Archive for the ‘Birth Parents’ Category

State by State: How to Place Your Baby for Adoption in Maine

Are you pregnant and considering adoption? Discovering an unplanned pregnancy is an emotional, overwhelming time for many women. Right now, you may not know where you can go for help or who to call for support. You know that you want to provide a loving home for your child, but are unsure how to start the adoption process. You are not alone. If you are an expectant mother living in Maine, know that Adoptions With Love is here for you.

Adoptions With Love is a licensed, non-profit adoption agency helping expectant/birth parents nationwide find the best possible homes for their children. For over 30 years, we have been building relationships with expert adoption counselors and attorneys licensed in Maine. If you need help placing your baby for adoption in Maine, you can always contact us. Our trusted Maine adoption agency partner and attorney can help you explore your options, understand the laws in your area, and make an adoption plan that is tailored to your wishes and needs.

Before starting your adoption plan, however, we recommend doing your research. Adoption is one of the most loving and long-term decisions you can make for your child, and should always be well-informed. Ask questions.  Learn about the steps you need to take to place your baby for adoption in Maine. Prepare for what is ahead. As a reputable adoption agency serving Maine, Adoptions With Love can help you navigate the adoption process. We will listen to you, answer your questions, educate you on adoption in Maine, and help you make the most positive, informed decision for you and your baby.

Whether you are facing an unplanned pregnancy or have already given birth to your baby, we extend our support to you. To help get you started, we have created this mini guide to making an adoption plan in Maine:

1. Choose an adoption agency that you trust.

Every adoption journey starts by choosing the right agency to guide you through the process. There are many  adoption professionals in Maine who can help you, but it is important to find a licensed, reputable agency that you trust. How will you know you are choosing the right adoption agency?

The right adoption agency will have staff who listen to your wants and needs, who are willing to discuss all your options with you, and who promise to respect any choice that you make. Look for an agency that will stand by your side and support you throughout the entire adoption experience – not only as you prepare for the adoption, but also throughout your life. Your adoption agency should also be accessible to you at any time of day, any day of the week, to answer your questions and help you design the perfect adoption plan.

2. Decide the type of adoption you would like your child to have.

If you choose to work with an open adoption agency serving Maine, you will have the option to create an open, semi-open, or closed adoption plan. With an open adoption, you can:

  • Choose an adoptive family for your baby
  • Meet and get to know the family for your baby
  • Keep in touch with your child’s family over the years
  • Receive letters and pictures of your child as he or she grows

Many expectant/birth mothers choose to create an adoption plan with some level of openness, because it gives them peace of mind to see and know that their child is doing well. If you would like to make an open or semi-open adoption plan, you can decide the amount of contact you would like with your child’s family, if any at all.  At Adoptions With love, we will help you personally design the type of adoption plan that best fits your wants and needs: you can choose an open adoption, semi-open adoption, or a closed adoption plan. One of our adoption counselors will explain each option and, if you would like, help you create your ideal adoption plan.

3. Select a loving adoptive family.

Whether you create a fully open adoption plan or a more private adoption plan with no contact, you will always have the option to select a family for your baby at Adoptions With Love. If you would like to make this loving choice, we will send you a selection of prospective Adoptive Parent Profiles. These family profiles, consisting of letters and photos, will help you get to know each waiting family and choose the best match for your baby. At Adoptions With Love, we will listen carefully to your requests and show you the families that best meet your wishes for your child. Once you choose an adoptive family, you will have the option to speak with them through email, phone, or meet them in-person. This is completely up to you.

No matter which adoptive family you choose, you can rest assured that your child will be placed in a loving, safe, and secure home. All our waiting families have been thoroughly screened and interviewed by a licensed social worker, have undergone a series of federal background checks, and are fully able and ready to raise a child for life.

4. Understand the adoption laws in Maine.

Adoption laws vary state to state. That is why it is so important to work with an agency who has adoption attorneys specifically trained in your home state. If you choose to work with Adoptions With Love, you can meet with our attorney partners who are experts in Maine adoptions. They can meet with you – wherever you are – to help walk you through the legal adoption process.

Adoptions With Love’s legal services are always free of charge. You can rest assured that there is never a cost for the expectant or birth parent services at our agency. In Maine, licensed, private adoption agencies like us are permitted to provide financial assistance for some pregnancy-related expenses needed before, during, and for weeks after your baby’s adoption, such as:

  • Complete counseling services
  • Help designing your adoption plan
  • Assistance finding quality medical care
  • Housing assistance 
  • Financial assistance
  • Legal assistance
  • Ongoing Contact

5. Receive ongoing adoption support.

Adoption is a lifelong journey full of new, sensitive relationships and emotions. Remember that Adoptions With Love is for you, even after your baby is placed. We can help you navigate any feelings, adoption relationships, or open communication over the years. As part of your post-adoption services, we extend free ongoing, confidential counseling services. We can also help you create an open adoption agreement with the adoptive family, and mediate any contact you might have with your child’s family down the road.

Whether you are pregnant or have already given birth to your baby, it is never too late to start your adoption in Maine.  Call us at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072 to learn more.

This is our State by State Adoption blog series.  To learn about the different areas we service, or to find the specific steps of adoption in your state, please visit adoptionswithlove.org/areas-we-service.


Kayla, a Birth Mother, Reflects on Her Adoption Experience & the Holiday Season

The holidays are a time filled with family, friends, love and gratitude. For birth parents who chose adoption, however, the holidays can also be quite difficult. Kayla, a birth mother who placed her daughter for adoption through Adoptions With Love, wants you to know that it is completely normal to grieve. But above all, she says, try to remember that you provided the best possible life for your child. Below Kayla shares her story in hopes it will empower other birth mothers this holiday season.

Can you give readers a little background on your adoption story?

