If you have begun to research the process of putting a child up for adoption, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available. Fortunately, you are not alone, and with a little guidance, you can make the decision that’s best for you and your baby.
This guide is an outline of the steps you may take if you decide to give your baby up for adoption. The process will be different for every woman, and the adoption professional you contact will help you make a more detailed plan that fits your needs and your pregnancy.
Visit your doctor
If you believe that you are pregnant, you should visit your doctor or OB/GYN specialist to confirm that you are pregnant and to learn how your pregnancy is progressing. Whether you ultimately decide to choose adoption, parenting or abortion, you should begin to care for yourself and your baby.
The first few months of your pregnancy are very important to your baby’s development and health. As your body undergoes changes and new stressors, it is essential that you begin to take care of yourself as soon as possible. Discontinue any alcohol or drug use immediately. Your physician will be able to give you detailed instructions on how to care for yourself and your baby during your pregnancy.
Call an adoption professional
Understanding adoption is the first step in your decision-making process. If you have already decided that you would like to put your baby up for adoption, an adoption professional will help you make a plan and discover your needs during your pregnancy. If you have not made your decision, he or she will explain the process to you and give you all the information you need to make a decision.
Make a plan to give up baby for adoption
Your specialist will explain all of your options help you determine how you would like your adoption process to continue. They will help you plan your labor and hospital stay, and depending on your financial and social situation, they can direct you to government programs that will assist you with healthcare costs and groceries. They also can help you obtain housing, food and supplies, maternity clothes, and other items necessary as you continue with your pregnancy. They will collect your medical history and the medical history of the father if he is known. Your adoption professional should also offer to provide counseling, whether through an on-staff counselor or a third-party counselor.
Determine type of adoption
There are three different types of relationships you can have with an adoptive family: open, semi-open and closed. You are able to decide what type of contact, if any, you would like to have with the adoptive family and the child. Some women choose only to receive pictures and letters once a year, but if you want, you can have more contact and even in-person visits. The level of contact you will have with your child and the adoptive family is up to you.
Choose the family
You are not required to choose the adoptive family, but many pregnant mothers enjoy the experience of learning about and ultimately selecting the family that will parent their child. The agency you choose will send you information about adoptive families so that you can learn about their interests, careers, parenting styles, and excitement to become parents through adoption.
You can begin searching for potential adoptive parents at any time by viewing waiting families’ adoption profiles online.
Many women find that they form a connection with a family after seeing their profile and discovering similar interests or values. Once you have decided on a family, you can choose to have an in-person meeting or a phone interview with them. During this conversation, you will be able to get to know the family better and let them know your wishes during the rest of the process. You should feel free to address any questions, thoughts or even concerns you might have.
Welcome your baby
Before the birth of your baby, you will have already gone over your hospital and delivery plan with your adoption specialist. Once you go into labor, immediately notify your adoption specialist and they will contact the adoptive family. After delivery, you can spend as much time as you would like with your baby. Whether you had a natural birth or a C-section, you will most likely be discharged within 72 hours, and depending on the state in which you live, you will sign the birth parent relinquishment papers before you leave the hospital.
Preparing for the relinquishment
Adoption is a lifelong choice, and many women find that they need help after the relinquishment. The adoption specialist will be there for you not only during your pregnancy, but also after you have signed the relinquishment papers. They will help you work through your thoughts on the adoption and prepare you for the various types of emotions you will feel.
Many women find that contact with other mothers who also put their baby up for adoption is helpful. Your adoption specialist can put you in contact with other women who have been in your position and can even direct you toward local support groups if you are interested.
If you pursued an open adoption, you will also have the support of the adoptive family and the comfort of seeing your child. In an open adoption, relinquishment is not a “good-bye,” but the beginning of a unique and beautiful relationship between you, your child, and the family you’ve chosen.
The adoption process is different for every woman, depending on what she needs during her pregnancy and what she wants for her adoption plan. If you are considering adoption for your baby, you may call 1-800-ADOPTION or read the following to learn more about how to place your baby up for adoption. You can also begin searching for adoptive parents here. Remember, browsing adoption profiles or requesting more adoption information never obligates you to complete the adoption process.