Blog

Our blog covers topics on adoption, assisted reproduction, and surrogacy.  You can read articles, personal stories, and commentaries written by our staff and our clients.  A complete listing of all blog postings appear in chronological order below.  To sort entries based on your interests, select one of the categories to the right under “categories.”

Please call us or send a confidential email if you have any questions, comments or would like to to contribute to our blog.  We look forward to hearing from you!

(925) 945 1880 or (800) 877-1880.

It's important to know your rights in an open adoption.

It’s important to know your rights in an open adoption.

Adoption laws vary from state to state and so do birth parent rights.  Below are just a few of the universal rights that are either misunderstood or not commonly known.

Counseling

Many states require at least one counseling session prior to a birth parent signing consent paperwork to an adoption.  This is typically done with an experienced social worker who specializes in adoption and working with birth parents.  The counselor usually discusses alternatives to adoption, explores why a birth parent has chosen adoption, and may also talk about the adoptive family the birth parent has chosen.  Most states also permit adoptive parents to cover the cost of birth parent counseling with a licensed therapist.  This counseling can happen before and after the baby is born.

Naming the Baby

In virtually every state, the birth parent has the right to name the baby and to have that name appear on the baby’s original birth certificate.  After the adoption is finalized, a new birth certificate is issued with the name the adoptive parents give the child.  Frequently, birth parents and adoptive parents will talk about the names they plan for the child.  Sometimes the adoptive parents will keep the name the birth parent has chosen or will incorporate this name into the child’s middle name.

Spending time with your baby can be a helpful piece of your grief and healing process.

Spending time with your baby can be a helpful piece of your grief and healing process.

Spending time with the baby in the hospital

Birth parents absolutely have the right to be with their child in the hospital, to hold and feed and spend quality time with the child.  You are your baby’s parent until you say otherwise.  Unfortunately, some hospital workers will give birth parents the impression that they cannot see or spend time with the baby.  Some will also come right out and tell birth parents that they should stay away to give the adoptive parents time to bond.  While these workers may be well-meaning, they are wrong.  The time a birth parent spends with the baby can be critical to the grief and healing process.  It is also an opportunity for the birth parents and adoptive parents to share in the moment of their child’s birth, the shared love and respect for each other, and the basis for building a trusting relationship with each other.

Changing your mind about the adoption

A birth parent cannot sign consents to an adoption until after the baby is born, and usually, after the birth parent has been discharged from the hospital.  This is true in almost every state.  Each state also has its own laws about how much time a birth parent has to revoke her consent to an adoption. This can range from 24 hours to 30 days.  Once this revocation period has passed, you cannot change your mind about the adoption.  We always recommend that a birth parent wait until she is absolutely sure about the adoption before signing anything.  There is no law that says when a birth parent has to sign their consent, only that a certain amount of time must first pass.

Open adoption means you can stay in touch with the adoptive parents and receive regular updates on your baby.

Open adoption means you can stay in touch with the adoptive parents and receive regular updates on your baby.

Contact with the baby and adoptive family

Most open adoptions will include a plan for contact before birth, after the baby is born, and beyond.  This can include photos, letters, phone calls, and in-person visits.  Many states have court-enforceable contact agreements that are filed with the adoption paperwork when the adoption is finalized.

If you are considering adoption and want to explore your options, contact Family Formation. We are birth mothers, adoptive parents, and others who’ve been touched by adoption. Call us for more information: 925-945-1880.

Images Courtesy of Family Formation: Client photos printed with permission

 

Consider making your adoption plan before telling your family.  It can be a relief for them to know that you're taking responsibility for the pregnancy and your future.

Consider making your adoption plan before telling your family. It can be a relief for them to know that you’re taking responsibility for the pregnancy and your future.

Many people use phrases like giving up for adoption and/or putting up for adoption when searching for information about making an adoption plan. However, this is not the language we prefer to use. These phrases can have a negative connotation, and some birth mothers consider the language offensive. With that, we apologize and ask for your understanding.

Making an adoption plan for your child can be stressful, and figuring out how to tell your family and loved ones about your plan can be nerve-wracking.  Here are some ideas on how to talk with your family.

