Women might choose to give up their baby for adoption for any number of reasons. But, no matter what the reason may be for their adoption plan, it’s possible to move forward through the adoption process in just 7 easy steps. Open Arms Adoption can help you give your baby up for adoption and provide counseling so that you know you are making the right choice. Below are the steps you would go through the complete the adoption journey.
Step 1. Do Your Agency Research
Part of the adoption process is learning about adoption, and then finding the right agency to work with. Agencies are all different, have different processes, and provide varying levels of support, which is why it is so important to find the right agency for YOU. And, finding the right agency also means finding the right parents for your baby. If you work with Open Arms Adoption, you can choose the type of contact that you have with the adoptive family, and your adoption counselor will work with you throughout the process to make sure that the decisions you make are in your best interest as well as in the best interest of your baby. Some agencies may claim that they can offer financial support, but this isn’t always true, and it is important to ensure that you are working with a reputable, ethical adoption agency. The agency you choose should offer you unbiased unplanned pregnancy options, offer in-person visits with you, and be there to answer any questions you may have. Some agencies can even put you in touch with other Birth Moms who have chosen adoption so that you can hear from them about their experience. At the end of the day, it is important that you feel well taken care of, and the type of relationship you will ultimately have with your child is dependent on the Adoption Agency that you choose to work with.
Step 2. Learn about the Types of Adoption
Once you select the agency that you would like to work with, your adoption counselor should give you a full detailed overview of the entire process, and help you to learn about Open Adoption, Semi-Open Adoption and Confidential or “Closed” Adoption. Your counselor can provide you with guidance to help you make a decision of what type of adoption you would feel most comfortable with, and address any concerns that you may have. Adoption professionals would also offer you other resources at this point, be it parenting resources, abortion referrals, or whatever else you need.
Step 3. Make your Adoption Plan
At this point in the process, you have been given the information that you need in order to make an educated decision as to whether adoption is what you would like to do, and considered your preferences regarding openness. It is at this point, typically around 7-8 months along in your pregnancy, that you can choose the adoptive family for your baby, if you would like to. If you choose to work with an agency like Open Arms Adoption, you would have the opportunity to view Adoptive Family Profiles, and learn more about our waiting families form your social worker. Typically, after reviewing profiles and getting specific questions answered, prospective birth mothers are able to move forward with choosing a family. If you choose not to have an open adoption, that is not an issue at all, as we can choose the family that is the best fit for your baby. Some Birth Parents are very eager to choose the adoptive family for the baby that they are giving up, and others find it to be too emotionally difficult. No matter how you feel, we will continue to support you through this process, and can meet with you in person or have phone calls, depending on your preferences.
Step 4. Meet the Adoptive Family of Your Choice
Should you choose an Open Adoption, this is the point where you would meet the adoptive parents. Waiting adoptive families complete all sorts of background checks, adoption paperwork and are thoroughly screened and ready by the time that they are waiting to adopt. If you prefer to meet them, your adoption specialist would set up a casual get together, usually in informal lunch or something of the like, at which you can meet the adoptive family and get to know them. Typically, after meeting the adoptive family that you chose, you will feel much more comfortable with your plan, as you are likely able to envision this family parenting your baby. The adoption is still not complete though, and you will continue to receive counseling and support from your Adoption Counselor at this point in the process.
Step 5. Delivery at the Hospital
When it is time to give birth, whether you go into spontaneous labor, need an induction, or have a scheduled c-section, we will continue to be there for you. Sometimes the hospital stay goes according to plan and everything is smooth, and sometimes there are complications. Whatever the situation may be. your Adoption Counselor will advocate you, support you, and continue to help you through this adoption process while visiting you daily in the hospital. Should you prefer that the adoptive family visit you in the hospital, we can arrange that and provide support to all of you. This is completely optional though, and you may want to choose to have the time in the hospital alone or with friends or family and your new baby. Even at this point, there is no obligation for you to move forward with adoption, and whether you choose to move forward is completely your decision.
Step 6. Hospital Discharge and Counseling
When it is time for you and your baby to be discharged from the hospital, if you are still feeling confident in your adoption plan, we will help you get discharged from the hospital, and can give you a ride home if you prefer. We will also take care of discharging your baby, and take the baby to Interim Care, NOT Foster Care, so that you can get home and get settled and make a final decision about adoption.
Once at home, should you decide to move forward with adoption, at that point we would meet with you to go over the adoption paperwork and have you sign documents. Signing the paperwork is what makes the adoption legal, and only after that, would we have the adoptive family sign their placement paperwork.
We will continue to support you during this part of the process and help you get your needs met. We recognize that this is not an easy process and are there to offer you emotional support for as long as you want or need it.
Step 7. Post Adoption Support
Once you give your child up for adoption. you might think that it’s done, and the adoption agency disappears from your life. While some women prefer to be completely finished with the process, others prefer that we stay involved. In the cases of Open Adoption, it can be really beneficial to have an agency help everyone navigate this new relationship. Sometimes, things can be a little awkward in the beginning. Or, often, Birth Moms prefer to receive photos of the baby so they can see how the new baby is growing, but they aren’t interested in direct contact with the adoptive family this early on.
No matter what your preferences are, we will honor them and support you through this process, through the life of your adoption. You can count on Open Arms Adoption Network to offer you unbiased, conditional support throughout the entire adoption process. We are here for you– every step of the way.
To learn more about adoption with Open Arms, call us at 1-888-OPENARMS, we are available for you 24/7.
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