Archive for the ‘Birth Parents’ Category

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.


Preparing for Adoption: Your Third & Final Trimester

Unplanned pregnancy can be quite the rollercoaster, full of complicated emotions, challenges, uncertainties, and anticipation along the way. It is also a journey filled with love and hope, a journey that many women continue to take in the best interests of their baby. Some women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose to parent their child; others lovingly choose to make an adoption plan.

If you are pregnant and feel you are not ready to become a parent, you may be considering placing your baby for adoption. You have already read up on your options and evaluated the pros and cons of each. You have spoken with your doctor, as well as a trusted friend or counselor, and decided that adoption will bring the most positive outcomes to you and your child long-term. As much as you love your unborn baby already, you know in your heart that you are not emotionally, financially, or physically ready to raise a child. You are, however, prepared to make a plan that will give your baby the best start at life.

While you can start making an adoption plan at any stage of your pregnancy, most expectant parents will do the majority of their planning in their third trimesters. This is the final stretch in which the pregnancy truly becomes a reality. The baby does the most growing during this time – going from a mere two pounds to between six and nine pounds – and his or her movement gets much more frequent.

If you are entering the final stages of your pregnancy, you too are likely starting to feel the effects. Your baby and your belly is growing quickly, and your due date is approaching fast. You have been educated on what to physically expect for delivery, but are only starting to prepare for the emotional effects of adoption. You also need to decide where you will have your baby, who will be there at the birth, as well as the details of how your adoption plan will go— during the rest of your pregnancy and beyond.

Preparing for adoption is a very helpful step for expectant mothers, as it gives them peace of mind in knowing that they thoughtfully planned for their child’s life. To help you get started in preparing for adoption, Adoptions With Love has outlined the most essential steps in making an adoption plan.

1. Find an adoption agency you trust. Choosing an agency you trust is a crucial first step in preparing for adoption. An adoption agency is equipped with counselors and attorneys who can walk you through the adoption process and help you make the perfect adoption plan. They can also help you prepare for the emotional aspects of adoption, and offer ongoing services to ensure you are comfortable at each stage of your pregnancy and beyond.

Adoptions With Love is a non-profit, private, full-service adoption agency working with expectant and birth parents nationwide. Here, we extend a range of free services to women considering adoption for their babies. Our compassionate counselors can help you learn more about adoption, find a family for your baby, prepare for your delivery, arrange for post-adoption contact, and meet with you even after your baby is placed. We also offer housing, legal, and other financial assistance to expectant mothers considering adoption.

 2. Choose a family for your baby. By now, you have spent some time bonding with your baby and likely have an idea of what you want for him or her. You might want your baby to have siblings as he or she grows. You may feel it is important for your child to have two parents, a stay-at-home-parent, or a parent of a certain ethnicity or background. We welcome you to share these hopes and needs with us.

At Adoptions With Love, you will have the opportunity to make your dreams for your child a reality by choosing an adoptive family. If you would like to do so, we will show you profiles and photo albums of the loving families waiting to adopt. These families have also written personal letters, to share with you their own hopes and dreams for raising a child. You can handpick the adoptive family that best fits your wishes and needs, and even meet with them over the phone, online, or in-person. All of the families at Adoptions With Love have been thoroughly screened and interviewed, and are ready to support a child for life.

3. Make a hospital plan. Preparing for delivery is another important step to take in your third trimester. Because you are choosing adoption for your baby, your hospital experience will be especially unique and can be tailored to your needs. For example, you can decide if you want your child’s adoptive family to be with you at the time of birth. You can also decide how much time you want to spend with your child, and what (if any) mementos you want to take home.

By making a hospital plan now, you can go into labor feeling comfortable and confident in knowing that you have already prepared. Adoptions With Love can help you make this plan so that, when it is time for your baby to come, you can rest assured that all your needs will be met during your hospital stay. We will not only help you find a good doctor and hospital to have the baby, we can also be with you on the day your baby is born. In addition, we can help you stay in touch with your child’s adoptive family, call them when you would like them to arrive, and ensure that you get enough time to spend with your child before making your decision.

