When you decide to give someone the gift of a child, it’s all about you; you should feel comfortable with every decision and every step of the adoption process. Your voice will be heard above all others when it comes to your adoption plan. Here are the parts of your adoption plan that you have control over:
Your Support Group
The first choice you get to make in your adoption plan is whom you will include in this process. You can choose to include as many people as you want, or you can choose to keep it private. You can choose to include your parents, or not. You can choose to include your close friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings, and whomever else you choose. Your support group will be a great help to you when dealing with the many emotions that come with placing your child for adoption, so it is important to include people who are supportive of your decision.
The father of the baby is often a complicated part of this process. He may be involved in your life, or he may be completely out of the picture, or maybe you aren’t even sure of who he is. That’s OK. He doesn’t have to be included in your support group if you don’t want him to be. Based on which state you live in, you may be able to complete the entire process without his involvement.
The Adoptive Family
Choosing an adoptive family is one of the most important choices you will make along your adoption journey and will ensure your child is getting the life you envisioned for him or her.
The first thing you will want to consider is how you will find an adoptive family. Will you work with an adoption agency to help you find the best family for your situation? Or will you try to find an adoptive family on your own, through your own networking or online research?
If you are using an adoption agency to complete your adoption, you will be given several family profiles to review. This can be an overwhelming process as it begins to make the adoption seem more real. As you are viewing these profiles, how will you know that which one is the perfect family for your child?
- When considering adoptive families, you want keep in mind the kind of life you want your child to live. You will answer questions like:
- Where do you envision your child growing up? The suburbs, the city, a rural area?
- Do you envision your child having siblings?
- Do you envision your child growing up with pets?
- How do you envision the adoptive parent? Race, age, lifestyle?
Answering these questions will help you form a better picture in your mind of what kind of family you envision for your child. With that in mind, finding the perfect family for your child will be much easier and you will be more confident in your choice.
Contact with the Adoptive Family Before Birth
After choosing an adoptive family for your child, you can choose if you would like to meet them before placement of the baby. Some adoption agencies arrange mediated conference calls with the adoptive families, but you could also choose to meet the family in person or exchange emails.
Though communication with the adoptive family is encouraged, it is not mandatory and is entirely up to you. If you are comfortable meeting the adoptive family before the birth, it can be an excellent way for you to get to know each other on a personal level. This can often help birth mothers feel more comfortable about the adoption itself.
Your Hospital Stay
The hospital stay is an emotional time for expecting mothers as they say goodbye to their child, which is why it is important that your desires are met.
Having a plan in place before the delivery will allow the agency and the hospital to prepare for your stay and allows everyone involved to focus on the baby as your needs will already be known. It is important to understand that the steps taken at the hospital should ensure that your emotional needs are met. The ultimate goal of the hospital plan is to have a successful delivery and help you begin the healing process.
Contact with the Adoptive Family After Placement
Your adoption journey doesn’t have to end after you place your child with the adoptive family; it can continue as your child grows.
Depending on what you’re comfortable with, and what the adoptive family agrees to, you can have regular contact with your child. Many adoptions today have at least a semi-open relationship, meaning they exchange some information on a regular basis, usually through the placing agency. Most adoptions include at least the sharing of pictures and letters, but they can include phone calls, emails, and/or in-person meetings.
The type of communication you have with your child and the adoptive family after the placement is entirely up to you. You can choose to have no contact, annual visits, or anything in between.
The adoption plan is all about you and your baby. If at any point you are feeling uncomfortable, talk to your adoption professional about what can be done to help you feel better about the adoption plan.