Step 1) Explore Your Options
“Being informed is the only healthy way of acting once women find out about their unplanned pregnancy,” says Elizabeth Danish, HealthGuidance. Do your research and talk with friends and family. You may also find it helpful to talk with your family doctor, and an adoption counselor as you try and evaluate every option.
Adoption Makes Family is here to listen, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You’ll speak directly to an adoption counselor. We will start where you are, listening to your specific questions and responding to your individual needs.
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There are many things to think about when making the decision to be a parent or create an adoption plan: finances, what social support you will have, and whether you’re ready to be a parent. In the end, you need to make the decision that is right for you. No one can ever make this decision for you, but Adoption Makes Family can certainly help educate you on your options, and we will support you in whatever choice you make.
Step 2) 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.
Step 3) Meeting with an Adoption Counselor
“Counseling is a necessary component of infant adoption, not just prior to placement but, in many cases, after placement as well,” explain Chuck Johnson and Kris Faasse.
So, 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.
“Support is an important component of taking care of yourself throughout this process,” says Felicia Curcuru, Huffington Post. If you do not have strong support from friends and family, “you can see that through an adoption agency worker/counselor,” says Dr. Kirschner.
At this initial meeting, we can also start to review potential adoptive parent profiles and even select one if you would like.
Step 4) Meeting the Adoptive Parents – If You Want
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. There are two primary forms of adoption, Open Adoption and Closed Adoption.
- In an Open Adoption, birth and adoptive parents may meet in person. Identifying information is also shared. This relationship can extend beyond birth, however, the degree of openness depends on the birth and adoptive parents’ wishes.
- In a Closed Adoption, birth parents and adoptive parents do not meet. They may not know anything about one another. The adoptive parents might not even know the name of the birth parents. They will, in general, not get any identifying information about one another and they will not be in contact in the future.
Step 5) When the Baby is Born
As you have already established a relationship with Dr. Kirschner, he will be the one to come to the hospital to help you with the next stage of your adoption plan. Just know, as the mother, you are in complete control of your own birth plan.
- Adoptive Parents: While it is common for adoptive parents to be present during the birth, it is ultimately your decision. If you would rather keep this experience private, that is your decision and nobody else’s.
- Your Child: One of the toughest decisions a birth mother has to make – aside from creating an adoption plan – is whether they want to see their baby at the hospital. For many, the decision comes down to the type of adoption. If a parent has chosen a closed adoption, meaning no future contact with the child (or the adoptive parents), sometimes it is easier to choose not to see the child after birth. However, if you’ve chosen an open adoption, it is often nice to spend one-on-one time with the child before placement. The amount of time you spend with the baby is completely your choice.
If you decide to move forward with the adoption plan, the baby will be discharged to Adoption Makes Family only after you have had your opportunity to have your personal time with the baby and you have decided you are ready to leave.
Step 6) After Discharge – Counseling
The relationship between you and Adoption Makes Family does not end on the day of discharge from the hospital.
“Good counseling provides a crucial foundation for birthmothers in dealing with their emotions and moving forward,” write Chuck Johnson, president and CEO of the National Council For Adoption, and Kris Faasse, LMSW, ACSW, Director of Adoption Services for Bethany Christian Services, “throughout the process until relinquishment, and after placement as they undertake the necessary work to grieve and to heal.”
Step 7) Continued Contact
If you have chosen an Open Adoption, Adoption Makes Family will help facilitate that relationship through the letters and pictures you can receive from the adoptive family throughout your child’s life. Just as important, you are also encouraged to send letters and pictures to Adoption Makes Family to be given to the adoptive family.
Step 8) Evolving Needs
The adoption plan is an evolving process that will grow through the years. You are encouraged to stay as close with Adoption Makes Family as you feel comfortable. The support is here for you, and we will adapt to your needs.
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at email@example.com or use our online contact form.