Placing a Child for Adoption? What are the First Steps?
Whatever your age, or where you live, married or single, pregnant or given birth, planning to parent or are thinking about adoption, we can help you!
Remember, it is your baby and you have all the choices, so take your time! We put you and your baby's needs first and help you in every way possible.
Since our founding in 1985, our not-for-profit adoption agency has helped over 9000 birth parents and families from all 50 states. We have a five-star rating on Google and you can always visit our testimonial pages (see the link on the right).
You can contact us 365 days a year. Just call toll free,1(800)943-0400, and we will listen with compassion and do all that is needed. All calls are confidential and there is never any obligation or cost to you for our help.
We will make sure:
*Your child is safe, protected, loved, and placed with just the right family.
*Your options and rights are fully protected.
*You move ahead at your own pace and in a way you are most comfortable.
*You receive all the legal and financial assistance and medical help the law allows.
Whether it is our agency or some other program, a licensed child adoption agency can help you and protect you and your child.
While you are deciding hat to do, make sure to take good care of yourself and your baby. Contact a physician and start prenatal care as soon as possible. If you need help finding a physician or getting an appointment for prenatal care,let us know and we will help you find one. Keep your doctor and clinic appointments. Try to avoid drugs and alcohol, and smoking. Check with your doctor about continuing to take prescription medication.
I advise you not to answer newspaper ads, adopting family internet ads, deal directly with the adopting family, the adopting family's attorney, or a child adoption facilitator. These are all called private adoptions and can be so risky that in many states private adoptions are no longer allowed.
What if I am just thinking about Adoption?
The following information is based on the Child Welfare Information Gateway article, Are You Pregnant and Thinking About Adoption?
Who Can I Talk to About My Options?
If you want to talk to a professional about your child adoption options, there are different places you can go. Counseling at the places listed below will be free or cost very little.
- Crisis pregnancy centers
- Family planning clinics are places where women get birth control information or pregnancy tests.
- Adoption agencies are a good choice if you are already leaning in the direction of adoption.
- Health Department or Social Services (Child Welfare) Offices
- Mental health centers or family service agencies.
Have I explored all possibilities?
Pregnancy can affect your feelings and emotions. Are you only thinking about child adoption because you have money problems, or because your living situation is difficult? These problems might be temporary. Have you called Social Services to see what they can do, or asked friends and family if they can help? If you have done these things and still want adoption, you will feel more content with your decision.
Will the adoptive parents take good care of my child?
Prospective adoptive parents are carefully screened and give a great deal of information about themselves. By the time an agency has approved adoptive parents for placement, they have gotten to know them very well, and feel confident they would make good parents. In many cases you can select or help to select the family.
What are the different types of child adoption?
There are two types of child adoption: closed and open adoption.
Closed (Confidential) Adoption: The birth parents and the adoptive parents never know each other. Adoptive parents are given background information about you and the birth father that they would need to help them take care of the child, such as medical information.
Open Adoption: The birth parents and the adoptive parents know something about each other. There are different levels of openness:
- Least open-You will read about several possible adoptive families and pick the one that sounds best for your baby. You will not know each other's names.
- More open-You and the possible adoptive family will speak on the telephone and exchange first names.
- Even more open-You can meet the possible adoptive family. Your social worker or attorney will arrange the meeting at the adoption agency or attorney's office.
- Most open-You and the adoptive parents share your full names, addresses, and telephone numbers. You stay in contact with the family and your child over the years, by visiting, calling, or writing each other. Fifteen States have enacted laws that recognize post-adoption contact between adoptive and birth families if the parties have voluntarily agreed to this plan.
Talk to your adoption agency counselor about the type of child adoption that is best for you.
How do I arrange a child adoption through a child adoption agency?
In all States, you can work with a licensed child placing (adoption) agency and in many states you can also work directly with an adopting couple or their attorney without using a child adoption agency. In some states this type of adoption, a private adoption, is not legal. Private licensed child adoption agencies arrange most child adoptions. There are several types of private child adoption agencies. Some are for profit and some are non-profit. When you contact a child adoption agency, ask the staff as many questions as you need to ask so that you understand the child adoption agency's policies.
How do I arrange for future contact with my child if I want it?
If you decide on a confidential (closed) child adoption, you may still wish to make sure that your child can contact you in the future. There are things you can do now to make that happen.
Many people who are adopted as children later want to meet their birth parents. With the exception of Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Kansas, Oregon, and Tennessee, state laws do not permit them to see their original birth certificate. Because of these problems, many States, and some private national organizations, have set up child adoption registries to help people find one another.
There is another way to ensure that your child can contact you if he or she wishes. Some child adoption agencies and attorneys who arrange child adoptions will hold a letter in their file in which you say why you chose adoption and how to get in touch with you if the child ever wants to. If the agency or attorney that you are working with will not agree to do this, you may wish to work with somebody else.
What to do if You need Help?
Adoption Services is a fully licensed non-profit adoption agency that helps birth mothers living in any state in the U.S. The Agency can also help a U.S. citizen living in any foreign country. Adoption Services has helped over 9000 birth parents and families. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you want our guidance or help.