Making the decision to put your child up for adoption is one of the most heartfelt and strongest choices you can make. An adoption plan is part of that choice. If you’re wondering how to be completely involved, and to have your feelings and wishes honored in your baby’s adoption, making an adoption plan is an excellent way to make the life you wish for your child. So, how exactly do you make an adoption plan?
Do Some Research and Figure Out What Kind of Family You Want to Raise Your Baby
At any point in your pregnancy journey, you can choose which type of welcoming adoptive family you’d want to adopt your child. You can choose by either going through an adoption agency that’ll have many stable adoptive families waiting to adopt a child, or you could do your own research through family, friends, and/or social media websites. While searching, think of what kind of family, and environment you can best picture your child being raised in.
What kind of family do you feel is ideal to raise your child? Do you feel like your child would benefit from being raised by one or two parents? How would you feel having your child being adopted by adoptive parents that live in your neighborhood, city, or state? Would you like the family to live in a rural or urban area? How about your child having a few or a lot of adoptive siblings, or having no siblings at all? What about ethnicity? Is religion an important factor? Do you want your child raised by parents who have an educational background? Would the adoptive parents be accepting of you wanting to be involved in your child’s life once he or she is born?
Start Looking and Enjoy the Journey
If you’re going through an agency, you’ll get to speak with an adoption specialist or agent that’ll help you get everything started with your adoptive family search. Whatever your reason for placing your child for adoption, they’ll completely understand your situation and be more than happy to help you and your baby find the best adoptive family. When talking with the agent or specialist, listen to their adoption plan process, and don’t be afraid to ask questions when any arise. When speaking with you, they should be courteous, respectful, friendly, helpful, and keep your feelings on the whole entire process a priority. If you feel like they aren’t keeping how you feel in mind, you can always find another agency with no hard feelings.
Here are a few questions you should ask about the potential agency:
- How much does the whole process cost?
- How long will it take to find a match for the baby?
- What makes the adoptive parents eligible to adopt?
- Do you provide adoption counseling services?
- Can I choose any family?
The agent or specialist will screen you by asking you questions about you, your lifestyle, careers, history, income, age, marital status, and among a few other things. They ask you these questions because they want to match you up to the perfect adoptive family for your baby. Once they get your information, they’ll provide profiles, either in print or video, and scrapbooks of the potential adoptive parents. Look through each hopeful adoptive parents’ profile, and decide on which family you’d like to meet with and that you believe is best to raise your baby. The only downside of going through with an agency is that the adoption agency will do the majority of the talking between both you and the adoptive family you choose.
If you’re doing your own searching, you can offer a family member or friend that is wishing to adopt a baby to adopt yours, or see if they know of anyone who’s looking into adopting a baby. Another option is searching on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even posting a video on Youtube. If you’d like, you could also ask your doctor for referrals of adoption professionals. If you’re looking online, you can go to the world’s most-visited adoption website, adoption.com. Here, you’ll find many wonderful families that have parent profiles, and you’ll find a substantial amount of information in regards to placing your baby for adoption.
Here are some other things to consider while searching for a family:
- Do you want adoptive parents that are married, single, or no preference?
- Do you prefer a certain age range of the adoptive parent or parents?
- Do you want the adoptive parent or parents to be straight, LGBTQ, or no preferences?
- Do you want the adoptive parent or parents to be of the same ethnicity as you or no preferences?
- What kind of lifestyle would you like the adoptive parents or parents to have?
- Do you want to choose adoptive parents that love traveling, or adoptive parents that are more settled down?
- Do you want an adoptive family that’s big or small?
- Do you want the adoptive parent or parents that have a similar personality to your own?
- Do you want the adoptive parent or parents to have a close relationship with you?
Meet With The Potential Adoptive Parents
Once you find a family, be prepared to meet and get to know the prospective parents. Pre-placement meetings are an excellent way to get to know all about the family who will adopt your baby. The potential adoptive parents will most likely travel to a location that’s in your area or the agency’s area to meet over lunch or dinner. You may be both thrilled and overwhelmed, but just know that those feelings are normal, and you’re making a big and dedicated decision placing your baby with a wonderful family. Don’t hesitate to ask some of these questions:
- How did you both meet each other? How many years have you been married?
- What are your personalities like?
- What made you want to adopt a baby as a single mother?
- Is religion important to you? What do you believe in?
- What are your family traditions?
- What holidays do you celebrate?
- What is your neighborhood like?
