When considering adoption for your baby, it is important for you to speak to someone who can explain the various options to you. You want this to be an objective person who will not pressure you into making any decision. This is your choice and you need the time and information to make an informed decision.
You can talk to a counselor at Planned Parenthood, Safe Haven or a local community center. You should be discussing your options, including helping you talk to the baby’s father and your family to see if they want to help you parent or if they will support your adoption plan. You should also be talking through how you will feel during the pregnancy once you make an adoption plan, and after you place your child with another family, as well as if you would like to continue contact over the years to know how your child is doing.
Safe Haven is a national program that provides you with counseling or allows you to place a newborn in good physical health with a “safe haven” professional at a “Safe Haven” location at a fire house, police station or local hospital. You do not have to give your name or sign any papers. The child will be placed into local foster care. Each state has varying regulations, but if you do not come back within a specified period of time, the baby is freed for adoption and placed into an adoptive home by the local foster care agency.
You can go to an adoption agency for counseling and services as well. It is important for you to receive objective counseling without any pressure to make an adoption plan. Initial meetings should include information on how the process works through the agency, who will you work with throughout the adoption process, what services the agency provides directly or through referral, timelines, and availability of medical care or financial assistance.
You can reach out to an adoption attorney near where you live or one throughout the U.S. Initial meetings should include information on the adoption process, your rights, and who you will work with throughout the adoption process. Depending on your state regulations, an attorney may be able to help you find an adoptive family, or they may provide you with resources, such as Internet sites to review and select adoptive family profiles. It is important to work with an attorney who is knowledgeable in adoption.
You can talk to your local foster care agency to help you make an adoption plan. There should be a series of meetings where they explain the adoption process, provide counseling in making the decision and offer you several foster care options. In traditional foster care you will relinquish your parental rights to the foster care agency and they will find a home for your baby. Temporary foster care provides time for you to continue exploring your options and adoption choice. Your child will be placed into a foster care home and you will be able to visit with your baby. You will continue to work with a social worker and plan to get needed services so your can parent or move toward an adoption placement. Kinship care allows for one of your family members to care for the baby. They may be eligible to receive a monthly stipend to help care for the baby.
It is important for you to take the time you need to make an informed decision. While you can make an adoption plan during your pregnancy or after the baby’s birth, the sooner you do so, the more time you have to learn about the process and to make important decisions about selecting a family and/or maintaining contact after your baby is living in the adoptive home.