Adoption is a decision that only a mother can make. That is why, as the mother of your unborn baby, you are the sole person in charge of your adoption decision. Whatever you want to provide for your child, your adoption plan is your tool to make it happen.
When you create your adoption plan, you’ll be able to:
- Find the perfect family for your baby, based on your specific preferences
- Outline how much contact you’re comfortable with before and after the adoption
- Decide how much you want the adoptive family involved during the hospital stay
- And more
Creating your adoption plan is a crucial step to making sure you are in control of the adoption process from beginning to end. But this step does require careful thought and planning. That’s why it can be beneficial to real out to an experienced adoption specialist first online to get their input and advice.
In the meantime, check out our overview of adoption and how your adoption plan puts you in control of the process.
WHAT IS AN ADOPTION PLAN?
Your adoption plan is a guideline for how you want your experience to look. . By creating one, you will be able to communicate your needs and desires to your adoption specialist, the adoptive family, and anyone else involved in your adoption.
Learn more about each of the steps involved in making an adoption plan below.
Step. 1 SELECT A FAMILY
Your first step to make an adoption plan will be deciding who you would like to raise your child. As you can imagine, this is one of the most important choices you will make. Some women have already identified an adoptive family before contacting an agency, but many do not know of any families looking to adopt. Fortunately, adoption agencies are constantly working with families who are screened and ready to welcome a baby into their home, and you can review hundreds of adoptive parent profiles online.
Here are just a few of the things you might consider as you search for a family with your adoption game plan:
- Other biological or adopted children
- Home and neighborhood
- Lifestyle and hobbies
- Parenting style
- Religion or personal values
If you choose to work with a national adoption agency, you’ll have access to hopeful adoptive families from all over the country. This means that you’ll have hundreds of adoptive family profiles to look through, as opposed to just a few. When you’re trying to find the perfect family for your baby, there’s nothing better than having more options.
Like many birth mothers, you might be feeling anxious about not finding the perfect family when you make your modern adoption plan. But every adoption specialist will assure otherwise. When Frances, a birth mother, shared her fears with her adoption specialist, she received a few words of wisdom:
“Rachel [an adoption specialist] said, ‘Frances, you’ll know when you have picked the perfect family,’” Frances says. “When we talked to Chris and Courtney, in the middle of the conversation, I knew Chris and Courtney were the ones.”
Read about this in more detail on our page about finding adoptive parents.
Step 2. Get to Know the family
After you select a family, you can begin getting to know them. Usually, the first communication with the family will take place in the form of a phone call between you, the family, and your adoption specialist.
Over the course of your pregnancy, you will communicate with the family over the phone and through email, and the family will travel to visit you at least once before the baby arrives. This correspondence is known as pre-placement contact and is an important step in your adoption plan template.
As you get to know the family, you can let them know what you want for your baby and ask any questions you have. This is also the time to determine the kind of relationship you would like to have with the family after the baby is born. Your adoption can be open, semi-open, or closed.
Many women found that having at least some form of communication was exactly what they needed once the adoption was over and include it as part of their birth parent adoption plan.
As a birth mother, Caitlin knew that an open adoption was perfect for her:
“Knowing that I can be around and be there — I don’t even know how to put it into words… I’m like a cheerleader on the sideline, and that’s more than I could have asked for,” she adds of her open adoption relationship. “He gets this family who can take care of him and do everything I couldn’t, but he can also know that I didn’t just give him away. I had a purpose for him, and it was meant to be.”
The amount of time you have for pre-placement contact will depend on how far in your pregnancy you are when you select the family. The more time you have with the family, the more certain you can feel about your decision. As you continue planning for adoption, take the time to seriously consider how much communication is right for you.
Step 3. SET up a plan for the hospital stay
Sometime before your due date, you will work with your adoption specialist and healthcare provider to outline your hospital adoption plan. This will ensure that the big day goes smoothly and that everything proceeds according to your wishes. When creating your hospital adoption case plan, consider:
- The environment where you’d like to give birth
- When you would like to go to the hospital
- Who you want in the delivery room with you
- How much time you would like with your baby
- When and if you want to see the adoptive family
Once you have had the baby, you will be asked to complete your adoption paperwork. Depending on the state you live in, you will be asked for consent sometime within 72 hours of giving birth. After you sign your adoption papers, your adoption decision is legally binding, and the adoptive family will take the baby home.
Step 4. Discuss POST-PLACEMENT CONTACT
Once you have had the baby and consented to the adoption, you can begin moving into the new relationship you will have with your baby and the adoptive parents. Your adoption specialist will also be involved to make sure the family upholds whatever level of contact you agreed upon earlier from your adoption plan template.
One of the best things about an open adoption plan is how flexible it is. If at some point you decide you need less contact than you originally wanted, then you have the right to limit or cease communication with the family. If you feel that you want more contact, contact your adoption specialist and talk about your options for coming to an open adoption agreement with the adoptive family.
Always remember that your adoption plan is not binding and does not obligate you to proceed with your adoption if you are not comfortable. Until your parental rights are terminated, you have the right to change your mind about any aspect of your adoption plan.
HOW TO START AN ADOPTION PLAN
If you think you may be ready to start creating your adoption plan or planning adoption after birth, then there are a few steps you should take:
- Make sure you are certain about your adoption decision– While you can always change your mind about adoption, it is always best to be absolutely sure that it is what you want before you begin. Before you create your birth parent adoption plan, make sure you are prepared for the adoption process and the emotions that may come with it.
- Determine what you want for your baby– What kind of home do you want your baby to have? Should the parents go to church or participate in certain activities? Do you want your baby to have siblings? Having a general idea of what you want will help you make decisions later.
- Contact an adoption professional– When you are ready, you can reach out to an adoption professional, who will help you find a family and work out the details of your adoption plan.
When you are preparing to pursue adoption, remember that your adoption plan is yours. It is not up to your family, your friends, or anyone else to determine what is best for you and your baby. If you ever feel unsure about any part of your adoption, always know that you have the right and the power to change it.
If you are ready to begin making your adoption plan, you can contact an adoption professional now through this online form. You can also begin searching for adoptive parent profiles online as you consider the type of life you want for your child.
Remember, you are in charge of this decision. If you do decide to reach out to an adoption professional, you’ll get the answers you need to your questions and a better understanding of the benefits of adoption. To speak with one today, please fill out our free information form.