4. Make your post-adoption plan. A post-adoption plan is an arrangement made by an expectant/birth mother and the prospective adoptive parents of her child. It details how much (if any) contact you would like with your child’s adoptive family after the adoption takes place. This plan is designed around your needs as well as the best interests of your child.

If you would like ongoing, direct contact with your child and his or her adoptive family over the years, you can choose to have an open adoption plan. If you are more comfortable with a confidential arrangement, we can keep your adoption closed and private. You can also make an adoption plan that falls somewhere in-between open and closed, for example, with contact mediated through an adoption agency. No form of adoption is any more right than another; only you can decide what is best for you and your child.

Your post-adoption plan can be made now, in the final months of your pregnancy, or even after the birth of your baby. Just because you are approaching the finish line does not mean you need to rush in making this decision. All states today require that birth mothers wait until their baby is born before signing any adoption papers.

5. Seek post-adoption support. As you already know, adoption is an emotional journey – one that continues even after your child is placed. For this reason, we encourage you to receive ongoing counseling and support after the adoption takes place. Adoptions With Love offers continuous, confidential counseling services that will be free-of-cost to you. Our compassionate staff can help you navigate any complicated emotions post-pregnancy, as well as any communication or relationships that will carry on following your baby’s adoption. We will always be here for you.

To learn more about preparing for adoption, or for additional unplanned pregnancy advice, please download our free “Preparing for Adoption: A Month-by-Month Guide” below. For immediate adoption or unplanned pregnancy help, please do not hesitate to call Adoptions With Love at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072. We are here 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week to answer your call.

preparing to place baby for adoption

If you are in your first trimester of an unplanned pregnancy, learn what to do here.  If you are in your second trimester and considering adoption, you may also read, “Unplanned Pregnancy Advice for Trimester Two.”

 


Unplanned Pregnancy Advice for Trimester Two

Unplanned pregnancy is one of the most difficult experiences a woman will ever have to face. Right now, you may be feeling especially scared or confused about what to do next. You are now months into your pregnancy and feeling all sorts of major changes happening to your body and mind. You also know that some big decisions lie ahead, and may be feeling overwhelmed by all that is happening at once.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, it is important to know that there is support available to you. Your second trimester is a time for big changes and important decisions, and you should never feel like you are in this all alone. Adoptions With Love is always here for you, to help you explore your options, find pregnancy care and resources, and make the best possible decision for your baby. We offer free-of-cost, free-of-pressure unplanned pregnancy advice and services to expectant mothers nationwide.

That all starts now. To help you through the many stages of your pregnancy and prepare to make a decision for your baby, we have created a “Month-by-Month” guide for expectant parents. Here, you will explore your different options, learn what to expect during each trimester of your unexpected pregnancy, and find out how to make an adoption plan. If you are in your second trimester currently, keep reading for some of the most important unplanned pregnancy advice from Adoptions With Love.

Revisit Your Unplanned Pregnancy Options

During your second trimester, you should take time to again research and reconsider your different pregnancy options. No matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, you still have the option to parent your child or make a loving adoption plan.

Before you make this decision, however, it is important to think about what you want for yourself and for your child. Ask yourself questions such as: Am I truly ready to raise a child? Am I emotionally and financially in the right place? How will having a baby affect my life and personal goals? Can I still go to college and fulfill a career while raising a child? Where do I see myself in five or ten years? Is there a child by my side? Am I happy?

Thinking about your own, as well as your child’s, wants and needs can help you decide on the path that is right for you. If you find in your heart you are not ready to become a parent, you might consider placing your baby for adoption. You can learn more about this positive alternative from a trusted doctor, counselor, or adoption professional.

While you do not have to make an immediate decision, making a plan for your baby now can help prepare you for the road ahead. If you start an adoption plan, for example, you can get many of your expenses covered, choose an adoptive family for your baby, and prepare emotionally for the placement. Having a plan and knowing what you want can also make it easier to tell family and friends the news.