My adoption story began February 13,2016. I woke up in the morning feeling crampy, but nothing out of the ordinary, and went on with my day. As the day went on, the cramping got worse and by 6:00pm I was driving myself to the hospital with the idea of my appendix bursting. As I entered the ER, an appendix bursting was what I wish I was hearing instead of the words, “sweetie you are in Labor.”

How could I be pregnant, I thought to myself, I’ve had no signs and I’ve lost weight. Nothing was adding up and I began to panic. The next few hours are all a blur, as nurses and doctors rushed around to save the baby. I fought with them saying they were wrong and there was absolutely no way this was correct. At 1:15am, my beautiful baby girl entered the world at six pounds. The happiest and scariest moment of my life. More panic set in as I held her in my arms.

Do I keep her, and struggle as a single mom? Or do I make an adoption plan and give her a chance at an amazing life, one that I was unable to provide for her at the time?

The tears, support, and comfort that swarmed my hospital room over the next 5 days was mind-blowing, from nurses who themselves made adoption plans in the past, to people over hearing my story and coming in for a shoulder to lean on and try to give me advice. I made my decision to make an adoption plan and the first struggle came: I had to pick a family.

The best advice I got was from a nurse who was by my side the entire time. Simple but stuck with me. One night around 3 or 4am I was in hysterics with family profiles spread all over my bed, the floor, just a mess – and she came in, hugged me. and just simply said, “Kayla, I promise you when you find your family you will know. Everything will make sense and you will not think twice about it. You will just know.” At first, I didn’t believe her and continued my melt down until the next morning. I was brought in one more book and everything started to make perfect sense – they were the family. They were everything I wanted and more!

Do you have a relationship with your daughter’s adoptive family? If so, what’s that relationship like?

The relationship I have with my daughter’s adoptive family is unlike anything I could have imagined. During the process of deciding whether or not to go through with adoption, my main focus was to find a family who would be willing to have an open adoption. Many of the families I looked at did not want as much of an open adoption as I did, which is completely fine for other families, but for my daughter to go with a family, it had to be the perfect one.

From the moment I saw their book, I knew they were perfect and they have proved it over and over by going above and beyond for her, their family, and even mine! We’ve become one family celebrating birthdays and holidays together and a summer ending cookout.

February 21, 2016 was a day full of fear, excitement, second guessing, and every possible emotion combined into one. It was the day we met our family and signed the papers. Walking into the agency for the first time, I saw them standing in the office. The second we got a glance of each other there was not a dry eye in the room.

I then received a beautiful bracelet that day from the adoptive family, with my daughter’s birth stone in it. They told me how my daughter had the same one (obviously smaller) and when she was able to finally fit it, she’ll wear it to remind her of me. It was the most thoughtful thing and one of the only things I really remember from that day. We stay in contact with texts, constant pictures, doctor’s updates, even just little cute moments captured. We try to get together about every 3 months.

Is this your first holiday season as a birth mom, or have you experienced the holidays before?

This year will be my second holiday season. Last year was extremely difficult, but not as bad as I expected it to be. We got together during Christmas break to celebrate because most of us were off from work and school. Something memorable I look forward to is just being able to come together with both families. Normally, visits are just my mother and I and the adoptive family. During Christmas, they welcomed anyone we wanted to bring with open arms and it really made me so happy!

Last year, there were about 12 of us who got together to celebrate the holidays. This year, we will be doing the same thing. we have lunch catch up, take lots of pictures, and have the best time! So I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, especially because I haven’t seen them since August.

birth mom adoption story

Do you have any holiday traditions you’ve created, or would like to create, with your daughter?

One thing growing up my grandmother did for me every year until she passed away was get me a Barbie Christmas ornament every year. It was something special to me and our special thing. My mom has done that with my daughter to start their special Christmas tradition every year! Which warms my heart.

Do you have any advice for other birth mothers on coping with grief during the holidays?

During the holidays, you most likely will have a very difficult time. For me, it’s the hardest time of the year and I won’t lie, I have days where I do nothing but cry throughout the day.

Though we don’t want to, it’s a very normal thing to feel this way.

My advice is to have someone you can talk to, whether a friend, family member, or even another birth mom to just let your feelings out. If you have an open adoption and can ask for a picture of your child to cheer you up, that has helped me also many times.

The main thing is to not second guess your decision. You provided the best possible life for your child and you have to take the good days with the bad.

 

 


Finding Peace this Holiday Season: A Birth Mother’s Story

For those who have made an adoption plan, the holidays are not always easy. If you have an open adoption, however, finding solace in letters, pictures, and updates can help. Knowing that your child is loved, happy, and healthy can bring the greatest peace of mind. Camilla*, a birth mother who placed her daughter for adoption through Adoptions With Love, agrees. Below she shares her story in hopes it will empower other birth mothers to find peace this holiday season.

You have a pretty open relationship with your daughter’s family. Has your adoption plan always been open, and is that what you initially wanted?

When I started making an adoption plan, I had no idea what I wanted – or more importantly, what I would want in the future. I remember being pregnant and filling out the initial adoption paperwork, and having NO idea what I was doing. At that point, I still wasn’t sure if I’d go through with it, wasn’t sure if I’d ever actually submit the papers to start the process. What I remember most about those forms, though, is a single check box. It’s the one you check off if you want to receive letters and pictures of your child as they get older. When I first filled out the forms, I left it blank. I stared at that box for a long time, and in my already-emotional state, decided that there was no way I would be able to emotionally handle watching my baby grow up without me.

At the last minute, though, I went back and checked the box. I figured I might want those letters and photos someday, even if I couldn’t handle them right now.

I have no regrets about checking that box. Getting to see my daughter safe and happy and healthy with her adorable family is one of the greatest gifts of my life.

