If you are pregnant in the state of Connecticut and unsure what steps to take next, may this guide inform you moving forward. Pregnancy can be a difficult experience for even the strongest of individuals. Fears and questions can be exacerbated when information is not readily available. Expectant mothers might not have access to information explaining their options. This article is purely informational and can guide expectant and potential adoptive parents in the adoptive process in Connecticut. Adoption is not for every expectant parent, but hopefully this resource will help you make your decision, whatever it may be.
Steps to Placing a Baby for the Expectant Mother
If you are an expectant mother, you may have found this article hoping for information about potentially placing your baby for adoption. That’s okay and a totally valid thought process. Placing a child for adoption is one of the most selfless things an expectant parent can do.
What Is Adoption?
As stated in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, adoption is “an individual or family raising a child that is not biologically theirs.” There are three types of adoption—domestic adoption, which is the most popular and widely used; both the expectant mother/parents and the prospective adoptive parents make decisions together regarding the adoption. International adoption is more difficult. Not every country allows for international, also known as intercountry, adoption. Each country has its own set of laws and rules that must be followed, changing how long the process will take. The last type is generally known as step-parent adoption, which means when a mother or father remarries, if consent is given by both biological parents, then the child can receive the step-parent’s last name.
You might consider placing an expectant child for a domestic adoption if:
- You, yourself, are quite young
- You have little to no financial stability
- You have little to no emotional support
- You would like to focus on your career before raising a family
- You don’t have a positive relationship with the expectant father
By placing your child for adoption, you not only give them a better shot at life but yourself as well.
Make the Decision
There are generally four steps those interested in making an adoption placement must take. If you are interested in placing a child for adoption or would like to learn more, this information might be very helpful. Placing a child is a selfless and loving choice. This choice is yours and yours alone. Follow your intuition and your instincts. Only you know what is best for you and your baby.
- Choosing an agency/adoption attorney
The first step in placing a child for adoption is choosing an agency or an adoption attorney to work with. An adoption agency, such as The Gladney Center for Adoption, can assist you in every step of the adoption process. Although Gladney is not located in Connecticut, they help expectant mothers/parents, as well as prospective adoptive parents, all over the world and if they cannot assist you, they will help you find an agency you are better suited for. Research adoption agencies and adoption attorneys in your area. They might be the best people to go to with any questions about adoption. They can lead you through your adoption journey. An adoption attorney is a good person to have in your corner when it comes to the legal areas of adoption, especially if they also reside in, and know the laws of, Connecticut.
- Creating your adoption/hospital plan
The second step towards placing a child for adoption is creating a hospital plan and an adoption plan. An adoption plan consists of the expectant mother’s stipulations about the adoption. This might include what demographics the expectant mother envisions the adoptive parents being a part of or how much contact the expectant mother hopes to maintain with the adoptee post-placement. There are generally three levels of openness in adoption.
- Closed adoption: Closed adoption used to be the only kind of adoption available. Generally, in a closed adoption, once the baby is placed with the agency or the prospective adoptive parents, the birth mother/parents have no contact with their child. Oftentimes, the birth and placement records are sealed. It can be very difficult and costly to unseal such records, which is unfortunate if an adoptee is interested in finding their birth parents later in life.
- Open adoption: In an open adoption, birth parents and adoptive parents agree to maintain contact through placement, and post-placement. Communication might be maintained through letters, emails, photographs, social media posts, and occasional visitation. Open adoptions can be extremely beneficial when it comes to the sharing of medical records. It can also help adopted children cope with any adoption dysphoria.
- Partially open/closed adoption: Just as it sounds, this adoption type combines aspects of both the previous types. Depending on the agreement between the expectant and prospective adoptive parents, there might be varying levels of limited communication.
A hospital plan dictates what support you would like when you enter into labor, who you would like present in the delivery room, and how long you would like with your child before placement. Some birth mothers want their own mothers in the delivery room to support them. Some birth mothers want to share their first moments with their baby with the birth father. Other birth mothers might request that the prospective adoptive parents are present for the delivery.
- Choosing the family
Deciding which family will raise your child might be the hardest decision you ever make. You might be overwhelmed with options and possibilities. Luckily, searching for a prospective adoptive family has been made easier with the advent of photolistings. A photolisting is usually present on an adoption agency’s website. You can view the profiles of hopeful adoptive parents who have already been vetted by the agency’s professionals.
When you discover a family or individual that you are interested in adopting your baby, the next step is meeting, either in-person or over the phone. This process might feel smoother if you prepare some basic “icebreaker” questions to ask such as:
- How did you (the hopeful adoptive parents) meet?
- What are some family traditions you hope to pass down to the baby as he/she grows up?
- Do you plan to tell him/her about their adoption? At what age do you think that conversation might be appropriate?
- What are some family hobbies you have?
Just to name a few…
- Moving forward
After your baby has been placed with their new family, you might wonder what to do next with your life. Over the last nine months, you might have been solely focused on the baby, his/her health, making sure you are taking care of yourself to give the baby a better chance at full term, working with your agency and the adoptive parents in deciding the best course to take for everyone involved, and finally, bringing your precious bundle into the world. With all that accomplished, have you given thought to whether you will continue to further your education? Or will you take the opportunity to reevaluate what you want moving forward?
Steps for the Prospective Adoptive Parents
If you have decided that adoption is in the best interest of your family, congratulations! Looking towards the future, soon you will want to contact an adoption agency or attorney to assist you. Although they are not based in Connecticut, the Gladney Center for Adoption is a fantastic agency to get you started towards a successful adoption placement. Having an adoption attorney who is well-educated and you are comfortable with can greatly alleviate stress regarding the legal specifications of the adoption.
After selecting an agency or attorney to work with, you should create an adoption profile. Generally, your agency should help you with this step. Creating an adoption profile allows expectant mothers to find your family, and get a basic understanding of how their child would fit into your household.
A home study is also an essential part of the adoption process. When completing a home study, a certified caseworker will come to your household to assess it and it’s residents. This might include interviews with both parents together and separately, questions about finances, spatial availability, and parenting styles.
Once the home study is completed and processed, your adoption agency should assist you in finding birth mothers that fit your family’s wants and needs. This process can take from a few months to several years, so patience is a must.
If your adoption profile is selected by an expectant mother, the next step is meeting to decide if your goals are aligned, and would be a good match. This might take a few tries, but if you are successfully matched with an expectant mother, good things are soon to come.
The last step towards bringing your baby home is the finalization of the adoption placement. With this step comes the termination of the birth parents’ rights. Now that you have your baby, everything is said and done, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Adoption, on either side, is not for the faint of heart and should not be treated lightly. It is a beautiful and complicated process.
Jenn Martin-Wright is a cowboy, jean wearing, country music, and rock lovin’ cowgirl who loves books and jewelry. She was born three months too early with a disability that should’ve taken any semblance of a normal life from her. Her mom made sure Jenn did everything she was capable of. Coming from a big family, it was either keep up or get left in the dust. Jenn graduated high school, then on to getting married, having kids, and receiving a BS in Social Work. Jenn lives in Idaho with her kids and a Maltese named Oakley who has become her writing helper as she writes novels under an alias of different genres.