Seek Support from a Professional

Deciding to parent or make an adoption plan is a difficult and momentous decision. Right now, you probably still have many questions or hesitations. Finding the right support as you work through your thoughts can make all the difference. You do not have to do this alone. If you have not already, now is the time to seek professional support and build a network of resources to help you through this process.

Speaking with an adoption professional can be very helpful as you navigate your unplanned pregnancy. At Adoptions With Love, we will work closely with you to explore your pregnancy options, as well as the benefits and challenges of each choice. We will listen to your wishes and answer any questions you might have (we encourage you to make a list of questions for us!). All interactions with Adoptions With Love are completely confidential, so you can always express yourself openly and honestly in a safe place.

Through Adoptions With Love, you can also attend birth mother support groups and speak with other women who have been through this experience. They can offer you personal, unbiased unplanned pregnancy advice and will welcome you to explore your feelings with them.

It is important to know that meeting with an adoption agency does not bind you to choosing adoption.  Adoptions With Love is here as a resource for you. Our counselors are compassionate and will never judge you or pressure you into a decision. We will always respect you and your choices, no matter which path you choose to take. We understand that this is your child and only your decision.

Consider Telling Others that You Are Pregnant

At this stage in your pregnancy, you are likely starting to show. Your belly is getting bigger, your hands and feet may be swelling, and your emotions are all over the place. Not to mention, your baby is now about two pounds and has probably started to kick and move around. It is getting harder and harder for you to hide this from other people in your life.

The second trimester is about the time expectant parents will share the news about their pregnancy. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, however, delivering that news might not come so easily. Up until now, you have likely kept your pregnancy a secret from most – if not all – people in your life. We understand this completely. Telling your friends and family, as well as the father of your baby, is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the unplanned pregnancy journey.

If you feel uneasy about sharing the news, consider asking a trusted friend or counselor to stand by your side or help you prepare for the conversation. An Adoptions With Love social worker, for example, can help you plan how, where, and when to tell your loved ones. We can also help you tell the biological father and help him understand the positive choice of adoption. If you do not have a good relationship with the father, we can contact him so that you do not have to speak with him directly.

It helps to first share this news with people you trust and who you know will support your pregnancy – perhaps a best friend, your parents, or your boyfriend. By doing so, you can practice having the conversation as well as build your confidence for telling others. The support of trusted friends or family will also mean a lot as you explore your different options and continue navigating the pregnancy.

Remember, if you need counseling or unplanned pregnancy advice, know that Adoptions With Love offers free services to any woman exploring her options. As part of those services, we can help you tell friends, family, and the birth father about your pregnancy and potential adoption plan. If you do not want to tell your friends or family about the news, we will also support you. Adoption is completely confidential, and you have the option to keep yours private.

For more unplanned pregnancy advice, you may download our free “Month-by-Month” guide below. To learn more about making an adoption plan, please call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Unexpected Pregnancy: What to Do in Trimester One

Are you unexpectedly expecting? Discovering an unplanned pregnancy can be a very overwhelming and emotional experience. Right now, you may be feeling scared, confused, embarrassed, panicked, or even in disbelief. It is important to know that these conflicting emotions are completely normal for newly expectant mothers. It is also important to know that you have the ability to turn that positive pregnancy test into a positive experience overall, even if you are not ready to become a parent.

If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy and do not know what to do, you have come to the right place. Adoptions With Love is a non-profit, full-service adoption agency helping expectant mothers make the best possible choices for themselves and their children. We can also help you. This blog is designed to get you through your first trimester, outlining the most important steps expectant mothers should take in the first few months of an unplanned pregnancy.

1. Look for pregnancy symptoms. Are you feeling fatigued, gaining weight, or more nauseous than normal? Are your breasts tender of have they changed in size? Did you miss your last period and think you might be pregnant? These symptoms can be a good indicator that you are pregnant. However, it is important to confirm with a doctor. Other factors can cause signs that resemble pregnancy symptoms. For example, too much exercise or stress can cause a missed period.