I got so lucky with my daughter’s parents. They were incredibly kind on adoption day, and when I wanted to see my daughter at six months old, they agreed immediately. After that, almost three years went by before I asked to see my daughter again, and again they agreed without a second thought. They have been so generous with me.

Our adoption started off mostly closed, because I couldn’t handle it yet. I worried that knowing me would confuse my daughter, that it would be too emotional, that my existence in her life would be too hard for her parents to explain. Eventually I decided that it would be better for her to meet me now than to try and introduce me later. Over the past four years (and these past few months particularly), we’ve started to work on having a more open adoption.

What does openness look like for you and your daughter’s family now? How do you keep in touch?

Our adoption, and its openness, is evolving over time. They send me photos and a letter every year near her birthday, and we have a shared Shutterfly account. They post photos and comments of my daughter on various occasions and holidays, and I’ve been able to share some of my own baby photos with them (per their request). I got to see my daughter in person back in May, and hope to schedule another visit soon. Her parents are amazing, and the more I interact with them, the more I feel that I made the right decision in choosing them to be her mom and dad.

Will you all be connecting in any way this holiday season? If so, how?

I hope to schedule another get-together with them soon, yes! I’m always hoping for another one. I’ll reach out about it after the New Year, and if they respond the way they have in the past, I imagine they’ll be just as excited about it as I am. We talked about openness the last time we met, and we all seem to be on the same page about it –

That it’s better for our daughter to know all of us, have access to all of us, and be able to ask questions of any of us. I think it’s a healthier type of relationship to have.

Have you experienced the holidays since making an adoption plan?

This will be my fifth holiday season since my daughter was born – my first holiday season as a birth mom was 2013. I honestly don’t remember too much detail that year, because I felt like I was underwater. That’s the only way I can describe it – it was almost an out-of-body experience, like conversations took longer to process and words took more time to get to my brain. Everything felt like it was happening to someone else, and normal everyday things, like getting dressed for work or going out with friends, felt like much more effort than they should have been.

Every year that goes by gets easier, though! When the holidays come around now, I mostly just look forward to seeing new photos of my daughter.

How are you feeling with the holidays approaching this year?

I feel pretty good about them this year. This year, for the first time, I sent my daughter a birthday present, so I also plan to send the family Christmas presents – nothing crazy, but just little things to let them know that I’m thinking of them and wish them a happy holiday season.

I definitely hope to see her soon, though I’ll wait until the new year because this time of year is so crazy for people. I hope that seeing my daughter and her family starts being a regular occurrence. And I hope that my daughter, her sister, and her parents are happy and healthy and enjoying life!

Do you have any advice for other birth moms who might be experiencing some grief this time of year?

I think the thing that helps me the most is looking at pictures of my daughter. I love seeing her photos and reading the letters her parents have sent me, because it reminds me of the amazing life she has and how much she is loved. It brings me peace to know that she’s a happy, healthy kid in a loving family. That’s exactly what I wanted for her. So even when I miss her, I know that she’s happy.

Are there any special holiday traditions you’ve created, or hope to create, with or for your daughter as she grows up?

I don’t know if I have any holiday traditions in mind particularly, but I love the idea of having one with my daughter. I love family traditions and I hope that she and I have something we share on holidays as she gets older. That would mean the world to me.

*Names have been changed for anonymity

 

 


How Birth Mothers Can Cope with Grief this Holiday Season

The holiday season is here. While many of us are looking forward to celebrating with our families, it is important to remember that some of us will be thinking of loved ones who cannot be there to celebrate with us.

Adoptions With Love would like to take some time to recognize the birth mothers who are coping with grief this holiday season – whether you have just placed your baby for adoption, placed years ago, or are in the midst of making an adoption plan, we understand that this time of year can be a difficult one. As happy as you are knowing your child is sharing this special time with their family, you may also be grieving their absence in your own home and plans. This is completely normal. Adoption is a beautiful journey, but it can also be bittersweet—and with so much focus on family, it is not unusual for the holidays to be especially tough on those who have experienced loss or grief in some way.

We want you to know that you are not alone. Whether you made an adoption plan just yesterday or twenty-five years ago, there are resources available to you. There are also things you can do to make the most of this holiday season, despite any complicated emotions that might arise. Here a few suggestions:

Contact your adoption agency for support.

Despite being surrounded by family and friends, you might be feeling especially alone this holiday season. Know that you do not have to handle this time of year by yourself. Reach out to your adoption agency or counselor for support. If you placed your baby with Adoptions With Love, remember that we will always be here for you. We understand what you have gone through, as well as the complicated  grief that you are experiencing, and are here to talk you through this difficult time.

Your adoption agency may also be able to refer you to a local support group, where you can get together with other birth parents experiencing grief this season. At your request, your adoption agency may also set you up to talk with another birth mother who has walked in similar shoes as you.

If you worked with an open adoption agency like Adoptions With Love, you might also consider asking for updates or pictures of your son or daughter. Adoptions With Love would be happy to provide you with the letters and pictures we have on file, or get an update from your child’s family. For many birth mothers, this can bring great peace of mind. Here is what one of our birth mothers had to say about coping with grief during the holiday season:

“I think the thing that helps me the most is looking at pictures of my daughter. I love seeing her photos and reading the letters her parents have sent me, because it reminds me of the amazing life she has and how much she is loved. It brings me peace to know that she’s a happy, healthy kid in a loving family. That’s exactly what I wanted for her. So even when I miss her, I know that she’s happy.”

Create new traditions with your child.

Your child will always be a part of your life, no matter if your adoption is open or closed. This year, if it feels appropriate, find a way to include your son or daughter in your holiday traditions.

