How Does Adoption Work?
1. How does adoption work? Learn About Your Choices
When asking “how does adoption work? it’s important to know that open adoption is the most common type of adoption today. With open adoption, you pick the adoptive parents, unlike foster care where the choice of where your child goes is taken away from you. With a modern adoption, your child will know you did not “give them up”, you gave them the gift of a loving, safe home with a family you picked out. If you want an African American or bi-racial couple for your child, then you can make that one of your choices. Some other choices are:
- What kind of contact you want after the adoption?
- Do you want to see or hold your baby after birth?
- What expenses do you need help with?
- Who all is involved in your adoption plan?
Don’t worry – you don’t have to have all the answers now. You probably do have a lot of questions though, and many can be answered through our free adoption book. Your adoption coordinator will walk you through all of this and is happy to answer all your questions.
2. Provide Information
Next, your adoption coordinator will start by gathering some information about and your baby. The more you share, the better. This will help your coordinator help you find just the right African American or bi-racial family for your baby.
You can fill out a lot of the information online. If you prefer, we can send you the forms to fill out. If you’d like to get started with the adoption process right now, click the button below. If possible, send us a photo of yourself, the birth father, or any children if available.
3. Check out African American and bi-racial parents hoping to adopt
There are some amazing African American and bi-racial families hoping to adopt. They have all completed home studies that include background and financial checks and visits from a social worker to make sure they are going to provide a loving, stable home for a child.
This is where you can daydream about what type of life you would like your baby to have. Do you see her growing up in a city or in the country? Can you imagine him traveling a lot or having a large family? Maybe you see your child in a family of a certain religion or faith.
Now, start looking through our hopeful families. Read about their life, their hopes, and dreams. Pick a few families, and your adoption coordinator will provide you with more information. She will also help you connect with them in a way that is most comfortable for you. You can talk, text, or meet in person. You are in the driver’s seat. You get to choose the adoptive parents and move forward in a way that works for you.
4. You are “matched” with a family. What now?
Once you and a family decide you are a good match for each other, your adoption coordinator will help you move on to the adoption plan details with that family.
Here are some things your adoption coordinator will help you with:
- The plan for your hospital stay. Who will you want in the room with you at the birth? Will you want to feed your baby? Your coordinator will have a list of questions like this so that your time in the hospital goes just the way you want.
- Collecting your health history. This will help the baby’s pediatrician and adoptive parents be able to give your baby the best care.
- Pregnancy can come with some unexpected expenses. You may find you need some help with maternity clothes, transportation, food, rent, or medical fees.
- Going through adoption is an emotional time, and it may help to talk to a licensed counselor or a peer counselor who has been in your shoes.
- Your adoption coordinator will also help create your Post Adoption Contact Agreement. This will make sure that you and the adoptive parents agree on what contact there will be after the adoption. Will you receive updates through social media, or photos and letters, or maybe even occasional visits?
- Planning for what happens after the adoption is final. Your coordinator can help you set goals and help you figure out how to reach those goals. She can help with everything, from referrals to scholarship programs for birth mothers and birth fathers.
5. Giving Birth and the Adoption Paper Signing
When your due date is getting close, the adoptive parents will travel to where you are if they live in another area. If you choose, you can spend time with them and get to know them. If you would like them to be at the hospital for delivery, they will be.
Once you go into labor and are heading to the hospital, you will call your adoption coordinator, and she will put your hospital plan into action. If you change your mind about any of your choices, just let your coordinator know. She will be available for you to call or text her anytime.
Generally, within a day or two you will meet with your attorney who will help with the signing of the papers. This process may vary slightly from state to state, but your attorney will walk you through it all. He will make sure you understand the process and that you know your rights. Once he is confident you are sure about your decision, he will complete the paperwork.
Most of the time, the family will leave the hospital with the baby but will need to stay in town until the paperwork is complete. You and the family can decide if you would like to use this time to spend some time with them and the baby.
6. After the Adoption is Final
By now, you’re probably getting more comfortable with how the adoption process works. And as with every other step in this process, what happens after the adoption is up to you as well. We have birth mothers who take advantage of scholarships and counseling to help them start a new chapter in their lives. We have birth mothers who become peer counselors to help other birth mothers through the adoption journey.
Know that even though the adoption is final, you are not alone. Some birth mothers feel they need a little time before they are ready to start getting updates and communicating with the adoptive parents, and some want to start creating that relationship right away.
The important thing is to do what is right for you and let us know if there is anything we can do to help you on your journey. We hope we’ve answered your question about “how does adoption work?” But if you still have questions, we’re available by phone or text 24 hours.
Services We Provide to Pregnant Women
- 24 hour birth mother hot line to answer any questions you may have: Call or text us anytime, even right now! 1-800-923-6784
- Quality counseling, goal setting and confidential help with decision-making.
- Compassionate, personalized attention and support, regardless of your decision to adopt or parent.
- A nationwide selection of screened and qualified Adoptive Families who are interested in adopting an infant or older child.
- Adoptive Families of all religions, race and ages.
- The opportunity to choose your baby’s adoptive parents.
- The option to exchange on-going letters, photos, and to meet the adoptive family.
- Medical, legal, public aid and housing referrals.
- Assistance in avoiding having your children removed from your home by Child Protective Services.
- Transportation to your doctor’s office, by bus voucher or by an individual we call a “Birth Mother Angel”.