Consider writing a brief note

Sometimes it’s the fear of how others will respond when you tell them about your adoption plan; this is especially true when telling your parents.  Many women have found it’s easier to simply put a few sentences in a handwritten note to a parent.   This way you can control where and when your loved one will get the message, unlike with a text or email.  The goal of the note is to break the ice, give your loved one a chance to take it in, and allow him/her to respond privately without reservation.  That way, when you are ready to face each other, the initial—potentially upsetting—response is over, and you can have a more productive conversation.  One idea is to say: “I’m 6 months pregnant and thinking about placing the child for adoption.  I need you to support me in this choice.  When you’re ready, I want to talk with you.”

Share your plan after you’ve actually made a plan

Many parents and family members don’t know how to respond when they learn that someone they love is unexpectedly pregnant and making an adoption plan.  Most people just aren’t prepared to hear this.  They may feel overwhelmed and scared, not knowing how to help you or what to say.  Having a plan in place when you tell them about your situation can make the information easier for your loved ones to hear.  When they know you’ve given adoption a lot of thought, done your research and understand how the process works, and perhaps even chosen a family, your loved ones may feel much more at ease.  They will know that you are making an informed decision, that you are taking care of yourself and your child’s future, and that you are taking responsibility for yourself.

Tell your family what you need from then; even if it's just to say you need their love and support.

Tell your family what you need from then; even if it’s just to say you need their love and support.

Tell your family what you need from them

Your family’s first reaction may be to wonder what they can do for you and how they can help.  Once you have the details of your adoption plan in place and have shared this plan with your family, you can then tell them exactly what you need from them.  You might ask your family members to meet the adoptive parents you have chosen.  You might decide that you want your family involved at the hospital, to be there for your delivery, or to meet the baby if they wish.  If all you need is their love and support, be prepared to tell them that.  The news will be difficult to share and difficult to hear, no matter what.  Presenting it with a plan can make things easier and less stressful for both you and your family, allowing them to focus on supporting you in your decision to do what you feel is best for your baby.

If you are considering adoption and want to explore your options, contact Family Formation. We are birth mothers, adoptive parents, and others who’ve been touched by adoption. Call us for more information: 925-945-1880.

Images Courtesy of Family Formation: Client photos printed with permission

Learn more about surrogacy through various resources.  Books are a helpful option.

Learn more about surrogacy through various resources. Books are a helpful option.

Surrogacy is a very special way to create a family. While there are many books about the adoption process, surrogacy has not been explored as extensively. Whether you’re an intended parent or a prospective surrogate parent, reading about others’ experiences can be very valuable and can help you on your path as you decide whether surrogacy is the right choice for you.

What is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy is an option for families who would like to have a child who is genetically related to them but are unable to carry that child themselves. There are several kinds of surrogacy, but often the mother carries a child conceived through IVF, and that child is genetically related to one or both of the intended parents. Intended parents choose surrogacy for many reasons. Some intended parents are same-sex couples, while others cannot carry a child due to medical concerns.

When parents choose to build their family through surrogacy, they seek out a woman who is able to carry a child for their family. The intended parents may know the surrogate mother or may choose to work with an agency or law firm to screen and choose a surrogate mother, a woman who has had a successful pregnancy and is interested in helping someone else build a family.

Resources and Personal Experiences

These resource books will help you explore others’ journeys so that you can understand both the logistics and the emotions behind surrogacy.

Our Journey: One Couple’s Guide to U.S. Surrogacy
By Richard Westoby
This book is heavy on the logistics of surrogacy. It explores the journey of a same-sex couple from the UK who choose to pursue surrogacy in the United States. It’s packed with questions to ask and tips to help you on your way.

Bringing In Finn: An Extraordinary Surrogacy Story
By Sara Connell
A memoir of a unique mother-daughter and grandchild relationship, this book traces the emotions, the challenges, and the ultimate joy of a mother who chooses to carry her daughter’s child.

Surrogacy Was the Way: Twenty Intended Mothers Tell Their Stories
By Zara Griswold
If you want to explore the many reasons why women choose surrogacy and the diverse experiences that they have along the way, this book brings together the stories of twenty intended mothers who speak about surrogacy from their unique personal experience.

I Got Drunk at my Baby Shower: Our Successful Surrogacy Story
By Susan Bowen and Heidi Thompson
This memoir brings together the perspectives of the surrogate mother and the intended mother. Together, they co-authored a book about the emotional ups and downs of creating a family through surrogacy.