If you have an open adoption and the ability to connect with your child’s family, try to take advantage of it. Connecting with your child directly can help ease some of the heightened emotions this holiday. It will also benefit your child, who will also be thinking of you. This is a special time of year for families. More than likely, your child’s adoptive parents will be happy to hear from, whether that be through a phone call, a video chat, a holiday card, or an in-person visit.

If you cannot directly involve your child in your holiday plans, you can still find a way to honor them this holiday season and beyond. If you are in touch (but far away) from the adoptive family, for example, you might consider making or picking out a special ornament to send to your child. This could even become an annual tradition – each year, with each ornament, your child will be reminded of your love.

If you have a closed adoption plan and do not have contact with your child’s family, there are still other ways you can recognize your child this holiday season. For example, you can light a candle for your child. You can make a special decoration to hang each year in honor of their importance. You can also choose to write your child a holiday card, even if it never gets mailed.

Write a letter to your child.

If you cannot see or connect with your child this holiday season, you might consider writing a letter. It does not matter if you send this letter or not. Many birth mothers use letter writing as an outlet for their thoughts and to cope with feelings of grief.

This year, you might choose to write your son or daughter a letter and put it away in a box. You might choose to write one every year moving forward, too, and give this box to your child when he or she is grown. If you have a semi-open adoption and would like to communicate with your child right away, you might give this letter to your adoption counselor, who can then forward it to your child’s family.

Take care of yourself.

Adoption is not an easy decision, but it is one of the most loving decisions a mother can make for her child. You are very brave for making this sacrifice in the best interests of your baby. You have the right to be happy and enjoy the holidays alongside everyone else. Of course, you do not have to.

If you are feeling sad this holiday season, you do not have to pretend to be otherwise. You do not have to feel obligated to act a certain way during holiday celebrations, especially if you are coping with birth mother grief. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to feel during the holidays. Do what you feel you need to do as a birth mother. Give yourself space. Allow yourself time to grieve. Try to understand your feelings. Forgive yourself. Practice self-care. Do something to make you happy. Stay healthy.

Not acknowledging your grief and holding it in, will make everything more painful. By finding a way to include your child in your holiday plans, by reaching out for post-adoption support and counseling from your agency, and by taking care of yourself, you can and will find a way to make the most of this holiday season.

If you would like to speak with an Adoptions With Love social worker this holiday season, please call 1-800-722-7731. Amy, Nancy, Amelia, Claudia, and Nellie are available 24/7 to answer your call, no matter what time of day or which day of the week – that is our promise to you.

 

 


How Does Open Adoption Work (and How Do You Make It Work)?

Are you pregnant and considering adoption for your baby? Making an adoption plan is a positive choice for women who are not yet ready to become parents. It enables you to give your child a forever family and a wonderful, stable life. Of course, adoption is also a very difficult decision to make. As an expectant/birth mother, it is important to research your options carefully and understand the different types of adoption plans, as well as the services, available to you.

Right now, you may be considering an open adoption plan for your baby. You may have heard that an open adoption plan will allow you to stay in touch with your child’s family over the years. You may have heard that you can choose an adoptive family for your baby, and even meet them in person. What does that mean, exactly? How does open adoption work? More importantly, how can you make it work?

Before you can understand what makes open adoption work, you must first understand what open adoption is. In its simplest sense, open adoption is a form of adoption that allows birth parents to know and have contact with the adoptive family. Depending on your state laws and the adoption agency you work with, you may hear open adoption defined differently. In fact, most everyone – even those who have placed their baby or adopted a child – will have their own definition of open adoption. This is because every open adoption plan is unique. No two adoptions are the same. At Adoptions With Love, we allow you to define what “openness” will mean for you and your child.

Generally speaking, in an open adoption:

  • Expectant mothers are given the option to choose a family to raise their child. They can talk with them, meet them in-person, and have them at the hospital if they wish.
  • Birth parents have some level of on-going contact or relationship with the adoptive parents and the adopted child, depending on what feels comfortable for everyone.
  • Children know they have been adopted and may have relationships with their birth parent(s).
  • Ongoing communication takes place between the birth parents and adoptive family, whether directly or mediated through an agency. Contact may involve letters, pictures, phone calls, emails, and occasionally in-person visits, whichever is most comfortable for everyone involved. (Some open adoptions involve just the exchange of letters and pictures. Some families celebrate holidays together. The level of contact is typically defined first by the expectant/birth mother and her adoption agency, then with the adoptive family).

The way open adoption works largely depends on the level of openness. At Adoptions With Love, you will have the option to choose a fully open adoption (having direct contact with the adoptive family) or a semi-open adoption (in which our adoption agency will mediate contact, so that you can maintain privacy). Most domestic adoptions today are mediated, but still maintain some level of openness. For example, most birth mothers will choose a family for their baby. Many will also choose to meet the family before placement, and find peace of mind in knowing the parents who will raise their child. All of the families at Adoptions With Love agree to at least a semi-open adoption plan. Some families are fully open to direct contact, as well.

The way a fully open adoption works is through open, honest, and direct communication between an adoptive family and the birth parents. If you choose a fully open adoption, you and the adoptive family you choose will have identifying information about one another (phone numbers, email addresses, names, etc.). You will have a relationship with the adoptive family, and together will establish expectations for ongoing contact. For example, you may want the adoptive parents to send you letters and pictures of your child each year. Or, you may wish to have ongoing conversations via the phone, email, Skype, texting, or FaceTime. In a fully open adoption, it is important to remain flexible, as your needs and the needs and wishes of your child may change over time.

