If you’re thinking about placing your child for adoption, this article will teach you more about the adoption process, the issues you might already be thinking about, questions to ask yourself, and what you can expect from Family Formation to help and support you every step of the way through the process.
Is adoption right for you and your child?
There are many reasons why women choose adoption for themselves, their family and their child. Many women choose to make this choice because they want a life for their child that they aren’t able to provide. Many women choose adoption for their child because they feel they just aren’t ready to be a parent. Whatever your reasons, you might we wondering how you will be sure that adoption is right for you.
One birth mother remembers feeling anxious about adoption in the early stages of planning. She was pretty sure adoption was right for her but was waiting for the moment when she really felt firm in her choice, when she would know that she could do it and that it was right for her and her baby. That moment came when she met with the adopting couple she chose. They met for lunch and Meagan knew:
“…the minute I saw them. It was a huge relief. I left that lunch with a huge weight off my shoulders. I hadn’t felt so happy, calm and excited at the same time since I learned i was pregnant. I knew I was doing the right thing and that everything would be okay. I was proud of myself for giving these amazing people the gift of a family.” (Meagan, birth mother)
Making an adoption plan
Planning for the adoption begins with your first phone call to Family Formation. We will get to know you, talk about your options, learn more about your needs and plans for your future, and work closely with you to make a plan that meets your needs and expectations. We will help you make important decisions about:
- The type of family you want for your child, their qualities, life style and values
- How open the adoption will be, how much contact you will have with the adopting family during your pregnancy, at the hospital, and after the adoption
- Emotional support and counseling during the pregnancy and after the adoption
- Financial assistance to you during the pregnancy and while you recover from childbirth
- Planning for your baby’s birth, your time in the hospital, and the adopting parents’ involvement
- Creating a plan for ongoing contact with the family and baby after the adoption
Choosing Adopting Parents
Once we have gotten to know you and have begun to formulate your plan, we will work with you to choose an adopting family. We know these families very well because we have spent hours getting to know them and collecting their information. We meet each and every one of our adopting parents personally before we decided to work with them to help them build their families through adoption. They have all been fingerprinted, have had social workers visit their homes, and provided detailed information to prove they are financially and emotionally ready to adopt.
When you are ready to start choosing a family, we will help you get to know them. Here are some options:
- Receive photos and letters from adopting parents who meet your personal criteria
- Speak with adopting parents on the phone or Skype, if possible
- Meet the adopting parents in person at a location most convenient for you
If you would like to meet the adopting parents, you may meet more than once, bring any support person with you that you wish, and meet them in your home town if the adopting parents live outside of your state.
Understanding the legal process
Although an attorney isn’t required to do an adoption, many women like to work with an attorney on their adoption plan because they feel confident that an attorney will be her advocate, will make sure all the legal aspects of the adoption are taken care of properly, that the adoption will be solid, and that their rights as a birth mother will be protected.
Adoption laws vary from state to state but for the most part, a birth mother cannot sign her consent to the adoption until after the baby is born, usually at least 2 days. And in almost every state, she will still have time to change her mind after she’s signed her consent. Family Formation will explain every detail of the consent, when it is signed, and how much time you have to change your mind. There are never any surprises.
Planning for your baby’s birth
Family Formation will work closely with you to address all of the details of what happens at the hospital during your labor, delivery, and post-delivery. You will decide if the adopting parents will be at the hospital before or after delivery, who will be in the delivery room, who holds the baby first, whether you want to spend time with the baby, hold and feed the baby, and who the baby will be discharged to.
Moving forward beyond the adoption
Your plan for after the adoption is all part of the adoption planning. Family Formation will work with you to make sure you have counseling if you want it, will provide you access to our unique birth mother forum and our birth mother support group, so you can connect with other women who have been through the same experience, and will help you create an agreement with the adopting parents for contact with them and your baby after the adoption.
Post contact agreements are filed with the court with the adoption paperwork and they are enforceable in California. The agreement is tailored to whatever contact you and the adopting parents want for the future. Family Formation only works with adopting parents who are open to contact with birth mothers after the birth. You decide what type of contact you want, how much and how often you want to receive it. Typical types of contact include:
- Photos and letters updates sent by regular mail or email
- Text messages with a photo
- Phone calls and Skype sessions
- In person visits
Many birth mothers will want a lot of contact right after the baby is born, a text or email once per week for the first month. Then this tapers off to about once per month until the baby is about one year old, then a few times per year after that. Everyone agrees to keep each other informed of changing contact information.
Call us if you have any questions, concerns or just want to speak with someone – (925) 945 1880 or (800) 877-1880. If you prefer to contact us via confidential email, click here