The Journey of Same-Sex Surrogacy: Discovering Ultimate Joy
By Jason Warner
This book combines fact and memoir, tracing the journey of a male same-sex couple as they make the decision to pursue surrogacy as a way to build their family.

IMG_2336 - Family Formation

Children’s Books About Surrogacy

If you’re a parent who’s looking to surrogacy to build your family or you’re considering becoming a gestational carrier, these books will help your children understand the process and the emotions behind surrogacy. They’re also very helpful for children who were carried by a surrogate mother.

The Kangaroo Pouch: A Story About Surrogacy For Young Children
By Sarah Phillips Pellet and Laurie Faust
In this book, a kangaroo decides to carry a baby in her pouch so that another family can have a child. This book is aimed at toddlers to early elementary school students and explains some of the logistics and emotions of the family of the gestational carrier.

The Very Kind Koala: A Surrogacy Story for Children
By Kimberley Kluger-Bell
While the carrier concept is similar to that in The Kangaroo Pouch, this book is intended for children who were carried by a gestational carrier. It explains how a very kind koala helps others make a family by carrying the baby for the family.

Sophia’s Broken Crayons: A Story of Surrogacy from a Young Child’s Perspective
By Crystal Falk
This story uses a metaphorical approach to help young children understand why a family would choose to help another family have a baby. When Sophia’s crayons are broken, her friends give her crayons so that she can color too.

Whether you’re considering surrogacy as a way to add to your family or you’ve decided that you’d like to become a gestational carrier, Family Formation can help answer your questions about the surrogacy process. Contact us today with your questions: call 925-945-1880.

Images Courtesy of Family Formation: Client photos printed with permission.

Putting my baby up for adoption was the hardest choice I've ever made

Putting my baby up for adoption was the hardest choice I’ve ever made

Many people use phrases like giving up for adoption and/or putting up for adoption when searching for information about making an adoption plan. However, this is not the language we prefer to use. These phrases can have a negative connotation, and some birth mothers consider the language offensive. With that, we apologize and ask for your understanding.

Ashley’s Story

I’ve dealt with many things in my life – both good and bad – but nothing that compared to one amazing and surprising experience that I will never forget:  I learned that I was pregnant on the day I was due to deliver the most beautiful baby girl.

During August and September, I felt sick, like I had food poisoning.  I went to the doctor and told her my symptoms.  When she first mentioned pregnancy, I denied it and told her my period is somewhat normal.  She prescribed me medication for the stomach flu.  I took a pregnancy test late one night and thought it was negative.  As time went on, I noticed my period was barely there or not there at all, and some people noticed weight gain. I denied all possibilities of pregnancy, even when I looked it up online, and blamed it on too much fast food and side effects from no longer taking the birth control shot.

Open adoption means the birth mother chooses and knows the identity of the adopting parents

Open adoption means the birth mother chooses and knows the identity of the adopting parents

Finally on May 24th around 4:30 in the morning, I felt severe pain – it wasn’t a normal cramping pain. I tried taking pain medication, but it caused me to vomit. My mom suggested that I make an appointment to see my doctor, but I was being stubborn and trying to be strong.  I decided to take another pregnancy test, and it showed I was pregnant.  I freaked out and was scared to tell my mom because I thought she was going to be disappointed and angry and yell at me.  My friend Blaine stayed by my side, and he told her I was pregnant.  My mom saw the tears in my eyes.  She was calm and wanted to get me to the hospital to make sure I was ok.  The three of us went to the hospital, and the next thing I knew, the doctor said I’m having a baby today. The only thing the doctor gave me was an I.V. and something to ease the pain. It felt so unreal, like it was a dream.  Ironically enough, I had had a dream that involved birth and a baby even before I was pregnant.

Making the Hardest Choice of My Life

When it was all over, it was time for me to choose if my baby would be put up for adoption or if I would keep her. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life, and I didn’t even tell my ex Ryan that he was a father until a few weeks after I was out of the hospital.  The connection I had with everyone that I met was amazing.  My mom found Megan Cohen through friends of hers who had adopted a child through Megan.  When holding Charlotte in my arms, I couldn’t stop crying.  She was just so beautiful.  One look at her, and everything else just went away. I made the brave decision to put my daughter up for adoption. Megan presented several families to me, and I chose Fred and Maria.  Once I met them, I knew in my heart that my daughter would be safe, loved, and cared for and that she would be in the best hands.  I chose this couple because I saw love and kindness; I saw creativity and imagined just how lucky my daughter would be with them.  I saw something that made them different, and it stood out to me just by looking at their photos. There was so much happiness and so many tears and so much emotion that weekend.

