whom you want to adopt your baby, you may make plans directly with that family. In that case, the family applies to have a home study completed and a caseworker from WCHSA will meet with you to confirm your adoption placement plans with that specific family. Some birth parents prefer this option because all identifying information is exchanged and it is possible to make plans for some type of ongoing contact after the baby is placed (letters, pictures, visits). Also, the adoptive family can sometimes assist you with the payment of medical bills and minimal living expenses. You always have the choice to change your mind; however, plans made with a specific family are not legally binding until Consents to Adoption are signed. If you decide on a plan of adoption with a specific family, you (birth mother and husband) must wait 72 hours before signing consents or relinquishments and the family must have an approved home study completed before the baby can be placed. If the birth father is not married to the birth mother, he can sign the consent prior to the birth of the child.

Nevada Adoption Registry

If you would like to consider the possibility of future contact with a child you have released for adoption, the Nevada Adoption Registry offers this opportunity. An explanation of the services available through the registry will be provided by the social worker prior to or at the time you sign relinquishments or adoption consents.

Any additional questions you might have?

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