You still may be wondering, “What makes open adoption work well?” This is a very important question to ask as you consider open adoption, and is exactly what we discussed in our recent eBook, “The Keys to a Successful Open Adoption.” We will give you the short answer here. A successful open adoption is founded on a mutual love for the child and a focus on his or her best interests. It requires trusting, open-minded, and respectful relationships between both families. You can make open adoption work by:

  • Keeping your child’s needs and best interest a top priority
  • Establishing clear roles and expectations with the adoptive family in the very beginning
  • Pursuing ongoing counseling to ensure your emotional stability
  • Maintaining respect for everyone involved in the adoption, including yourself
  • Preserving trust in your adoption relationships
  • Always keeping communication open, honest, and consistent
  • Staying open-minded and flexible as needs and feelings change
  • Making your open adoption plan with an experienced, trusted, non-profit adoption agency who will be there for you both now and in the future (see how to choose an adoption agency here)

There is no right or wrong way to make an open adoption plan. There are, however, steps you can take to ensure your adoption plan is a positive and successful one. How does adoption work, and how can you make it work? Find out more in our new guide, “The Keys to a Successful Open Adoption,” which you can download for free below.

You may also contact Adoptions With Love to get started on your open adoption plan, or to learn more about our open adoption agency. We are available any time of day, any day of the week, to speak with you. Call us toll-free at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072.


What is Semi-Open Adoption and Is It Right for You?

Adoptions With Love helps expectant/birth parents create the type of adoption plan that fits best with their needs. We understand that no two people are alike, and that every pregnancy and adoption experience is unique. That is why we offer open, closed, and semi-open adoption plans. Whether you are facing an unplanned pregnancy or have just given birth, we extend our support to you.

At Adoptions With Love, we will take the time to get to know you and your needs, as well as your hopes for your baby, to help you design the perfect adoption plan. If you think you would like to choose, meet, or stay in contact with your child’s adoptive family, we can walk you through your open adoption and semi-open adoption options. Then you decide which level of openness is right for you.

Open adoption, broadly defined, means that the birth parent(s) and the adoptive family have a relationship and direct communication with one another. In a fully open adoption, an expectant/birth mother will most often choose and meet the family for her baby, as well as maintain a relationship with them after placement. This relationship typically involves direct contact through emails, phone calls, letters and pictures, or in-person visits. It is important to note, however, that this amount of openness will not be right for everyone.

Sometimes, birth mothers prefer a bit more anonymity or boundaries in their adoption arrangements. Some birth parents feel that a fully open relationship with their child’s family is just too overwhelming at first. Still, they often want to choose an adoptive family to raise their baby. Some want to receive updates of their child over the years. This is completely understandable, and is attainable through a semi-open adoption plan.

A semi-open adoption plan is best defined by you, the expectant/birth mother. Generally speaking, however, it means that expectant/birth mothers and adoptive families have indirect contact with one another. In a semi-open adoption, no identifying information is revealed: The adoptive family does not have the birth mother’s last name, phone number, address, or other personal information. Rather, their communication is mediated by an adoption agency.

How does semi-open adoption work?

In a semi-open adoption, contact between the adoptive family and birth family will be stay anonymous and confidential. It may take place over the phone, over emails, or through letters and pictures, all of which would be mediated by the adoption agency. At Adoptions With Love, for example, we have had a thriving letter and picture program for 32 years. Adoptive families send us letters and pictures of their child regularly, and we share these updates with the birth mothers if and when they request.

A semi-open adoption also allows you to lovingly select an adoptive family for your baby. If you would like, you can even speak with them over the phone, email, Skype, or have them be at the hospital the day your baby is born. In the hospital, you can decide how much you want to see and care for your baby, and whether you would like the adoptive family to be there with you. Prior to the birth of your baby, Adoptions With Love will help you think about how open you want your hospital plan to be.

As a full-service open adoption agency, Adoptions With Love ensures that all of our waiting adoptive parents have agreed to at least a semi-open adoption plan. Most of our families are now open to some direct ongoing contact with the birth parents. Letters and pictures can be exchanged through our agency on a regular basis, so that you can always have recent updates of your child on file. Many birth parents feel more peace of mind in knowing how their child is growing. Studies show that some form of an open or semi-open adoption relationship also has a positive impact on the child.

Adoptions With Love will always be here for you, no matter which adoption plan you choose for your baby. If you would like an open or semi-open adoption plan, we will help you write a contract that is legal and binding (depending on your state laws), but also leaves room to adjust to more or less openness over the years. Please do not hesitate to call us toll-free at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072 for more information. We will be here to answer your call any time of day, any day of the week. If you would like to learn more about your open and semi-open adoption options, you may also download our free guides below.

 


State by State: How to Place Your Baby for Adoption in New Hampshire

Are you facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption in New Hampshire? You are in the right place. Adoptions With Love is a licensed, non-profit adoption agency helping expectant/birth parents make the most positive, informed decisions for their babies. Whether you just found out you are pregnant, are in your third trimester, or have already given birth, we extend our support to you.

For over 30 years, Adoptions With Love has been building lifelong relationships with young women like you. For the last three decades, we have also built good relationships with the best adoption professionals in your state. If you need help placing your baby for adoption in NH, know that you can always contact us. Our trusted New Hampshire adoption partner can help you explore your options, understand the adoption laws in your area, and make an adoption plan that is tailored to your needs.

This short guide outlines some of the many steps you can take if you decide to place your baby for adoption in New Hampshire.

  • Choose an adoption agency.

As you contemplate adoption, your first step will be to choose the right adoption professional to guide you through this unexpected journey. There are many New Hampshire adoption agencies that can help you, but it is important to find one you truly trust – one that will discuss all of your options with you, listen to your wishes, and respect any choice you make. Choose an adoption agency that will never pressure you, but rather stand by your side and support you as you make this important decision. The right agency will also be licensed and willing to provide the financial, emotional, and physical assistance you need and deserve – both now and after the adoption takes place.

  • Meet with an adoption counselor to begin your adoption plan.

