What Are Your Adoption Options?

Anyone considering adoption — whether as a pregnant woman or potential adoptive parents — has plenty of choices to make throughout the process. These adoption options come in different forms depending on which side you’re approaching adoption from, but it’s important to remember that you can tailor the experience to fit your needs. To help you prepare for what you might face if you do pursue adoption, we’ve compiled a few of the adoption options encountered by both adoptive and birth parents.

Adoption Options for Prospective Birth Parents

As a pregnant woman thinking about her adoption options, there are five important choices you’ll have in the domestic adoption process.

  1. Choosing an adoption professional to guide you through the process.
  2. Choosing your child’s adoptive family. You get to decide what’s important to you in prospective adoptive parents and select a family that you feel will give your baby the best life imaginable.
  3. After you’ve chosen a family, you get to choose the amount of contact you’ll have with them before placement. Maybe you’d like them to come along with you to doctor’s appointments. Maybe you’d prefer to limit that communication to emails or texts. It’s completely up to you.
  4. Choosing a hospital plan. You get to control every aspect of your time spent in the hospital, from who will be in the room with you to whether or not you’d like time alone with your baby after he or she is born.
  5. After you’ve had the baby, you’ll also get to choose the amount of contact you’d like with the adoptive parents after placement. Like any relationship, yours with your child’s adoptive family can evolve over time, but you can work with them to decide what the right degree of contact is for you.

 Adoption Options for Hopeful Adoptive Parents

As hopeful adoptive parents, one of your biggest decisions in terms of adoption options is determining what type of adoption you want to pursue. A few of your options are:

  • International Adoption. This is the adoption of a child from a different country. If this is the route you choose, you’ll have more choices from there. Which country do you want to adopt from? Do you want to adopt an infant or an older child?
  • Domestic Adoption. This is the adoption of a child from within the United States. Domestic adoption could mean several different things for your family:
    • Foster Care Adoption: Adoption from the foster care system, usually of an older child.
    • Private Domestic Adoption: The adoption of an infant who hasn’t yet been introduced to the foster care system, usually from an agency or other adoption professional.
    • Independent Adoption: An adoption in which the birth parents and adoptive family identify each other without the help of an adoption professional.

There will, of course, be other choices after you determine which type of adoption you’d like to pursue, each one coming with additional adoption options.

Regardless of your relationship to adoption, it’s important to create a plan that’s right for you. By learning about adoption options available to you today, you’re already taking the first step to do just that.