2. Confirm your pregnancy with a trusted medical professional. If you are exhibiting signs of pregnancy, missed your period, and think you could be pregnant, it is important to see a clinical professional. Make an appointment with your primary care doctor or OB/GYN and request to schedule a pregnancy test. Even if your home test came back positive, you should still make a doctor’s appointment to confirm its results.

Your doctor will be able to tell you how far along you are in your pregnancy, and how your baby is developing. (By the end of your third trimester, your baby is already about the size of a peach and has begun to develop eyes and ears, fingers and toes, as well as a heart, brain, and muscles.) Understanding how far along you are will determine your next steps for care.

3. Start taking good care of yourself. Pregnancy, without a doubt, requires some lifestyle changes. If you were not expecting to get pregnant, you might have unknowingly partaken in activities unhealthy for your baby up until this point – not getting enough sleep, drinking alcohol or using drugs, consuming a lot of caffeine, taking prescription medications, smoking, or consuming raw foods. After learning you are pregnant, you may have felt depressed or overly stressed.

Now that you know you are pregnant, you can make positive changes in your life: start eating healthy, drinking water, limiting your caffeine intake, and cease any smoking or substance use (alcohol, drugs, tobacco). Start taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid, which can help prevent health problems in your baby, and pursue ongoing prenatal care. If you are battling any negative feelings, see a counselor who specializes in unplanned pregnancy. The compassionate social workers at Adoptions With Love can also help you work through any complicated emotions.

4. Learn about your different pregnancy options. You have many unexpected pregnancy options as an expectant mother. If you know in your heart you are not ready to become a parent, your first trimester will be the time to decide if you would like to terminate your pregnancy or carry your child to term and make an adoption plan.

By now, you may have already started to bond with the baby in your belly. You may be thinking that terminating your pregnancy is not an option at this point. If you are not ready to raise a child, know that adoption is a positive alternative. Adoption allows you to make a thoughtful plan for your baby, even when you were not planning to have him or her. Through adoption, you can choose a family for your baby and keep in touch with your child’s adoptive family years down the road. Ask your doctor for more information about adoption, or call Adoptions With Love to learn more about making an adoption plan.

5. Make a plan for your pregnancy. If you choose to continue your pregnancy, now is the time to start planning for what is ahead. Things to consider include where you will live, which doctor you will see for prenatal care, and how you will finance any medical or maternity expenses.

Many insurance plans include some maternity assistance. If you do not have health insurance, however, your state may offer public assistance programs for pregnant women, such as food stamps or government-funded housing.

If you choose to move forward with making an adoption plan, there will also be financial assistance available to you. Adoptions With Love, for example, offers housing assistance, legal services, and complete counseling at no cost to expectant mothers during and weeks after their pregnancy. If you do not have a doctor, we can help you find quality medical care. We can also cover any uninsured medical expenses after your adoption is complete.

Your first trimester is the time to find the right resources, take care of your health, and begin making a plan. In the early stages of an unexpected pregnancy, knowing what to do can truly benefit your baby’s health and your feelings during this time. If you need adoption support or help at any point in your pregnancy – now or months from now – know that Adoptions With Love is here for you, and only one call away. Contact us toll-free at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072 to get started.

For more tips on what to do for an unexpected pregnancy, as well as help through each trimester, please download our month-by-month guide below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Making an Adoption Hospital Plan for Pregnancy & Delivery

The adoption journey can be very emotional; especially as your due date approaches and you begin to prepare for the birth of your baby. As excited as you are to welcome your son or daughter into this world, you may also be feeling some sadness or grief in anticipation of the day. All the while, you may be feeling scared or nervous about how labor, delivery, and your overall hospital stay will go.

Many expectant mothers worry about how they will feel, how they will be treated, and how they will cope during their hospital time. Some women wonder if they will have time alone with their baby after birth, if they can feed or bond with their baby in the hospital, and whether they want the adoptive parents there in the delivery room.

