Are you faced with an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption? If you are exploring your options, we at Family Connections want you to feel comfortable knowing all your adoption options. We strongly believe in your right to self determination, that you have the choices and you decide what is right for you. If you are considering placing your child for adoption, you probably are wondering where to start and what will happen if you choose to make an adoption plan for your baby. We can help you explore adoption and the many options that are available to you, and each situation is unique, we will help you find the plan that works for you. Here is an outline of what the adoption process looks like:
Exploring your Adoption Options:
Contacting an agency to research your options is the first step. You need to educate yourself about all your options, this will help you make the best decision for you and your baby. You can request information about adoption and how our agency works. You may want to set up a time to meet with us and explore your choices and discuss the many different choices in adoption. There is no obligation to choose adoption, we offer a free no-obligation consultation to help you learn more about the options that are available to you. At this time the agency can offer you referrals for adoption attorneys that can help you understand your legal rights in adoption. The attorneys are provided at no cost to you, and they are there to help you make the best plan for you and your baby.
Choosing a family for your baby:
If you feel that adoption is the right choice for you and your baby, you will then want to look at profiles of families that are waiting and wishing to adopt. You will want to explore more about the type of family you want, do you want them to live in a certain area, participate in a certain religion, have children or not have children already? There are many options and your agency should be able to show you profiles of families that fit your criteria. Your agency can provide you with online profiles of waiting families, book profiles or even video profiles to help you learn more about the families. The choices are all yours, you are in control. You can choose an open adoption where you will meet the families or you can keep the adoption closed and you choose the family from profiles without meeting them in person. Again all the choices are yours. We will be with you every step of the way and will help you know what to expect and what will happen next. We understand that this can seem overwhelming and scary, we will be there to guide you through your choices so that you can make the adoption plan that is best for you.
Matching with a Family:
At this point you have looked over family profiles and may have met with families to get to know them better/ You may feel like you have found the right family for your baby. When you choose a family for your baby you are “matched” with them and the agency will guide you through building a stronger relationship with the family. Knowing that you are choosing the family you feel is best for your baby can bring you a sense of peace in knowing more about the family that will be adopting your baby. Even at this point you are still under no obligation and the choices are still yours.
Making an Adoption Plan:
Now that you have chosen a family, you will explore your adoption plan further and begin to build a relationship with the chosen adoptive family (if you want an open adoption). The agency will support you as you continue your plans for your baby. If you choose to build a relationship with the adoptive family prior to your child’s birth, the agency will help you work out additional visits with the adoptive family. If you wish to have post adoption contact with the baby and the adoptive family, the agency will help you and the adoptive family develop a post-adoption contact plan (e.g. sharing of pictures/letters regarding the child’s growth and/or visitation between you and the adoptive family) and you will also draft a Post Adoption Contact Agreement with the attorney. Up until the child’s birth, your adoption plan is just that - a plan. Once the baby is born, you will decide whether or not to surrender the custody of the child to the adoption agency for placement with the adoptive family.
The Hospital Plan and Birth:
As your delivery date gets closer you will work with your adoption Social Worker to create a birth plan. The birth plan will detail what will happen at the hospital and who you want to support you through delivery so that the birth and hospital experience will happen the way you want. Planning for the care of your baby at the hospital is also included in the hospital plan. The choices are yours and you can choose the amount of involvement by the adoptive family if you want. The hospital plan can be changed by you at any time, including during the hospital stay.
After the baby is born, your social worker will work with you to see if you are still comfortable with your adoption plan. If you are, she will set up a time to sign the paperwork, making the adoption official.
Up until the child’s birth, your adoption plan is just that - a plan. Once the baby is born, you will decide whether or not to surrender the custody of the child to the adoption agency for placement with the adoptive family that you have chosen. If you decide to place the baby in an adoptive home, you will meet with your lawyer to review and sign the required legal documents for the surrender of custody of the child. You will then sign the surrender instrument and supporting documents granting custody of the child to the adoption agency. The adoption agency will then legally place the child into the adoptive family that you chose for your child. If you wish for post-adoption contact, your lawyer will also have you and the adoptive parents review and then sign the Post Adoption Contact Agreement.
After Placement of the Baby:
After you surrender custody of the child and the child is placed into the adoptive family, the adoption agency will provide needed support to you and to the adoptive family in the short and long term (life-long services). These supports may include but are not limited to: therapeutic counseling for you, supervision of the adoptive family’s progress by a social worker, guidance for you and the adoptive parents regarding the post-adoption contact, etc. This is a lifelong decision and adoption does not end when you place your baby. Your adoption Social Worker can help you to be sure your contact with the adoptive parents is going as you planned in the Post Adoption Contact Agreement. The Post Adoption Contact Agreement will guarantee minimum contact requirements. Many birth family and adoptive family relationships change over time but the minimum contract requirements are enforceable by the agency and the Courts.
An adoption agency will ensure that supportive counseling is available throughout the adoption planning process, the surrender and placement of the child, and post-adoption for you, the birth father and even your extended family.
Family Connections, Inc. is a New York State authorized adoption agency with over twenty years experience in adoption. We would be honored to help you understand the adoption process as you consider making an adoption plan for your unborn child. If you would like more information about adoption you can contact Renee or Anita at 607-756-6574 or 1-800-535-5556. Family Connections, Inc. provides adoption services throughout New York State including in Syracuse, Rochester, Cortland, Binghamton, Elmira, Corning, Watertown, Albany, New York City, and all towns in between. We look forward to supporting your adoption plans. You can contact us by clicking on the link below. All phone and e-mail communications are confidential and all services are free.