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How does open adoption work?

Open adoption is the most common type of domestic adoption today. As an African American birth mother, you get to pick the adoptive parents. Choosing African American or bi-racial adoptive parents that are open to the same amount of contact after the adoption is final is very important.

Adoption today doesn’t have to mean you will never hear from or see your child again. We have birth families and adoptive families that are like extended families, including birth grandparents and we have birth mothers who prefer to just receive a letter or picture once a year. There is no right or wrong here, only birth families deciding what is right for them matched with adoptive families that feel the same way.

What is the Adoption Process if I’m Pregnant?

1: Your first step is to call or text Lifetime Adoptions. You will find a friendly adoption coordinator waiting there to answer all of your questions. She will explain how open adoption works and let you know what some of your choices are, such as:

You get to choose the parents for your baby. If you want an African American or bi-racial adoptive family, you can look through profiles of couples that meet that need.

You get to decide what type of contact you want after the adoption.

You get to plan how everything will go at the hospital.

You can let your coordinator know if you need help with pregnancy-related expenses.

Don’t worry – your coordinator will help you answer all of these questions. All of our coordinators are very experienced and ready to guide you through the adoption. She knows just the right questions to ask you so that she can help you pick out just the right family for your baby. She will send or email you a free adoption book if you like that will also answer a lot of your questions. This is a good time to let your coordinator know if you have any expenses you need help with or other needs such as maternity clothes.

2. Next, your coordinator will help you go through the African American and bi-racial parents’ profiles. You can see pictures of them, read about their lives, and sometimes view videos. You will find amazing couples from all across the United States. They come from every walk of life, every race, and different religions and professions. All are unique and special and have a lot of love they are waiting to share with a child.

Once you narrow down your search, your coordinator will set up meetings with the families you are interested in getting to know better. You can meet them by phone or text, video chat, or sometimes even in person. If this makes you nervous at all, your coordinator can join you on the call. We have found that a birth mother and adoptive family most often just kind of click. Something feels right, and a match is made. For some birth mothers, however, this may be hard for them, and if you are not comfortable with this part of the process, your adoption coordinator will be happy to pick out the perfect adoptive family for you.

3. Once you are “matched” with a family, your coordinator will work with all of you to create a personalized adoption plan. Just as every expectant mother, adoptive family, and child is special and unique, so is each adoptive plan.

This is a great time for you and the adoptive family to get to know each other. You can talk about your hospital plan, details about contact after the adoption, and share any information you feel they should have about your families’ health history or other family stories you would like them to know.

4. Then the day comes when the baby is ready to come out and meet the world. This is an emotional time, and you will want to contact your coordinator, and she will make sure the hospital plan the two of you came up with is carried out. She will let the adoptive parents know it is “go” time. If you have planned for them to be at the hospital during labor and delivery, then they will be on their way.

Once your baby has been born, you can spend any amount of time you want with him. You can feed him if you like and take pictures. You will have this all in your hospital plan, but if you change your mind about holding the baby or you want to do anything differently, it is your choice. Just let your coordinator know it she will arrange it.

In the next day or two you will meet with your attorney and make sure all of the legal papers are in order and that you understand your rights. Once your attorney feels confident, he or she will file the paperwork.

Generally, the baby will leave the hospital with the adoptive parents. If they are from another state, they will probably have to stay in town for a few days until all paperwork is filed and in order. Some birth mothers like to use this time to see the baby and spend some time with the family. Some birth mothers prefer to have a little distance at this point. You do what feels right to you. Remember that professional and peer counselors are always available to you and your adoption coordinator is also here to support you.

What is the process for placing an older child or children for adoption?

We often get calls asking what happens if a parent, grandparents, or other guardians have a baby, toddler, or young child that they would like to place for adoption. We understand what a hard call, text, or email that is. It is brave to admit that parenting a child or children, for whatever reason, is just not in the best interest of the child at this time. Sometimes, a grandparent feels they are not capable of parenting a young child, or a parent is being sentenced to prison, or there may be substance or physical abuse situations. We will never judge, we will always care for you and the child. We understand the fear – will they be safe, will someone adopt them, if siblings, can they stay together? Our adoption coordinators are here 24/7 to help. You will find kindness, understanding, and solutions.

We have African American and bi-racial families who would be thrilled to bring your child or children into their home and provide them with a loving, secure, forever home. They have had home studies, and between background, financial, and social worker checks, we know they are ready to provide a safe and stable home. If there are siblings, we only place them together.

If you already have a case plan with your children’s services, we can still help. We can provide an “intervention.” We will provide you with an attorney to help you through the legal process, and you can take back some control as to what your child’s future will hold. You can choose who will parent them. You will know siblings will not be separated. You can pick parents that live close to you or in another state, you can pick parents who practice a certain religion and what lifestyle they have.

Here’s how it will work.

Our adoption coordinator will help you gather as much information as you can, including the following documents:

Birth certificate

Social security card

School records

Medical records

Don’t panic if you are unsure where these are or how to get these documents. Your adoption coordinator will help locate or order what is needed.

You will have some paperwork to fill out and a questionnaire about the child or children. Be as honest and complete as you can. This will help your coordinator to find the best adoptive parent options for you to consider. You will view adoptive parents profiles, and once you choose who you would like to meet with, your adoption coordinator will set up a time to speak with, video chat, or meet them in person.

Once the adoptive parents are chosen, a transition plan will be made. A professional counselor will be involved, and the best interests of the child will be the main concern. This will be an important time to share how you are feeling with the counselors available, your adoption coordinator, and the adoptive family. At the end of the day, we know this is not easy, but if everyone works together, a new and brighter future can found for everyone involved.

How do I know my child is being placed in a safe family?

To become a Lifetime Adoptive Family, you must apply to our program and complete several requirements to qualify. Due to our screening process, we only accept about 17% of the families that apply. They then must complete a home study. In a home study, a social worker visits the family at home to interview them and any other family members who live in the house. The adoptive family must then have a financial and criminal background run along with medical checks. Families are not listed as eligible to adopt until this step is complete. You can be very sure that all Lifetime families have been checked and that we know they will have a safe and loving home for your child.

We are hoping to adopt...what do we need to get started?

Start by filling out our no-fee application by clicking here.

Send Us Your Questions

If you have questions you’d like answered right now, please call or text us at 1-800-923-6784. Otherwise, please send us your questions and a coordinator will connect with you.