Meet With Our Caseworker
The first step is meeting with one of our caseworkers to decide if adoption is the best option for you and your baby and to make sure that all of your questions are answered. Adoption is voluntary, but it is also permanent, so it is important that you understand the process completely.
Once you have decided that adoption is the best plan for your baby’s future, your caseworker will assist you in identifying the adoptive family for your baby. Your caseworker will continue to meet with you during your pregnancy to provide emotional support as you move forward with your adoption plan, invite you to a birth parent support group, and help you make a plan for the hospital.
Create Adoption Plan
You have a number of options when making an adoption plan that’s right for you.
- choose the adoptive family for your baby by selecting from the parents screened by our agency staff
- choose a family who has been recommended by someone you trust like a relative, friend, pastor, doctor, etc. Often, the baby can come home from the hospital directly with the family you select
- meet the adoptive parents and get to know them throughout your pregnancy. If you wish, they may be present at doctors’ visits and at the hospital during delivery
- agree to a mutually acceptable schedule for the exchange of letters, pictures, or more contact after the placement
Plan Your Hospital Stay
Your caseworker will help you create a plan that will let the hospital know:
- how much contact you would like with the baby,
- who you want to visit with you and/or the baby,
- how much involvement you would like the adoptive parents to have at the hospital,
- whether you would like a private room on or off the maternity floor, etc.
Place Baby with Adoptive Family
From the hospital the baby often goes to the adoptive family. Your release of parental rights will take place 2-6 weeks after delivery and your caseworker will make sure that you understand the legal process. Birth father’s rights will be terminated at the same time, and the family’s adoption will move forward.
In some situations, the baby will go into an agency host home until the judge signs the court order. You will go to court and sign the legal documents voluntarily releasing your parental rights. The child legally becomes a permanent member of the adoptive family when the release is signed.
The agency will still be here to provide assistance and emotional support after your delivery and legal process. We can also provide outside counseling if you are interested.
After placement, the family will stay in touch and send you pictures and letters as agreed upon during your pregnancy, usually up to age 18. An openness agreement will be provided, for both birth parents and adoptive parents, which will outline the schedule for contact so that everyone is clear on the arrangements.