Adoptions With Love Blog

5 Questions to Ask When Making an Adoption Plan

If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy, you may be considering making an adoption plan for your baby. Like many, you may also be feeling overwhelmed by the entire situation – with many questions about the process. This is completely normal. Every day, expectant mothers ask our staff at Adoptions With Love hundreds of questions regarding the adoption process: what it costs, what it involves, what it can mean for their baby. Every day, our caring social workers work to answer these questions and give expectant/birth mothers the knowledge they need to make an informed decision for their babies.

We are also here for you.

Adoptions With Love can help ease your mind, educate you on your many options, and answer every question you might have regarding adoption and pregnancy – from prenatal care to postpartum recovery, the adoption process to the selection of an adoptive family, and everything in between. Adoption is a very positive, but very emotional and difficult decision. There are no silly questions when trying to learn about the process, though there are some important ones you should ask before making an adoption plan. Here, we will answer five of the questions you might be asking right now.

  1. How much does it cost to make an adoption plan?

At a compassionate and non-profit adoption agency, making an adoption plan is free for expectant/birth mothers. Unlike several other pregnancy options, there are no costs and financial stresses to worry about with adoption. All adoption services offered, including legal assistance and counseling, are always free of charge.

Should you decide to make an adoption plan for your baby, the supportive staff at Adoptions With Love will guide you through the entire process free-of-cost and free-of-pressure, to ensure that you are comfortable with your decision and healthy, both physically and emotionally. We offer an array of free birth mother services, including counseling, finding medical care, legal attorneys, and financial aid. We can  cover some of your maternity expenses, such as transportation, uninsured medical costs, and several months of rent. These services are offered at various stages of your pregnancy, and some of extend beyond birth, as well.

  1. Who chooses the adoptive family?

At an open adoption agency, expectant/birth mothers have the option to choose an adoptive family for their baby. This often brings peace of mind, knowing that they hand-picked the best possible parents to raise their child. Expectant mothers also have the option of meeting an adoptive family, in person or over the phone, before their baby’s birth.

If you choose to make an adoption plan, Adoptions With Love can help you choose the perfect family to love and raise your child. You will be given ample information to help you make this decision, including background information, personal letters, and family photos. Any additional information you may need can also be acquired.

With a licensed adoption agency like AWL, you can rest assured that all adoptive families go through a very detailed and extensive screening process. In addition to FBI background checks, each family must have  several home visits and interviews with our social workers. This “home study process” allows us to get to know each and every adoptive family, as well as ensure their home is safe, secure, and prepared to raise a child.

  1. If I choose adoption, can I still have contact with my child?

With an open adoption agency, this is certainly possible. Gone are the days of closed, secretive adoptions that leave both birth mother and adopted child in the dark. Nowadays, 95 percent of infant adoptions are either open or semi-open. Every waiting family at Adoptions With Love agrees to at least a semi-open adoption plan.

What is open adoption? Open adoption can take on different meanings for different people. Overall, open adoption means there is some set relationship between a birth mother and an adoptive family. It is something that is determined by the expectant/birth mother, and put into a contract for families to reference over the years. For some expectant mothers, open adoption may be as simple as brief contact with the adoptive parents before birth. For many others, open adoption involves contact before and long after baby is born. Post-adoption contact can vary greatly, depending on each family and situation. It can involve email updates, phone conversations, texting, Skyping, or even in-person visits.

While we write contracts for open adoptions, the form of communication can change over the years to accommodate a growing and developing child. What may work during childhood – email updates from the adoptive parents, for example – may not work in the adolescent or young adult years. The growing teen may find that he or she wants to learn more or have direct communication with the birth mother. This is completely normal. Adoptions With Love is here and ready to help navigate these uncharted waters for both birth and adoptive parents. We also have an active Search & Reunion program for those in closed adoptions, who wish to find and contact one another later down the road.

We want to help you make an adoption plan that works best for you – and help you feel confident and happy with your loving decision, whether that is through an open, semi-open, or closed adoption plan. We understand that making an adoption plan is a big decision, and we have caring social workers who can help you with all of your questions and concerns.

  1. What can I expect at the hospital?

It is normal for an expectant mother to experience anxiety ahead of the birth and hospital stay. If you are considering making an adoption plan, you may have many questions surrounding the labor and delivery of your baby. How much time will you have with baby? Will the adoptive parents want to be in the delivery room? How will you be cared for once you have given birth?

Long before going into labor, you will have the option to make an “adoption hospital plan” with your adoption agency. This will detail every aspect of the hospital experience, per all your wants and needs. This plan is given to the hospital staff, the adoptive family, and your adoption agency, expressing how you would like your hospital stay and delivery to go. It will detail your preferences for healthcare and recovery, how you would like to labor (medical interventions, intermittent monitoring, etc.), who will be allowed in the delivery room, how much time you would like to have with baby, even what sentimental items you would like to keep from your baby’s birth.

An adoption agency like Adoptions With Love wants to be sure the birth mother is comfortable with her hospital adoption plan. It is important that you experience as little stress as possible during this emotional time. You deserve great care for your selfless and loving decision to make an adoption plan. Birth mothers can take comfort in knowing these wishes will be respected and carried out with the oversight of Adoptions With Love.

In addition to making the adoption hospital plan, Adoptions With Love will help you find a caring, credible hospital and doctor who understands your physical and emotional needs during this time.

  1. When do I have to make a final decision?

While laws vary by state, no adoption is final until an adoption surrender form is signed. All states require that birth mothers wait until after birth before signing this paperwork. This gives a birth mother some time with baby, time to rest and think about her decision, before signing papers allowing the adoption.

In some states, a birth mother can sign papers allowing an adoption immediately after birth. In others, however, there are a certain number of hours or days that one must wait before the birth mother can sign anything official. In some states, there is some time – a “revocation period” – to change your mind after the papers are signed. However, this is not the case in every state. It is important to speak with an attorney and/or adoption social worker about the legal procedure in your state and understand your legal birth mother rights. Adoptions With Love provides free legal counsel to birth mothers nationwide.

Adoptions With Love wants all birth mothers to feel comfortable and confident in their adoption decision. There is no pressure to make an immediate adoption plan. No matter where you live, there is plenty of time to make a final decision. Remember that this is your choice. Should you decide that adoption is the best path for you and your child, Adoptions With Love will hold your hand through the entire process, including finalizing this loving decision.

Making an adoption plan is certainly a big decision, and while loved ones may support you, the choice is ultimately yours to make. Only you know what is best for you and your baby. To learn more about your options, call Adoptions With Love at 1-800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0072. We are available around the clock to answer your questions. If you would like more information about making an adoption plan, please download our new eBook, “Adoption FAQ for Birth Mothers.”