Making the decision to place a child for adoption is a big step for most women. Simply getting to the point where they are sure this is the path they want to take can be emotionally draining. But once the decision is made, there is at least some relief in knowing what is to come. From there, they can move onto the next step – making an adoption plan.
An adoption plan is a description of what you want for your child and yourself in the future, including detailed steps that outline how to best achieve that future. Our adoption counselors work with you every step of the way through the adoption process and will help you in creating your own adoption plan. It can be one of the most difficult steps for a birthmother to go through in terms of emotional distress, simply because it involves thinking so thoroughly about what this adoption will entail. But taking the time to put an adoption plan together makes a lot of the other difficult steps easier, because you’ve already taken the liberty of writing it all down. An adoption plan consists of your answers to many of the difficult questions you will (or are very likely to) come across down the line.
It’s important to note that the adoption plan is not set in stone, and things may not always go as planned. The point of the plan is for you to consult these questions before they arise so you can make well-thought-out decisions on what you want to do. But everything in that plan (including your own feelings, which contributed to making that plan) is liable to change at any time.
So, what exactly is included in an adoption plan?
How Open is the Adoption?
Most of the content within the adoption plan is dependent on how open your adoption is going to be. If you want a closed adoption, then many of these questions will be faster to answer compared to those who want a little openness in their adoption. Some of the questions relating to the openness of the adoption and how involved you want to be in the raising of your baby include:
- Do you want to send letters and pictures to the adoptive family? If so, will you send them through Adoption Makes Family? Or would you like to have their direct contact information?
- Will you visit your adoptive family? If so, will you visit regularly or only on holidays and big events?
- Will you call Adoption Makes Family regularly to check in on your child?
Answering these questions now can be difficult, so many birthmothers take some time to think over their answers and then come back to the questions when they feel more sure about the role they want to play in their baby’s life.
We support all of our birthmothers’ choices, no matter how they choose to define their adoption.
Choosing the Adoptive Family
Choosing the adoptive family may be a difficult process for some birthmothers because they want the best for their child, but aren’t necessarily sure of who that might be. We work with our adoptive families to create a profile for them that highlights what they have to offer your baby. Some adoptive families have their own preferences on open and closed adoptions, so you should take this into consideration when choosing a family as well.
A major part of the adoption plan is for you to give us some information about the kind of adoptive families you are looking for. This information helps us find the families that best match your preferences. Here are some examples of what you should think about when creating an adoption plan:
- Do you want the adoptive family to be married, single, or do you have no preference?
- Do you want an adoptive family that travels a lot?
- Where do you want the adoptive family to be located? In-state? In the city?
- Should the family have other children? If so, how many?
- Do you have a preference on the family’s religion?
- What characteristics do you want your adoptive family to have?
The final stage of the adoption comes with the birth of your child. Your adoption plan will cover a few aspects of the birth itself so that we know in advance what you want to do when the day comes. Some questions that the adoption plan will answer include:
- Do you want the adoptive family to be in the delivery room?
- Do you want to take pictures with or of the baby?
- Do you want to hold your baby?
- How much time do you want alone with your baby, if any?
- When do you want to hand the baby to the adoptive family?
- Who do you want there to support you?
Life after Birth
Your baby’s life after the birth is now in the caring hands of the adoptive family. But there are many questions involved with your preferences after the birth, mostly relating to the openness of the adoption. Some of the questions you may find yourself facing include:
- Will you ever interact with the adoptive family? If so, will you call, e-mail, text, or see them in-person? And would you like that to be on a defined schedule, or would you prefer the relationships be able to proceed more naturally?
- Will the birthfather be involved?
- Do you want to support your child in other ways?
Support through Adoption Counseling
All of these questions can be difficult to answer and can bring up a variety of emotions. Please know you are not alone if you find yourself struggling with how to define the kind of adoption you would like.
Your adoption counselor is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many of our birthmothers develop strong relationships for life with their adoption counselor because of the help they provide. We will be here for you from start to finish, and even after the adoption to provide you with the support you need. If you have any questions about your adoption, the adoption plan, or the adoptive family, please feel free to ask your adoption counselor. Your adoption counselor can even be with you in the delivery room if you wish to have their support there as well.
If you’re considering adoption, are in the midst of an adoption, or have completed an adoption and wish to talk with a counselor, please contact us at any time on our hotline at 410-683-2100.