Open adoption means staying in contact with the adoptive family and your child.

Open adoption means staying in contact with the adoptive family and your child.

Moving Forward from Adoption

Once my daughter and I were released from the hospital, I was both happy and sad.  I felt like I didn’t want to let her go, but I knew it was the right thing to make an unselfish decision for my beautiful Charlotte Rita.  Her name was perfect, and it was chosen by Fred and Maria.  I’m glad I’m able to visit and spend time with the adoptive family.  I wear a smile every day because of Charlotte, because of the parents I chose for her, and because of the whole experience.

If you are considering adoption and want to explore your options, contact Family Formation. We are birth mothers, adoptive parents, and others who’ve been touched by adoption. Call us for more information: 925-945-1880.

Images Courtesy of Family Formation: Client photos printed with permission

Birth parents are incredible people: here's why...

Birth parents are incredible people: here’s why…

Many people use phrases like giving up for adoption and/or putting up for adoption when searching for information about making an adoption plan. However, this is not the language we prefer to use. These phrases can have a negative connotation, and some birth mothers consider the language offensive. With that, we apologize and ask for your understanding.

When a woman chooses to create an adoption plan, she’s making a decision that will shape many lives. Her life, her child’s life, and the family and friends of the adoptive family will all be shaped by a birth mother’s courageous and thoughtful decision. A birth mother thinks hard about choosing adoption. Women choose adoption for many different reasons. They know that they are unable to parent this child at this time, and they decide to consider that child’s future by choosing adoption. Choosing adoption is not about giving up on your baby or giving babies up for adoption. It’s about choosing to create a new family.

Birth Mothers Think About Values

Birth mothers who choose adoption have considered their values about parenting and realize that they aren’t able to parent their child at this time. Instead, they consider who would be able to provide this type of loving, value-filled parenting to their child. While expectant parents often consider their parenting values, a birth mother must consider this carefully as she chooses an adoption agency or finds adoptive parents for her child.

Birth Mothers Take Responsibility

Choosing adoption is a huge responsibility. If you’re a birth mother, you can choose a an adoption law firm, adoption agency or may even choose to have a family member adopt your child. You can also look at independent adoption and look at many profiles of families before you choose the ones who are the right fit for you and your child.

Birth Mothers Work Through Grief and Love

Adoption is not just a logical process, it’s an emotional one as well. A birth mother who chooses to carry a child and have someone else adopt that child is called upon to be strong and loving. She grieves the loss of one future with her child while ensuring that her child has a different future.

Birth Mothers Maintain a Connection

Being a birth mother doesn’t end when a child is born. Many birth mothers choose to maintain a relationship with their child after the child is born. They can outline this relationship in an adoption plan, and it may evolve over time as well. Birth mothers who choose open adoption choose to support their child’s development by remaining open to contact in the future.

Adoption

In an open adoption, birth mothers choose to keep open lines of communication between themselves, their child, and the adoptive parents.

Birth Mothers Build a Relationship With a New Family

In addition to creating a relationship with their child, birth mothers who choose open adoption also create a relationship with the child’s adoptive family. They choose to bring their child’s adoptive parents into their life by encouraging open communication of medical information, family history, and photographs of the child. Some also choose to visit with their child and the adoptive family.

Women who put babies up for adoption are able to consider their child’s best interests even as they work through their own feelings about their pregnancy and the possibilities of adoption. They create an adoption plan with their child’s best interests in mind.

If you are considering adoption and want to explore your options, contact Family Formation. We are birth mothers, adoptive parents, and others who’ve been touched by adoption. Call us for more information: 925-945-1880.

Images Courtesy of Family Formation: Client photos printed with permission.

Giving a baby up for adoption to a family member can be a viable option for some women

Giving a baby up for adoption to a family member can be a viable option for some women

Call today to learn more about how adoption language (like using the phrase “giving up for adoption”) has changed over the years and why it’s important to be sensitive about it.