After choosing an adoption agency, you will begin working with (and establishing a relationship with) one of their licensed, compassionate social workers. This person will become your shoulder to lean on, your teacher, and the helping hand to guide you through the entire adoption process. Together, you will discuss your hopes and needs as an expectant mother, and then create an adoption plan for your baby.

At Adoptions With Love, we feel the meetings with your adoption social worker are a crucial part of this journey. They will give you the opportunity to consider all of your choices, learn about all of your birth mother rights, and understand exactly what to expect before, during, and after an adoption takes place.

  • Understand the adoption laws in New Hampshire.

Adoption laws vary state to state. In New Hampshire, no parent can sign legal adoption documents until at least 72 hours after the baby is born. This will give you time to rest, think about your decision, and spend time with your baby (if you would like) before finalizing an adoption plan.

If you choose to make an adoption plan, it is important to work with an experienced adoption agency that has attorneys specifically trained in your state. Adoptions With Love, for example, has a team of compassionate and knowledgeable adoption attorneys who understand the laws of adoption in NH. Our attorneys can meet you – wherever you are – to help walk you through the legal process.

Rest assured that our legal services are always free of charge. In fact, there is never any cost for expectant or birth parent services at Adoptions With Love. New Hampshire law permits financial assistance for pregnancy-related expenses needed before, during, and after your baby’s adoption, such as transportation, counseling, uninsured medical expenses, living costs, and more.

  • Choose an adoptive family.

At Adoptions With Love, you will have the opportunity to choose an adoptive family for your baby. For many expectant/birth mothers making an adoption plan, this gives them peace of mind in being able to hand-pick a loving family for their child.

If you would like to select an adoptive family, Adoptions With Love will meet with you to discuss your wishes, your expectations, and your vision of the perfect family. Then, we will send you detailed photo albums and personal profiles of the waiting families that best meet your needs. Once you choose a family for your baby, you can speak to them through email, phone, or meet them in-person if you wish.

No matter what family you choose, rest assured your baby will be placed in a loving, safe and secure home. At Adoptions With Love, all potential adoptive families are thoroughly screened through a series of personal interviews and background checks. They have also undergone an extensive home study process to ensure the safety and stability of their home.

  • Make a post-placement plan.

Adoption does not have to mean goodbye. As an open adoption agency, Adoptions With Love gives you the option to establish ongoing and open communication with your child’s adoptive family. This means you can keep in touch with your child and see how he or she is growing over the years. This contact may be through emails, phone conversations, letters and pictures, or even mediated through an adoption counselor – this choice is yours to make. Whether you choose an open adoption, semi-open adoption, or closed adoption plan, our trained social workers will help you consider all of your options for post-adoption contact.

If you choose to make an adoption plan, we encourage you to attend counseling after your baby is placed. Adoption is a lifelong and often emotional journey, which is why Adoptions With Love offers ongoing, confidential counseling services that are available at no cost to you. We will be here to help you navigate emotions, communication, and any adoption relationships before and after your baby is placed. We will always be here for you.

Whether you just found out you are pregnant, are in your final trimester, or have already given birth to your baby, it is not too late to make an adoption plan. Contact Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072 for more information on adoption in NH.

This is our State by State Adoption blog series.  To learn about the different areas we service, or to find the specific steps of adoption in your state, please visit adoptionswithlove.org/areas-we-service.


State-by-State: How to Place Your Baby for Adoption in Rhode Island

Are you facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption? Choosing to place your child for adoption is one of the most difficult, emotional, and important decisions you will ever have to make. It is also one of the most loving choices you can make for your child if you are not ready to parent.

If you are looking to make an adoption plan in Rhode Island, but do not know where to start, Adoptions With Love can help. We are a licensed, non-profit adoption agency that helps expectant/birth parents nationwide find the best possible homes for their children.

There are specific steps you will need to take to place your baby for adoption in Rhode Island. You do not have to go through this process alone. Our adoption agency serving Rhode Island is equipped with compassionate counselors and adoption attorneys who are licensed in Rhode Island. They can meet you wherever is most convenient, to help you navigate the Rhode Island adoption process and ensure that you are comfortable with each decision made along the way.

To help get you started, Adoptions With Love has created this short guide to placing your child for adoption in Rhode Island.

1. Choose an Adoption Agency

One of the most important, preliminary steps in the adoption process is choosing an adoption agency. We recommend finding an agency that will stand by your side throughout the entire adoption journey – as you prepare for the adoption, after placement, and even throughout your life. The right adoption agency will listen to your wishes and needs, and use those to help you design the perfect adoption plan for your baby. Above all, they will never pressure you into choosing adoption – a good adoption agency will educate you on all of your unplanned pregnancy options, and respect any choice that you make. This is a promise that Adoptions With Love makes to expectant/birth parents considering adoption. Here, we believe an informed decision is the best decision when it comes to you and your child.

2. Understand the Adoption Laws of Your Area

Adoption laws and regulations will vary state-to-state. It is important to find an adoption agency that is specifically trained in and knowledgeable of Rhode Island adoption laws.

In Rhode Island, no parent can sign legal adoption documents until after the baby’s birth. This helps ensure that the birth parents are completely confident in their decision. However, a birth mother can begin making an adoption plan well before her baby is born.

3. Discuss an Adoption Plan

Working with an  open adoption agency, you will have the option to design the type of adoption plan you want: an open adoption plan, semi-open adoption, or a closed adoption plan. An open adoption will allow you to keep in touch with your child’s adoptive family to see how he or she is growing over the years. You can also choose the adoptive family for your baby and meet them in person, if you wish.

