Most of my clients have a baby in their home within 6-8 months of starting the adoption process.
No! Twenty or so years ago the answer to this question would have been yes, but not anymore. There is no longer a stigma to raising a child alone and I find that gay and lesbian couples adopt just as quickly as heterosexual couples.
This is a tricky question to answer. The best way to address this issue is to explain that there are levels of openness. Some people consider an adoption to be "open" simply because they have met their birth parents and have shared non identifying information about themselves. To others an "open adoption" means a sharing of identifying information as well as continuing to have contact and visits with one another over the years. To most families, "open" is somewhere in between.
In some states a Post Placement Contact Agreement is enforceable by law. Adoption laws vary from state to state and so they are not binding in all 50 states. However, I always advise my clients that even if the Agreement is not binding by law, they should consider it morally binding.
The birth mom's medical records will always be requested as long as she signs a medical release. Should she be unwilling to sign a medical release, you should probably reevaluate your decision to move forward with her.
Yes. After your adoption has been finalized you will receive an amended birth certificate that will have your name on the certificate (as parent(s) as well as the name you have chosen for your child.