After weighing your options and deciding adoption is the best choice for both you and your child, it is time to start outlining your preliminary adoption plan. We say preliminary adoption plan because it is important to understand that creating an adoption plan is just that, a plan. It is an ever-evolving process that can be adapted and changed throughout your pregnancy – you are 100% in control.
Creating An Adoption Plan – Getting Started
Before you start creating an adoption plan, your adoption agency will send you a questionnaire by email or a confidential envelope. This helps the agency get to know you and identify potential adoptive parents. You may complete the questionnaire on your own or with the help of an adoption counselor. The packet will cover things like you and your family history, the type of adoptive family you are seeking, whether you are thinking about open or closed adoption, information about your prenatal care, and your relationship with the birth father. The plan can also include the “need for resources, and wishes for counseling services,” says Renee Hettich, an adoption professional.
- Your Family History: 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 helps give adoptive families a better understanding of the child’s medical history and whether or not they may be genetically susceptible to various conditions.
- Adoptive Family: You can begin to explore the types of adoptive families you would want for your child. “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.
- Prenatal Care: You will be asked about your prenatal care. “It is not uncommon for birth mothers to receive very little, very late or no prenatal care at all,” explains Megan Kautio. However, regardless of whether or not you choose to parent your child or create an adoption plan, it is important that you receive proper prenatal care to ensure the health of your baby and you. Proper prenatal care includes your diet, lifestyle choices, and regular visits to the doctor. Here in Maryland, House Bill 563, signed into law in 2013, allows adoptive families to help cover certain expenses, including ALL medical expenses and hospital costs, and some living expenses.
- Birth Father: You will also be asked questions about your relationship with the birth father. 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.
- Level of 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 think an open or closed adoption would be best? In an Open Adoption, both birth parents and adoptive parents exchange identifying information about each other and have ongoing contact: exchange of pictures or gifts; communication via e-mail, letters, Skype, or telephone; and face-to-face meetings. In a Semi-Open Adoption, most or all communications between the adoptive parents and birth parents are facilitated by an adoption agency to preserve identifying information. And in a Closed Adoption, birth parents and adoptive parents do not meet. They do not share any identifying information about each other. They do not have any contact whatsoever, before or after the birth.
- Additional Resources: You may also be asked questions regarding additional resources, such as counseling, “a necessary component of infant adoption, not just prior to placement but, in many cases, after placement as well,” according to Chuck Johnson and Kris Faasse.
Ready to Start Your Adoption Plan?
Adoption Makes Family is a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland, founded to meet the needs of birth parents and adoptive parents in a manner that is sensitive, compassionate, and personal.
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.