Deciding who will be your child’s parent is probably the most important aspect of an adoption plan.  Many women feel that keeping the baby in the family would be best, and frequently family members will offer to adopt a child.  Here are some things to consider when thinking about whether you’d like your baby adopted by a family member.

Remember that your family member will be the child’s legal parent

When you place a child for adoption, your parental rights are terminated.  At the same time, the adoptive parents’ rights are established, and a new birth certificate is issued with their names as the parents along with the name they give the child.  This means that the new parents will have all the same rights as a legal parent.  They can live where they want, they will make all parenting decisions for the child (how they discipline, where the child will go to school, who the child has contact with and how much etc.), and they assume all financial responsibility.  It might be difficult to watch someone else raise your child, especially if you live nearby and have frequent contact.  It might also be difficult to hold your tongue when you disagree with the choices they make.

How will you talk with your family and your child about the adoption?

How will you talk with your family and your child about the adoption?

Decide how you will talk about the adoption with your other family members and the adoptee

You will need to think about how you want your family to talk about the adoption with the adoptee.  Some women think it’s best to keep the adoption a secret from other family members and the child (the adoptee).  This is almost certainly a mistake.  Eventually your child will find out about the adoption and will wonder why this information was kept a secret.  The adoptee might feel that there is something shameful or wrong about the fact of the adoption and that there is something wrong with him or her.  Therefore, it’s really important that family members understand why you chose adoption and why you chose that particular family member to adopt.  They should be prepared to share the adoption story with the adoptee as honestly and sensitively as possible.

Be prepared to explain to your child why you chose adoption

Most adoptees will want to know why their biological parents chose adoption for them, and it’s simply part of human nature to want information about who we are and where we come from.  Be prepared for anything as it’s impossible to know how any particular adoptee will feel.  For some, their adoption story is a source of comfort and a starting point in discovering their identity as an adoptee.  For others, the adoption is just a fact of their existence and doesn’t have more meaning than biology.  Your child may want to talk with you about this, and the important thing is to be prepared and to have given it some thought ahead of time to be prepared.

As you look at your adoption options, you may choose to pursue independent adoption or work with an agency to find adoptive parents. If you’d like legal support along your adoption journey, give Family Formation a call. We’re a law firm that specializes in creating families. Call us at 925-945-1880.

Images Courtesy of Family Formation: Client photos printed with permission.

Adoption agency

Working with an adoption agency or law firm can help you create an adoption plan with a loving family.

Most people do not get to choose their parents. As a birth parent, you have the unique opportunity and responsibility of choosing your child’s adoptive parents. This choice is one of the most important decisions you will make. It’s one that can seem just as challenging as the initial decision to choose adoption. How do you decide what family will be the best fit for you and your child?

Finding a Family

How can you go about finding adoptive parents for your child? There are many ways to connect with adoptive families. You can network through family and friends and pursue a family or independent adoption. The benefit is that they may live close by, and they may also share your values. However, you might want to look for a larger pool of families. You can look online at family profiles that individual families have created and pursue independent adoption, working with a law firm to finalize your legal arrangements. You can also work with an agency or a law firm. These organizations have many waiting families who would love to adopt, and you can connect with them through the agency, without the expectation that you will necessarily choose them as the family who will adopt your child.

Adoption

Where will your child be happy?

Making the Decision

How do you make the decision to choose a particular family? You probably have a lot of questions to ask your child’s future family. You might choose a family based on practical considerations such as their location, particularly if you want to play a big role in your child’s life. If you know that your child has special needs or medical needs, you may choose a family who has experience or support to parent a child with these needs.

You will probably also consider the family’s attitudes toward parenting and whether these mesh with your own. How do their values, interests, religion and other decisions parallel your own? Do they have other children and a large family network, or will your child be an only child? Think about the answers you’d like to hear from the adoptive family, and use these to help you make your decision.

Making an Adoption Plan

After you’ve chosen a family, the agency or law firm will help you create an adoption plan. It’s important that you meet with the family prior to the adoption, so that you can talk with the family about your adoption plan. You’ll want to think about support you need before and during the birth, your birth choices, and your desire for contact after the child is born. An adoption agency or law firm can help you work with the adoptive family to set up an adoption plan that works for you.

