An unplanned pregnancy can be tough, especially if you are not in a place in life where raising a child is really feasible. So, you may be considering creating an adoption plan, but are unsure what to do first. This article will help give you an overview of the process, and provide you with resources to begin your adoption journey – if you determine that is what’s right for you and your baby.
Creating an Adoption Plan in Maryland
- Do Your Research: “Your first step should be to learn about all of your pregnancy options, so you can be sure that adoption is the path that you want to pursue,” writes Jennifer Fairfax, adoption attorney.
- Contact an Adoption Agency: If you decide adoption is right for you and your baby, or if you decide you need a little more information, the next step is to contact a local Maryland adoption agency. An adoption counselor will take the time to meet with you, discuss your unique situation, and help you understand your options.
- Filling Out a Questionnaire: If you feel you would like to explore an adoption plan further, a packet will be sent to you containing a questionnaire that helps us get to know you and identify potential adoptive parents. You may complete the questionnaire on your own or we can help you complete it during our initial meeting.
- Create an Adoption Plan: An adoption plan is just that, a plan. It is an ever-evolving process that will grow throughout your pregnancy, and you are 100 percent in control of your plan. Your adoption agency will ask about your family and health background, information about your prenatal care, your relationship with the birth father, and type of adoptive family you are seeking. The plan will also include “things like the level of openness” and the “need for resources, and wishes for counseling services,” says Renee Hettich, an adoption professional.
- Meet Your Adoption Counselor: At Adoption Makes Family, one of the first things we do is have you meet personally with Dean Kirschner, Ph.D., LCSW-C, the Executive Director of Adoption Makes Family and an adoption counselor. During that meeting, we will talk in depth about your questions about pursuing an adoption plan, giving you every opportunity to talk about your options in a non-judgmental, supportive atmosphere.
- Medical Background: In domestic adoptions “birth parents are required to fill out medical background forms that are often available to the adoptive family,” says Kathryn Patricelli, MA. This will give adoptive parents at least some understanding as to whether their child may be susceptible to various genetic, medical, or psychological conditions.
- Birth Father Relationship: Maryland law stipulates that the birth father must be notified and both parents must consent before an adoption can occur. “A birth father has a Constitutional right to be notified that he might be the father of a child who is being put up for adoption,” says Kourosh Akhbari, LegalMatch Legal Writer.
- Openness: “Perhaps the most important thing to consider when envisioning your child’s life is where you fit,” says Haley Kirkpatrick, an adoption professional. Do you prefer an open, semi-open, or closed adoption?
- Choose an Adoptive Family: “The birth parent(s) will be given the profiles of the adoptive families that match their choices regarding the type of family they want to consider for their child,” says Hettich.
- Need for Resources: “Adoption isn’t ‘giving up,’” explains Fairax. “Adoption is giving your baby the life that you want him or her to have that you are not able to provide at this time in your life.” Still, grappling with this decision can be tough for many birth mothers and fathers. Counseling is an excellent way to explore your feelings.
- Meet Adoptive Parents: You may decide you would like to meet potential adoptive parents. If so, our next meeting will be with the prospective adoptive parents. The choice is yours.
- Consider Counseling: Chuck Johnson and Kris Faasse describe counseling as “a necessary component of infant adoption, not just prior to placement but, in many cases, after placement as well,” explain.
- Pre-Placement Counseling: “Adoption is not just scary, counseling is provided because birth mothers can feel overwhelmed with the choices and decisions associated with adoption,” says Dr. Kirschner. “Counseling may help a birth mother/birth father understand the various options associated with choices of parenting or creating an adoption plan.”
- Post-Placement Counseling: Counseling is an important part of the grieving process. “Only support and the respectful acknowledgment of their choices and their emotions can help birth parents grieve in a healthy manner and, with time, allow for their healing and reconciliation of the adoption as a part of their life story,” say Johnson and Faasse.
Want toGet Started?
Adoption Makes Family is
Adoption Makes Family will be there with you every step of the way, providing support, guidance, and counseling as needed.
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form.
Still have questions? You can view and download our Birth Parent’s Resource Guide.
- “How to Put a Baby Up for Adoption.” Jennifer Fairfax, www.jenniferfairfax.com/how-to-put-baby-up-for-adoption.