While it is common to worry about the hospital experience, you do not have to; an Adoptions With Love social worker can help you create an “adoption hospital plan” to ensure you are comfortable at every point of your hospital stay – in labor, during delivery, and after giving birth to your baby. By making a hospital plan, you can rest assured all your needs will be met during your hospital stay.

What is an Adoption Hospital Plan?

For those who may not know, an adoption hospital plan is a document that details exactly what you, the expectant mother, wants to happen (and not to happen) during your hospital stay. This plan is typically created before going into labor, to help give you peace of mind and prepare mentally for the delivery and adoption process. As you approach your due date, it can help to have a birthing plan in writing.

Your hospital plan can be thought of as your letter to the hospital staff, to the adoptive family, and to your adoption agency. It will detail exactly what you want your hospital stay to look like, including who will be there, how you will give birth, how much time you want with your baby, and which mementos (if any) you would like to bring home. By planning ahead, you can make your wishes known and ensure they are met prior to birth. You can also devote more thought and energy to your time with the baby.

Adoptions With Love can help you create an adoption hospital plan that meets all of your hopes and needs. If you have not already, we can also help you find and choose the right hospital to give birth – a facility with reputable, compassionate staff who understand your emotional and physical needs. Adoptions With Love is here to ensure you feel confident and comfortable at each and every phase of your adoption plan – during your pregnancy, in the hospital, and long after you have given birth.

Things to Consider When Making a Hospital Plan

Before making a hospital plan for pregnancy and delivery, there are several questions you must ask yourself. Try to be open and honest with your answers – the hospital experience will be emotional, but sharing your wants and needs with others now can give you greater control in all that lies ahead.

Your Labor & Delivery:

  • Who would you like to be your labor coach?
  • Who do you want to be allowed in the labor and delivery room? Who is not allowed to be in there with you?
  • Do you want the adoptive family at the hospital with you, in the delivery room or in the waiting area? If you have an open relationship with the prospective adoptive family, you might consider having them in the birthing room. This can help them bond with your child from the beginning, but is completely your choice.
  • At birth, who do you want to hold the baby first? (It can be you.)
  • Who (if allowed) do you want to cut the baby’s cord?

Your Baby:

  • Do you want to see or hold your baby?
  • Do you want to feed and/or change your baby?
  • How much time do you want to spend with your baby? Do you want alone time?
  • Do you want your baby to be in the room with you following birth? Do you want your baby to sleep in your room, or in the hospital nursery?
  • Will you name your baby, leave this to the adoptive family, or choose a name together?
  • Which, if any, mementos do you want to bring home from the hospital (baby bracelet, nursery card, copy of birth certificate and footprints, blanket, etc.)? Which would you like to pass onto the adoptive family?
  • Do you wish to take pictures of your baby? Is it okay if others take photos?

Your Hospital Stay:

  • Do you wish to be a “no information” patient? This means you will remain anonymous during your hospital stay, and only the direct care team will have access to your personal information.
  • After birth, do you wish to stay on the maternity ward, or another floor of the hospital?
  • Do you wish to see and meet the adoptive parents? Would you like to see them together with your baby in your room?
  • Who do you want to visit you in the hospital? Is there anyone (e.g. family, friends, the biological father) you wish to see or hold the baby?
  • Is there anyone you do not want allowed to visit you?
  • How do you wish to leave the hospital—before or after the adoptive family?
  • Who do you wish to carry your baby out of the hospital?

Remember, you are in the driver’s seat of your adoption plan as well as your hospital plan. You should never feel pressured to please anyone (including the adoptive parents) or obligated to make a certain decision. This is your plan and your choice. We are here to help you navigate the process.

Call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731 for help creating your adoption hospital plan. You can also text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, at any time of day and any day of week.

If you are pregnant and making an adoption plan, be sure to check out our “Preparing for Adoption: A Month-to-Month Guide” for more information on the process and making a hospital plan. If you are a clinical professional working with an expectant mother, please download our “Clinician’s Guide to Adoption” for more information on creating a good hospital experience.