As you look at your adoption options, you may choose to pursue independent adoption or work with an agency to find adoptive parents. If you’d like legal support along your adoption journey, give Family Formation a call. We’re a law firm that specializes in creating families. Call us at 925-945-1880.

Images Courtesy of Family Formation: Client photos printed with permission.

Adoption

Adoption not only connects two families, it is also a legal process.

An adoption is a pivotal moment for three parties: the child, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents. The process of creating an adoption plan is one that will shape the rest of an adopted child’s life, so it’s not something to take lightly. While you can certainly find inexpensive do-it-yourself adoption services information online, it’s important to ensure that you have all of your legal documents in order.

Adoption Options

When you’re looking at adoption, you may already have a family who would like to adopt your child. This family may even be part of your own family. Some birth parents have friends who would love to adopt, while others choose families they find online: families who share the same values as the birth family. Other birth parents choose to work with an agency or a law firm to find adoptive parents.

Adoption is a Legal Process

Adoption involves many emotions. It also involves a lot of planning, from decisions about who will be in the delivery room to decisions about how much contact you would like to have with your child’s adoptive family after the adoption has been completed.

Adoption is also a legal process. You must complete forms shortly after your baby is born, and the adoptive family must then work to finalize the adoption after they bring home the baby. If you’re seeking an adoption and you already know a family who is interested in adopting your baby, it can be tempting to look into do-it-yourself adoption options. However, you must make sure that all of your legal forms and processes have been completed, or the adoption will not be legal. This can cause problems for you, the adoptive parents, and the child in the future.

Adoption

When you hire an adoption agency or law firm to look after the legal details, you can focus on the human side of the adoption.

Adoption Agencies and Law Firms Provide Support

In addition to helping you with the legal process of adoption, adoption agencies and law firms can also provide you with other assistance. When you’re pregnant and worried, it’s a comfort to have a seasoned adoption professional by your side. These adoption professionals can talk to you about the differences between open and closed adoption, work with you to create an adoption plan, ensure that you have medical and emotional support during your pregnancy, and work on the legal aspects of the adoption.

While there are attorney fees when you pursue adoption through a legal firm, these fees are the responsibility of the adoptive parents. You will not need to pay these adoption legal costs.

When you are investigating the possibility of adoption, it’s normal to look at many different options. You might look at the benefits of open adoption, and you might consider whether you’d like to breastfeed your child in the delivery room. There will be many choices for you to make as you move through the adoption process. One choice that’s easy to make is the decision to have a professional by your side. Not only will this ensure that you follow all necessary legal procedures, you’ll also gain an advocate who can help you through this challenging time in your life.

If you’re looking into adoption, Family Formation welcomes your questions. We are an experienced team of legal professionals and offer free phone consultations. Call 925-945-1880 for more information.

Images Courtesy of Family Formation: Client photos printed with permission.

Give a baby up for adoption

Adoption is the beginning of a new family, but how does adoption begin?

Many people use phrases like giving up for adoption and/or putting up for adoption when searching for information about making an adoption plan. However, this is not the language we prefer to use. These phrases can have a negative connotation, and some birth mothers consider the language offensive. With that, we apologize and ask for your understanding.

When you’re pregnant and trying to figure out what to do, you may wonder about the adoption process: how to give a baby up for adoption. Luckily, many birth parents and adoptive families have traveled this road before you, and while different families may pursue somewhat different paths depending on their situation, there are certain actions you must take before you give a baby up for adoption.

Consider Your Options

When you’re thinking about adoption, you’ve probably thought about a number of different options. Do you have a friend or family member who would love to add a child to their family? Would you prefer to have adoptive parents who share your religious values? Before you commit to adoption, consider whether it’s a good choice for you, and talk with adoption agencies, law firms, adoptees, and adoptive parents to answer your questions. Doing this before you commit to the process can help you avoid frustration and confusion.

Choose an Adoption Path

Once you’ve chosen adoption for your child, you’ll need to think about what kind of adoption feels right for you. If you have a relative who would like to adopt, you can look at kinship adoption. You or your friends may know of someone who’d be wonderful parents for your child, or you may peruse online profiles and find prospective parents who look like they’d be an excellent match. In this case, you can pursue independent adoption with the assistance of a law firm that specializes in adoption.

