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43. Where a pregnant woman approaches the agency and indicates that her intention is to relinquish the child for adoption, the agency should provide her with pre-birth counselling. This counselling should include explaining the options for the child’s future care:
44. The mother should be given an explanation of the procedures for both placing her child for adoption and the adoption, and the legal implications of adoption. This must include that her consent to her child’s adoption will not be effective until six weeks after the child’s birth. See paragraphs 88-92 for the consent procedures in such cases. The agency should ascertain and record her wishes and feelings.
45. The agency should also provide pre-birth counselling and ascertain the wishes and feelings of the expected child’s father. Where the agency knows the father’s identity and is satisfied it is appropriate to do so, the agency should also counsel him and any other person the agency considers relevant to the child, and it should ascertain their wishes and feelings. AAR 14 should be followed, where it is reasonably practicable for the agency to do so.
46. The agency should consider the care options for the child, and where it considers that adoption is the preferred option, it should:
47. When the child is born, the agency should counsel the mother, and where it is reasonably practicable and the agency considers it appropriate, the child’s father, to ascertain whether they still wish to relinquish the child for adoption. If they do, the agency should immediately complete the CPR needed for the adoption panel to consider whether the child should be placed for adoption and, where this is the case, whether the child should be placed with particular adopters. With enough preparation the adoption panel should be ready to consider the case within a day or so of the birth (see also chapter 4 paragraph 33).
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