Godard said the strength of the agency’s program stems from the caseworker’s relationship with the biological mother from the moment they meet to the birth of the child.
“[It’s having] the birthparent caseworker working with the birthparent all the way through [her pregnancy] and not placing [her baby] unless she’s really certain that this is what she wants,” Godard said. “We don’t place if we don’t have a strong case. If she is wavering, we can hold that baby in foster care.”
New Hope Family Services can utilize a New York state-approved temporary foster care program designed specifically for this purpose. In some cases, when the birthmom is still unsure of her decision, the baby may go directly from the hospital to a foster family for short-term care.
“We don’t have to place the child [with the adoptive parents], but we typically do because the baby needs to be with the family that he is going to be with and that’s what the birthmoms want. They want that.”
The good news for adoptive parents is that New Hope has never yet had a biological mother change her mind after the baby has been placed in the care of her new parents.
“This is her plan. She put together this plan. She’s chosen a family,” Godard said of the birthmom. “She knows exactly what she wants; she chooses how much correspondence she wants, she chooses how much openness she wants in adoption.
“We can only go to the families who are open to what she has already put out there in her criteria for a family. This is totally her plan, so her going back on her plan would typically not happen unless she really had a regret about the whole thing and she really wants to parent or is able to parent,” she added.