If you’re pregnant and you want to place your baby for adoption, you may be searching for information that will help you figure out how to even begin such a stressful process. Some of what goes into the process of placing your child for adoption are the logistics, but the rest of it is your mindset. First, it’s important that you realize you’re not “giving your baby up” for adoption; you’re experiencing the greatest sacrifice you will ever know. You are making a placement plan for a child you feel you’re not ready or able to parent, and you’re finding that baby’s forever family. It’s also important to keep in mind that while you may not raise your child, you will be forever linked to that child and will also be—forever—a member of his or her family.

The logistics of placing a baby for adoption are far less confusing than the emotions you’ll need to work through. But keep in mind that abortion, parenting, and placing all have their logistics and their ups and downs. This is about what’s best for your baby, and if you believe adoption is it, you can weather whatever ups or downs come your way.  

The first thing you need to decide is how much control you want in the whole process. If you’re certain adoption is right for you, you have a few choices. Some choices allow for more independence on your part, while others provide more hand-holding through this stressful situation. Your individual personality should determine which route is best for you when you place your child for adoption. One of the three below will probably make you feel more comfortable, so just go with your gut.

1. Crisis Pregnancy Centers

The goal of most crisis pregnancy centers is to help you find ways to parent or find the best adoption options for you, but all of them center their counseling on ensuring your baby is born and lives the best life you can provide.

You can use a search engine to quickly look for CPCs in your area. Then give them a call. There are pros and cons to CPCs, and they are not all made the same, so you’ll need to ask what services they can provide. If their parenting options don’t work for you, they can help you start exploring adoption and find helpful resources in your area.

2. Adoption Agencies

You can use search engines to find adoption agencies in your area, but you may want to consider doing your research on them before you even give them a call. Read as much as you can on their website to see how you feel about what they have to say. Determine whether they’re a non-profit agency or not (for-profit agencies make money off your crisis). See if they have any of their hopeful adoptive family profiles listed on their website for you to see. Carefully read any online reviews left by both adoptive families and birth parents to get a more realistic feel for the pros and cons of working with them to place your child.

Keep in mind that not all adoption agencies are the same (they vary drastically, in fact), so you’ll want to ask them questions, almost like an interview, before you work with them. You should ask what kind of pre-placement options counseling you will receive, whether they offer post-placement grief counseling, and if they require their hopeful adoptive families to educate themselves about adoption while they wait (and what this education looks like). Most of all, go with your gut. If you feel like they’re genuine and caring and can provide the support you need to help you through your crisis, then ask what the process would be like to work with them from start to finish, and see if you can begin talking to their hopeful adoptive families.

3. Online Searches and Profile Hosting Sites

You can take the process of finding a family into your own hands by searching online from the privacy of your home. Social media has become a great place for expectant moms to connect with prospective adoptive families, so do searches on Facebook and Instagram for “looking to adopt,” “hoping to adopt,” “adoption profile,” or “adoptive family.”

You can even do a Google search for the same terms you used on social media and see what results you get. Some families advertise on Google or other search engines, so look at the advertisements in the search results to see what you find. Many families have websites or blogs that can give you great insight into their lives.

Profile hosting sites, like ParentProfiles.com, are another great option. They host hundreds of adoptive parent profiles and provide the ability to search at your own pace to find the family you feel is as close to perfect as possible for your baby. You can even search based on location, religious preference, whether they already have children, and more. Many of these families are already working with an agency, and these sites allow you to process everything that’s happening in your own time before reaching out to the adoptive family yourself to begin communication.

Moving Forward

No matter how you find your child’s future family, make sure you continue listening to your intuition. Prepare numerous questions to ask the hopeful adoptive family before even getting on the phone or meeting in person; your mind is likely to go blank while you’re talking to them. Make a list of what you’re looking for in a family for your child, and prioritize it with must-haves up top and things you’d like for them to have toward the bottom. Most of all, find a family you feel comfortable with and who understands that relationships should grow over time as you work together to provide the very best for the child you all love.