A Mini Guide for Expectant/Birth Mothers
Facing an unexpected pregnancy is an overwhelming situation. If you are thinking about giving your baby up for adoption (making an adoption plan), you may have many questions such as:
- Can I give my baby up for adoption?
- How does the adoption process work?
- How do I place my baby for adoption?
- Who can help me start the process?
When placing a baby for adoption, it is always recommended that expectant/birth mothers work with a reputable and trustworthy adoption agency. This will ensure your adoption is safe and legal. It will also ensure your baby is placed in a secure and loving home. An adoption agency will always confirm that adoptive families are stable, safe, and ready to raise a baby, before approving them to adopt. This can give you great peace of mind.
Adoption is a brave and loving choice. If you are ready to place your baby for adoption, or to learn more about the adoption process, keep reading. This guide will show you how to give your baby up for adoption (or, as we say, make an adoption plan), and address all of your questions.
How to Give a Baby Up for Adoption / Make an Adoption Plan
Before we go any further, it is important for you to know that “giving a baby up for adoption” is an old and inaccurate phrase. Choosing adoption does not mean that you are giving up. Rather, it means you are giving your baby a life full of love and opportunity—a life that you may not be ready to provide at this time. For this reason, we say “making an adoption plan.”
When an expectant/birth mother chooses to place her child for adoption, she is making a plan for her baby’s future. This is an incredibly strong, brave, and selfless act of love. Placing your child for adoption means placing your child’s needs above your own. You may not be ready to parent or able to provide for a child at this time, and that is okay. The fact that you are considering adoption means that you are planning to provide your baby with a great life.
As you consider placing your child for adoption, follow these steps:
- Find an adoption agency you can rely on for support.
This one is important. You will need to find an adoption agency with whom you feel comfortable. An adoption agency will help you carry out a safe and legal adoption, and will support you every step of the way. At Adoptions With Love, there are never any fees for expectant/birth mothers. In fact, there are many free services offered to birth mothers such as:
- Financial assistance (rent, utilities, phone bill, even maternity clothing)
- Free legal services
- Free counseling, before and after birth
- Medical coverage, if needed
Whether you are ready to commit to adoption or simply want to learn more about the process, you may speak directly with an adoption agency specialist. Adoptions With Love will never pressure you into a decision. Rather, we are here to help you learn more about your options, and decide which path is best for you and your baby. Our caring and compassionate staff is available to offer you full support 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. There is never any judgment or bias with any of these conversations, and they are always confidential.
- Make an adoption plan.
Once you have found an adoption agency that you want to work with, you can begin to think about your adoption plan. An adoption plan is what lays out all your wishes for your child, the type of adoption arrangement you would like to have, and a plan for after the adoption is finalized. There are three basic types of adoption plans you may consider:
- Open adoption
- Semi-open adoption
- Closed adoption
While there is no wrong choice, open adoptions are the most common types of adoptions today. With an open adoption, the birth mother has some contact with her child’s adoptive family. Open adoption looks different for everyone. It may entail email updates with photos, phone calls, texts, or even in-person get togethers. The form and frequency of communication may be altered to adjust to the growing needs of the child, but the initial plan may be determined by you, the birth mother. You are in charge of this adoption plan, and you can decide how much – or how little – contact you would like. This option gives many birth mothers peace of mind. There is comfort in knowing that there is no permanent “goodbye,” but rather, “see you later.”
At Adoptions With Love, every prospective adoptive family agrees to maintain at least a semi-open adoption. We will keep photos and letters from your adoptive family on file, and you can access them whenever you are ready.
- Find an adoptive family for your child (and get to know them if you wish).
Another empowering decision, and part of the open adoption experience, is selecting the adoptive family for your child. Before you begin this search, you may want to share your “must-haves” with your adoption agency. For example, you may wish to look for families with the same beliefs or values as you, or find a family that looks similar to your child.
At Adoptions With Love, you can browse the profiles of the many hopeful adoptive families who are longing to adopt a child. You can read their letters, their story, look through photos of their family and home, and ask as many questions as you need to get to know them.
All of the adoptive families at Adoptions With Love:
- Have completed a home study which includes several background checks, the disclosure of health and financial records, and multiple home-visits to ensure that they can provide a safe, stable, and loving home.
- Are excited to meet you and get to know you.
- Have shared their personal journeys and as much information as they can to show their motivation to become parents through adoption.
- Are fully committed to the adoption, so you know that your child will be loved deeply and cared for throughout their lives.
You may also choose to meet with the family that you are considering. You can get to know them and find out who they are before making your decision.
- Give birth and complete the legal steps of adoption.
As mentioned above, choosing to place your child for adoption means medical costs are covered. Expectant/birth mothers at Adoptions With Love have access to quality care throughout the pregnancy. We can also help cover hospital stays and postpartum checkups if you are uninsured.
In addition to designing an adoption plan, your adoption counselor can help you come up with a hospital plan. This means you can decide:
- Who will be in the delivery room with you
- Who the first person to hold the baby will be
- How much interaction you will have with the adoptive parents
- How much time after birth you would like to spend with baby
- And more
Once the baby arrives, birth mothers can sign consent to the adoption. Depending on the laws of your state, there may be a waiting period before you can do so. Sometimes this period is 48-72 hours. Your adoption specialist and adoption attorney will help prepare you for the legal process to follow birth. You will also receive free counseling as you recover from birth and move through the legal steps, ensuring you are cared for and do not feel overwhelmed or alone at any point. At Adoptions With Love, birth mothers are always informed of their rights and our staff ensures they are comfortable with their decision before finalizing the adoption.
- Decide on contact after the adoption.
As we mentioned, placing your baby in the loving arms of their adoptive parents is not a permanent “goodbye.” In fact, it is just the beginning.
Once you have given birth and signed your adoption consent forms, you still have a lifetime of memories to make. If you decide you want an open adoption, you can work with your adoption social worker to make a plan for what contact will look like over the years. If you want a semi-open adoption and feel more comfortable with occasional photo and letter updates, that is okay, too. Some birth mothers feel they need to close off communication with the adoptive parents – at least for a while – as they recover and grieve. No decision is wrong. You must make the choice with which you feel most comfortable.
Adoptions With Love keeps letters and photos on file for each adoptive child, just in case a birth mother has a change of heart in the future. Even if you decide later on that you would like to open the adoption, you can discuss this with the loving support of your adoption agency.
Families that maintain an open adoption at Adoptions With Love can utilize the support and communication assistance of Adoptions With Love throughout an adoptee’s childhood. We serve as a liaison between birth and adoptive families over the years.
Now that you know “how to give baby up for adoption,” you may be even more curious about the process. Adoption can be a difficult process, but it is also a brave and loving choice. Reach out to Adoptions With Love for more information. Call us any time of day, any day of the week at 800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, or contact us online.