Many expectant/birth parents that choose an adoptive family for their baby find great peace of mind in knowing their child will grow up in a loving, stable home. If you would like to make this positive decision, Adoptions With Love will listen to you and show you the waiting families that best match your needs and desires. You can take as much time as you need in looking through their photo albums, profiles, and reading the letters that they have written to you, the prospective birth mother of their child. You can meet them in person.

In Rhode Island, all potential adoptive families are thoroughly screened and evaluated by our licensed adoption agency. We go to their homes to ensure the environment is safe and secure. We conduct an extensive home study process as well as a series of background checks and interviews to ensure the stability of their home. Like you, we also want the most loving, safe, and stable home for your baby.

4. Create a Post-Adoption Plan

A post-adoption agreement is a legal and binding contract offered by licensed adoption agencies. This agreement is signed by the adoptive parents, and outlines rules and expectations for any communication following your child’s adoption. In this plan, you can determine if you want contact with your child and his or her adoptive family long-term, as well as how much contact you would like with them. With an open adoption plan, you can choose to have ongoing contact online, over the phone, in person, or through your adoption agency. If you are not ready to have this contact, you can also keep the adoption closed. As an expectant/birth mother, these choices are yours to make.

When you work with Adoptions With Love, rest assured that your post-adoption plan will be completely tailored to the best interests of you and your child. You are in the driver’s seat of your adoption plan.

5. Pursue Ongoing Adoption Support

Following your baby’s adoption, we recommend seeking ongoing support. Adoption is a lifelong journey full of delicate emotions and sensitive relationships. Through a reputable adoption agency, like Adoptions With Love, you can participate in birth mother support groups or meet one-on-one with dedicated adoption counselors. At Adoptions With Love, we promise you will have our support long after the adoption.

Adoptions With Love is a full-service adoption agency. We provide the following free services to expectant/birth mothers considering adoption in Rhode Island:

  • Complete counseling
  • Help designing your adoption plan
  • Assistance finding quality medical care
  • Housing assistance 
  • Financial assistance
  • Legal assistance
  • Ongoing Contact

This is our State by State Adoption blog series.  To learn about the different areas we service, or to find the specific steps of adoption in your state, please visit adoptionswithlove.org/areas-we-service.


Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy? The Importance of Prenatal Care

Discovering a pregnancy can be a very overwhelming experience, especially if you were not planning for it. Maybe that is why you are here. Your body is showing signs of pregnancy, but you are afraid to see a doctor and hear what she will say. Your pregnancy test came back positive, but you are unsure of what to do or where to go for help. You also know in your heart that you are not ready to become a parent. You may be feeling scared, embarrassed, confused, and alone.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, it is important to know that you are not alone. Adoptions With Love is always here for you. We understand what you are going through, both emotionally and physically, and can help you get the proper care and support you deserve.

If you think you might continue your pregnancy (whether you decide to parent your child or make an adoption plan), the most important step you can take now is getting prenatal care. Prenatal care is the medical care you receive while you are pregnant, and is essential to keeping you and your baby healthy.

The sooner a woman begins prenatal care, the healthier she and her baby will be. Even if you are farther along in your pregnancy, know that prenatal care is still important and it is not too late to begin. Without any prenatal care, your baby will be at higher risk for serious, long-term health issues and low birth weight. If you do not receive prenatal care, you may also be at risk for pregnancy and birth complications.

We understand that prenatal care is not always easy to get as an expectant mother. If your pregnancy was unintended, you may not have an OB/GYN picked out or any health insurance lined up. You might not have the transportation needed to get to and from your doctor’s appointments. Adoptions With Love can help with all of this. As part of our free services for expectant/birth mothers, we can assist you in obtaining prenatal care and finding a doctor who understands your emotional and physical needs. If you choose to make an adoption plan for your baby, we can also cover any uninsured medical costs.

For over 30 years, Adoptions With Love has helped expectant parents make loving and thoughtful plans for their children. We have connected thousands of young women like you with quality, compassionate care during their pregnancies and beyond. We have witnessed thousands of healthy births as a result of good prenatal care.

Adoptions With Love has also met with many expectant mothers who were not eager to seek medical help at first. Despite the importance of prenatal care, some were worried that seeing a doctor might mean others finding out about their pregnancies. Some women were afraid of being judged or misunderstood. Some were very far along in their pregnancies and embarrassed by the choices made in their early trimesters.

If you have any hesitations about seeking prenatal care, we encourage you to come talk with us. Adoptions With Love will never judge you. We are here to ensure you have the healthiest pregnancy possible. We know quality, kindhearted caregivers throughout the country who can offer the medical attention you and your baby deserve.

A prenatal doctor, such as an OB/GYN or family practitioner, will monitor your baby’s health and development as he or she grows inside you. Your doctor will also spot any potential health problems with your child, and treat them early in your pregnancy. As an expectant mother, you should meet with your doctor at least every four weeks in preparation for your child’s birth. These regular meetings will allow you to ask questions about your pregnancy symptoms, child birth, and ease any concerns you might have.

Even though this pregnancy was unplanned, you still have the chance to make a loving plan for your child’s future. To give your child a healthy start to his or her life, you can start taking care of yourself and your body:

  • Take prenatal vitamins with folic acid. If you are uncomfortable or sensitive to swallowing pills, you can always get chewable prenatal vitamins.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and foods high in calcium and iron. Drink plenty of water and fluids.
  • Avoid all alcohol, tobacco, and use of other substances. Do not ingest any drugs that could harm you or your baby; if you need help quitting, ask your doctor or meet with an Adoptions With Love counselor for guidance.
  • Ask your doctor before taking any prescription medications. Some medicines are not safe during pregnancy.
  • Try to stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Gain a healthy amount of weight during your pregnancy.
  • Get plenty of rest.

There are compassionate, caring professionals out there who can help you make a loving and thoughtful plan for your baby. If you just discovered you are pregnant, do not wait to make a doctor’s appointment. If you need assistance finding a doctor or getting medical coverage, you can always call Adoptions With Love.

