Every prospective birth mother has her own ideal adoption scenario, whether it is a closed adoption process where she has little involvement in choosing the family, or an open adoption process where she is fully involved in finding the perfect family to adopt her baby.
This roadmap that a birth mother follows to reach her adoption goals is known as her “adoption plan.”
The following steps will help you develop your adoption plan that will lead you to the perfect family to adopt your child:
1. Think About Your Adoption Plan and Ideal Family
If you have decided that adoption is truly best for your situation, your first step should be to imagine what type of situation would make both you and your child happy.
In your ideal adoption situation, do you see:
- you having contact with the adoptive family before the birth of your child?
- you having contact with the adoptive family after the birth of your child?
- you having contact with your child?
- the adoptive family living close or far away from you?
- your child living in the city, suburbs or country?
- your child growing up with older siblings or as an only child?
- your child in a religious or non-religious family?
Whatever you envision, understand that this dream can become a reality by following your adoption plan and finding the right adoptive family for your baby.
2. Decide If You Will Work with an Adoption Agency
Your next step is to decide whether you will work with an adoption agency to help you find adoptive parents and carry out the rest of your adoption plan.
By working with an adoption agency, you will likely be assigned your own adoption social worker who will get to know you and help you develop your adoption plan. Based on your information, she or he will then help you find the best family (who has been thoroughly screened by the adoption agency) that matches your goals and wishes. They will then facilitate any contact between you and the adoptive parents and will take care of the rest of the steps of the adoption process.
If you choose not to work with an adoption agency, the burden of finding an adoptive family falls directly into your lap. You may already know someone, perhaps a family member, a friend, a family friend, a co-worker, or someone else in your community, who is looking to adopt a child. However, if you don’t, you may begin your search by networking with friends, family members and throughout your community with people you trust. If that isn’t fruitful, you may begin searching online for personal blogs, social media posts and Craigslist ads for people seeking an adoption opportunity with a woman like you. Keep in mind, if you find an adoptive family on an adoption agency’s website, you would then likely have to work with that adoption agency to work with that family.
Besides the many services adoption agencies offer to help complete your adoption plan, one of their greatest advantages is helping women like you find their ideal adoptive family.
3. Begin the Search
If you do choose to work with an adoption agency, your adoption social worker will likely provide you with profiles of the adoptive families who match your adoption plan.
These adoptive family profiles contain information and pictures about adoptive families, giving you a better idea of what life might be like growing up in their home. Furthermore, some families have adoptive family video profiles, which are videos of the adoptive family explaining more about their family and why they are excited to adopt a baby.
By working with an adoption agency, your adoption social worker will be there with you during each step of the matching process until you find the best family for your situation.
4. Get to Know the Adoptive Family
Most women in your position only feel completely confident in the family they chose by interacting with them either over the phone or in person.
At your request, your adoption social worker will schedule a phone call or a meeting with the family, and may mediate the conversation if needed.
This is your opportunity to ask any questions that are important to you and were unaddressed in their profiles. Perhaps you can ask them more about their extended families, their careers, their parenting styles or even their future goals.
This stage of engaging with the family is often when a birth mother knows for sure the family she chose is either right or wrong for her baby. Remember, at this point you haven’t legally committed to anything, so you are still able to find another adoptive family if you feel this one is not the best match.
Our advice during this process: Be patient and don’t settle for any adoptive family. If you plan to work with an adoption agency, research multiple agencies and browse their adoptive families before making a final decision.
This is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, so take your time and make sure you find your perfect adoptive family for your baby.