- Are you a part of a great community? What does your community look like? Is it full of diversity? Are the people of your community friendly and considerate?
- What is your daily life like?
- Do you have any hobbies?
- Do you have other children?
- What are their names and ages?
- What are your parents like? How about your siblings?
- Do you own any pets?
- What was life like for you growing up?
- Do you think the baby will have any other siblings in the future?
- Is education important to you? Do you want this baby in private or public school?
- Do you see if the child will attend college?
- What type of career do you have? What made you choose your career?
- Do you have a good work schedule that is flexible to the needs of the baby?
- Are you close to your extended family? How do they feel about you wanting to adopt a baby?
- Do you spend a lot of time with extended family members?
- Do you have friends that live close to you?
- What do you enjoy doing for fun?
- What made you want to adopt a baby?
- Have you or anyone you know adopted a baby before?
- Is anyone in your family adopted?
- How do you plan on parenting the baby?
- Do you both have the same parenting style?
- Do you think you’ll be the greatest parent/parents for the baby?
- Will you be willing to let me be involved in the baby’s life after adoption? If so, what types of communication are allowed? Are you comfortable with visitations?
- What ways do you plan on talking to the child about their adoption once you feel like they’re old enough to understand it?
- Do you know of anyone who has positive experiences in an open adoption?
Those are many questions you could ask not only as ice breakers but also as a way to really know the family you wish to place your child with. It’s very important to fully know the hopeful family so that you feel completely comfortable and confident in your adoption placing decision.
Be Prepared for the Hospital Stay
The hospital stay is just one of the major parts of the whole adoption plan. You and the adoptive family could plan to take a tour of the hospital a week or 2 before you give birth. You can either deliver the baby by yourself, or you can choose to have the adoptive family with you in the delivery room. Also consider if you’d wish to have the birth father with you for the delivery.
Once you have the baby, do you want to be the first to hold the baby or the adoptive parents? Would you be okay if the adoptive parents were in the room with you and they ask to hold the baby in your presence? You can choose to stay either in the maternity ward, or another floor of the hospital.
If you feel like you’d like to bond with the baby before giving him or her to the adoptive parents once the baby’s born, you can choose to have alone time with no judgments or worries. If you choose to have alone time with the baby, do you want to feed, change, and sleep in the same room as him/her? Are you going to come up with the baby’s name, or would you like to have the adoptive parents name the baby? Do you want to keep any of the baby’s things such as hospital bands, nursery cards, blankets, birth certificate copy, etc? Would you like to have your photo with the baby? Would you like anyone there to help support you in your adoption decision? A social worker will be at the hospital to be sure your rights and feelings are taken into consideration.
Prepare for Life After Birth
Your adoption plan doesn’t have to end once your baby has been adopted. If you choose to have an open adoption and have talked through everything with the adoptive parents, you’ll always be a valuable part of your child’s life. If the adoptive parents are okay with it, you can have in-person visitations in their home, or another meeting place like a local park, or restaurant. You can also exchange information through the agency you made the adoption plan with, and, if you did your own search for the family, they could be open for you to receive updates about the baby through phone calls, email, video chat, & letters that also include photos of the baby.
If you choose to have a closed adoption, you may have many different complex emotions like sadness, grief, shame, resentment, denial, and regret. Just know that those feelings are normal; after all, you’ve made a big life-altering decision. Just don’t choose to dwell on those feelings. Try to find a new outlook on life. Think of all the good things that have and will happen because of your adoption plan:
- You’ve given your child a new family that can give your baby everything he or she needs.
- You’ve chosen a wonderful adoptive family full of love, kindness, and happiness, and your baby will grow up happy and healthy.
- You’ve given a mother or couple who couldn’t have children of their own a baby that they’ll surely be thankful and honored that you gave your baby to them to care for.
- You have the opportunity to live life and keep moving forward while knowing your baby has the support you desire for him or her.
- You’ve made the decision out of pure love and your baby will one day be thankful that you’ve gone through with your adoption plan.
Never feel pressured or obligated to make any changes to your adoption plan because it’s just that, your adoption plan. It’s your choices and wishes, even if the adoption worker or adoptive parents have different feelings and opinions about it. Making this adoption plan is your personal decision, and it’ll be one of the most loving and impacting decisions you’ll make by placing your child with a loving adoptive family.
Kandice is an adopted twin, wife, and mother of two girls who loves spending time with her family and two rabbits. She loves reading and writing inspirational works of literature and loves telling stories.