Whether you are a hopeful parent looking to grow your family, or you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be considering adoption. Adoption is a very positive choice. Adoption helps many people realize their dreams of becoming a parent when they are unable to have children biologically. Adoption also helps expectant/birth parents in times of crisis, allowing them to choose a loving, forever family to raise their child in a safe and stable home.
Adoption is a positive choice, but it can also feel like an overwhelming process for expectant/birth parents and hopeful adoptive parents. Perhaps that is why you are here. You may be asking, “How does adoption work?” and “Where do I even start?” Adoptions With Love is here to guide you through this journey. We work with both prospective adopting families and birth parents looking to make an adoption plan. We will work with you to explain how adoption works, every step of the way.
It is important to know that adoption works differently for everyone, depending on their circumstance and where they live. Adoption laws, and therefore the adoption process, can vary state to state. Adoption also works differently for birth parents, expectant parents, and adoptive parents. However, the first step typically remains the same:
Start with an Agency
Birth parents and prospective adoptive parents alike must start in the same place: Finding a trustworthy and knowledgeable adoption agency. If you are just starting the adoption process, consider an agency that offers a full range of services, including counseling and support. You should always feel supported and comfortable throughout the adoption journey, and never pressured into an adoption decision. The right adoption agency will be one that listens to you and your wishes, and that promises to be there for you at every step in this process. The adoption agency you choose should also have experience with adoptions in your state, as well as understand your state’s adoption laws. For help on choosing the right adoption agency, check out this free guide.
For more than 32 years, Adoptions With Love has been helping connect birth mothers with families looking to adopt. We are a private, domestic, non-profit, full-service adoption agency. Our mission is to place children with loving, safe, forever families who will help them flourish and thrive; we strive to find the best home for each child.
How Adoption Works for Birth Mothers
Once you have chosen an adoption agency, you will be contacted by a compassionate adoption social worker. Together, you will take the time to learn more about your different options, including the types of adoption plans you can choose. Today, you can choose an open, semi-open, or closed adoption plan for your baby. Open adoption plans are often a positive choice for birth mothers and adopted children, as they allow for ongoing contact between the two families.
Openness can mean different things to different people. Perhaps annual letters and pictures, emails, or phone calls from the adoptive family would be a comfortable option for you. Perhaps you would like in-person visits once a year with the adoptive family. Or, you may prefer to stay anonymous throughout the entire adoption journey (and beyond). This is completely up to you. No matter your decision, your adoption social worker will be there, without judgement, to help you create the best possible plan for you and your baby. Adoptions With Love offers full support services for all types of adoption plans.
Once you have decided on the adoption plan you would be most comfortable with, you will have the option to choose adoptive parents for your baby. Many birth parents find peace of mind in choosing the adoptive family. If you would like, Adoptions With Love can provide you with profiles and photo albums from families waiting to adopt. You can scan these to get to know each family, understand their backgrounds, hopes, and values, and see how they will lovingly care for a child. As an expectant mother, you know what is best for your baby and can select the adoptive family that best meets your wishes. All the waiting families at Adoptions With Love are carefully screened and background-checked, to ensure the safety of their homes. No matter your choice, know that you will be choosing a stable, caring family who can provide a wonderful life for your child. You can also meet them, if you wish.
After choosing an adoptive family, your adoption counselor will also work through the other stages of the adoption process. She will help you make a plan for your hospital stay and birth, as well as through any legal documents and next steps. Your adoption social worker may also help you arrange meetings, tell friends and family the news, and help out with any necessary prenatal care. For more information on navigating the adoption process at each stage of your pregnancy, download our free guide here.
How Adoption Works for Adoptive Families
Once you have settled on an adoption agency, it is time to prepare for the journey ahead. As a hopeful family, you will need to complete an adoption application with your agency. This will include submitting personal information and any required documents. Afterwards, you will be contacted by an assigned adoption social worker from your agency of choice.
Your adoption social worker will need to know all about you and your family, so that we can ensure the best possible match. We will get to know you through a series of interviews and home visits, formally known as an adoption home study. The home study process will help us understand your wishes as a family, your reasons for adopting, and ensure that you are ready to become a forever parent.
As part of the adoption process, you will also be asked to prepare a family photo album and profile. This will detail your story, interests, and hopes for the adoption. Your adoption agency will help you compile these albums and other items together, and share them with expectant mothers looking for a family.
Adoptive parents should also prepare to meet with a birth mother, once selected. If she desires an open adoption, you may sit down with the birth mother and your adoption counselor to discuss each other’s wishes, ask any questions, and make plans for before and after birth.
Whether you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, have just given birth, or are looking to grow your family through adoption – Adoptions With Love is here to help you through the process. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your call. Contact 800-722-7731 for more information.