How Do I Give My Baby up for an Open Adoption?
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, you are probably experiencing a lot of emotions and have a lot of questions. One option you may not know much about is open adoption. Adoption has changed over the years, and with open adoption, you get to pick the parents for your child. One part of this will be picking parents who are open to the amount of contact you are interested in having with your child after the birth.
Let’s take a look at the steps you will go through if you choose open adoption for your child.
1. “Should I place my child up for adoption?”
This is a very personal decision that only you can make. We, here at Lifetime, are happy to communicate with you in any way you feel comfortable. You can call, text, or send us an email. Our coordinators can be that shoulder you need to cry on or that person that will listen without judgment. We will provide you with information regarding all your options. It is important that you make the decision that is right for you and your child.
2. “I have decided on adoption, now what?”
At this point, you will have an adoption coordinator that will help you navigate your pregnancy and come up with your priorities for what kind of adoptive parents you are looking for. As you think about choosing parents, think about things like:
- Do I want the parents to live in the same state?
- Do I want the parents to be of a certain religion?
- Do I want parents that live in the city or the country?
- Do I want parents who have other children already?
There are a variety of attributes that may be important to you and now is when your experienced adoption coordinator at Lifetime can help you sort through what you want. You will get to view the hopeful adoptive parents’ profiles online and, for those you are interested in, you can receive more in-depth profiles of those couples. You can then text, call, or even meet in person to see if you feel it is a good match.
One of the most important considerations is contact after the adoption is complete. With open adoption, you and the adoptive parents decide how often you will be in contact. You will also decide what that contact will look like.
- Would you like in-person contact once a year?
- A shared private Facebook page?
- Cards and pictures shared throughout the year?
We have seen many different scenarios, from birth parents feeling like extended family to the adoptive family, to birth mothers who prefer to just receive updates once in a while. There is no right or wrong way to have an open adoption, and you will find just the right parents that are looking for the same amount of contact as you.
3. “I have picked a family, now what?”
Once you and an adoptive family are matched you will decide how much contact you would like to have during your pregnancy and what it will look like when you give birth.
During your pregnancy, you may want the couple or the adoptive mom to come to doctor visits with you. You may want to go to lunch and get to know them or you may want privacy and feel better keeping your distance. The decision is yours and every situation is unique so you do what feels right to you.
One of the discussions you will have is what will happen at your baby’s birth. Will you want the adoptive parents at the hospital? Would you like them present when your baby is born or would you like some time alone with your baby at this point? Your adoption coordinator will help you design a hospital plan that you are comfortable with.
Depending on the laws in your state, you will sign papers and then there is a period before the adoption is complete. Your adoption coordinator will help you through this process. She will work closely with an adoption attorney who understands the adoption laws in your state. You may have a lawyer or a social worker who will be of assistance to you regarding these things at no cost to you.
4. “Are there any resources for me after I have placed my baby for adoption?
As you experienced a lot of confusing emotions when you found out you were pregnant, you may feel a lot of different emotions after the adoption is complete. We will still be here for you. We can help you with peer counseling where you can speak to other birth mothers who have gone through what you are going through or counseling in your area to help you deal with all that you are feeling.
We are here for you from the moment you contact us. We have birth mothers who are still in contact with us years later. We understand you are making hard choices for you and your baby. We will help you work through your decisions and always treat you with dignity and respect. You can call or text us 24 hours a day at 1-800-923-6784.