Sometimes, birth parents aren’t sure how to find an adoptive family. In this case, you can connect with an adoption agency or law firm who will likely have adoptive parents waiting to learn more about you. Whether you find your child’s adoptive parents through an agency or seek a law firm to finalize the paperwork, you’ll need legal support to help you through the adoption process.

Create an Adoption Plan

Once you’ve connected with an adoptive family and an agency or law firm, you’ll work with the family and the agency to create an adoption plan. Your adoption plan outlines the choices you’ve made about your adoption. This might include plans for support and communication during the pregnancy.

The adoption plan will likely include plans for the birth and the time immediately after birth. Will the adoptive parents be present at the birth? Who will get to hold the child first? Will you nurse the baby for the first day or two?

Your adoption plan should also lay out your plans for the future. How much communication would you like to have with the family and your child? As you create this plan, remember that it’s valuable to keep the lines of communication open in case your desires change in the future.

Give a baby up for adoption

An adoption plan will help you organize what will happen at your baby’s birth.

At the Birth

Of course, a huge part of the adoption process is the birth itself. It’s the event that everyone’s been waiting for, and it will bring many emotions. After the baby is born, you’ll have some time to sign the termination of parental rights. The time varies from state to state. This allows the adoptive family to begin the legal process of becoming the parents of that child.

Finalizing the Adoption

The last part of the adoption process may take place with or without you present, depending on your situation. This occurs between 6 to 12 months after the adoptive family brings the baby home, and it gives the adoptive family permanent custody of the child.

As you debate whether adoption is for you, it’s important to connect with resource people who can help you with this decision. If you have questions about the adoption process, Family Formation is here to help. We’re an adoption law firm, and our staff also have personal connections to adoption. Contact us today at 925-945-1880.

Images Courtesy of Family Formation: Client photos printed with permission.

Adoption

Your choice to pursue adoption can help another family achieve their dream.

You’ve been thinking about your options for a while, or perhaps you’ve just learned that you’re several months pregnant. When it’s too late for abortion, where do you turn? Adoption can be a life-changing decision for you and for your child’s adoptive family.

Finding An Adoptive Family

When you’re looking for a family who would like to adopt your child, where do you begin, and how do you choose? If your family knows about your pregnancy, you can begin by connecting with them to see if they would be interested in a kinship adoption. These adoptions can be simpler but still require the help of a law firm to complete the legal process. You can also reach out to your community and beyond to see if a friend of a friend would like to adopt your child. Perhaps you have seen family profiles online, and you’ve found a family who fits your values and goals for your child. When you pursue independent adoption, you will need legal help to transfer parental rights to the adoptive family.

Choosing an Agency or Law Firm

You may want to look for an adoptive family through an adoption agency or law firm as well. These organizations work with families who wish to adopt, and they can help you connect with families who match your values. When you’re choosing an agency or law firm, choose one that can work locally and has excellent references from birth mothers. Make sure that the agency’s or firm’s values match your own, and you’ll be more likely to find a good match.

Getting Support

In addition to helping you find an adoptive family, an adoption agency or law firm can be an essential support system during this time in your life. You’ll have access to counseling to help you through the adoption process, and you may be able to work with the agency or law firm to arrange for some financial support, either through government programs or through the adoptive family, depending on state regulations.

You’ll also get help to create an adoption plan, a plan that outlines everything from your desires for the birth to the contact you’d like to have with the child and adoptive family after the birth. This plan will help you see what will happen and can help you feel more confident in your decisions as you move through the adoption process.

Adoption

Develop a birth and adoption plan that makes you feel comfortable, and you’ll have more security about the future.

Creating a Long Term Plan

You aren’t ready to become a parent right now, so you’ve chosen adoption. However, you’re not sure whether you’d like to close this part of your life or whether you’d like to have an ongoing relationship with your child and his or her adoptive family. While closed adoptions were very popular several decades ago, open adoptions are now very flexible. If you choose an open adoption, you can simply keep the lines of communication open and do not need to visit or receive information about your child. If you want to be involved in your child’s life through visits with the child and adoptive family, you can choose that route as well. No one will pressure you to be more involved, and you can outline your desires in your adoption plan.

If you’re considering adoption, Family Formation can help. We’re not just a law firm, we’re also birth mothers, adoptive parents, and others who have been touched by adoption. Call us at 925-945-1880 for a free consultation today.

Images Courtesy of Family Formation: Client photos printed with permission.