For help with an unplanned pregnancy, please call Adoptions With Love at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072. To learn more about the importance of prenatal care, please download our free Month-by-Month guide below.

how to prepare for adoption


State by State: How to Place Your Baby for Adoption in Maryland

Discovering an unplanned pregnancy is an emotional, often overwhelming, experience.  Right now, you may not know who to turn to or where to go for support.  You might be considering adoption for your baby, but are unsure of how the process works in your state.  If you are an expectant/birth mother considering adoption in Maryland, you are in the right place.  Adoptions With Love is here for you.

Adoptions With Love is a licensed, not-for-profit adoption agency helping women like you find the best possible homes for their children.  If you need help placing your baby for adoption in Maryland, know that you can always contact us.  For over 31 years, we have been building relationships with expert adoption counselors and attorneys licensed in your state.  Adoptions With Love can help you explore your options, understand the laws of your area, and design an adoption plan tailored to your needs.

In the state of Maryland, there are specific steps you must take to place your baby for adoption.  You do not have to go through this alone.  As a reputable adoption agency serving Maryland, we can help guide you through this unexpected journey.  We are here to listen to your wishes, educate you on your pregnancy options, and help you understand the Maryland adoption process. Together, we can help you make the most positive, long-term decision for you and your baby.

To help you get started, this short guide will walk you through the initial steps of making an adoption plan in Maryland.

1. Choose a trusted adoption agency.

If you believe that adoption is the best option for your child, your first step will be to choose the right agency to help you navigate the process.  There are many adoption professionals and agencies out there today, so it is important to look for signs that you are choosing the one the best meets your needs.  First, and perhaps most importantly, choose an adoption agency that you trust.  Make sure that its staff is compassionate and attentive, willing to discuss all of your options with you, and also respect any choice that you may make.  In addition, select an agency that is available 24/7, that will stand by your side not only as you prepare for the adoption, but also after the placement and throughout your life.  Adoption is a lifelong journey; as an expectant/birth parent choosing adoption, you deserve long-term support.

2. Meet with an experienced, compassionate adoption counselor.

Once you choose the right adoption agency, you can truly begin designing your adoption plan.  A licensed adoption counselor will help get you started by walking through your various unplanned pregnancy options.  She will then listen as you discuss your wants and needs through this pregnancy, placement, and beyond.  Your counselor will also educate you on your many birth mother rights, and show you what to expect before, during, and after the birth of your baby.

At Adoptions With Love, we believe this counseling is a very important step in the adoption process.  It allows you to think about your many options, ask questions openly, learn about the adoption option, and create a plan that makes the most sense for you and your child.  With your adoption counselor, you will also be given the option to design the type of adoption plan you want: an open adoption, semi-open adoption, or closed adoption plan.

3. Choose a loving adoptive family.

After discussing the different types of adoption plans, your counselor will give you the option to choose an adoptive family for your child, if you would like.  You will always have this opportunity at Adoptions With Love.  Here, we will listen to your wishes, help form your vision of the perfect family, and send you detailed photo albums and profiles from the waiting families the best fit your mold.  Once you choose a family for your baby, you will have the option to speak to them through email, phone, or even meet in-person.  This is completely up to you.

No matter what family you choose, rest assured you will be placing your baby in a safe and secure home.  At Adoptions With Love, all potential adoptive families are thoroughly screened before they are approved for parenthood.  All our families have completed an extensive home study process and series of background checks to ensure the safety and stability of their homes.

4. Understand the adoption laws of Maryland.

Adoption laws vary state to state.  For this reason, it is crucial to work with an adoption agency that has attorneys specifically trained in the state of Maryland.  If you choose to work with Adoptions With Love, our counselors can meet you – wherever you are – to walk you through the Maryland adoption process.

In Maryland, you cannot sign any legal adoption documents until after your baby is born.  Adoptions With Love recommends that you take enough time to rest after your baby’s birth before making a final decision.  Adoption is a lifelong choice; we want you to be confident that it is the most positive one for you and your child.

By Maryland law, birth mothers who choose adoption may receive assistance with reasonable medical and legal expenses, as well as adoption counseling.  If you choose to work with Adoptions With Love, know that our birth mother services are always free of charge.  We can provide financial assistance for pregnancy-related expenses needed before, during, and up to six weeks after your baby’s adoption:

  • Transportation for medical care relating to pregnancy/birth
  • Food, clothing, and other maternity-related expenses
  • Housing assistance
  • Financial assistance
  • Legal assistance
  • Assistance finding quality medical care
  • Complete counseling
  • Help designing your adoption plan

5. Make a post-placement plan.

With Adoptions With Love, you will have the option to establish a plan for ongoing communication with your child’s adoptive family.  For example, you can choose to receive photo updates of your child over the years, arrange annual visits, or simply stay in touch via email, phone, or Skype.  In adoption, open communication is known as an open adoption arrangement.  While most birth mothers and children find this type of plan very beneficial, it may not be right for you.  For this reason, Adoptions With Love also offers confidential, closed adoption plans.

We will also help you establish a plan for ongoing counseling and support after your baby is placed.  Adoptions With Love offers continuing, confidential counseling services as well as birth mother support groups at no cost to you.  Through these outlets, we can help you navigate emotions, communication, and relationships after the adoption takes place.

Whether you just found out you are pregnant, are in your final trimester, or have just given birth to your baby, it is not too late to make a loving adoption plan.  Contact us today at 1-800-722-7731 for more information on adoption in Maryland.

This is our State by State Adoption blog series.  To learn about the different areas we service, or to find the specific steps of adoption in your state, please visit adoptionswithlove.org/areas-we-service.