Birth Parents: Planning Adoption for Your Child

Should I consider adoption for my child?

An unplanned pregnancy may require you to make plans and decisions about your child’s future that may be very difficult. Social workers and other professionals are available to help you through this process. Adoption is a legal procedure, which cannot be reversed once you sign a relinquishment or consent for a specific family to adopt your child. Be certain you take adequate time to carefully consider all options before making this decision. Counseling services are available through your local State, County, or private adoption agency.

What if I decide to pursue adoption?

There are two ways to plan an adoptive placement. One is for you to work with a State, County, or private agency to place your child with one of its approved and waiting families. The other is to have the agency assist you in arranging for the baby’s placement with a family whom you know would be interested in adopting your child.

What if I decide to request placement through a State, County, or private agency?

If you decide to use the placement services of an agency, a social worker will be assigned to help you. You may choose to participate in selecting the adoptive family by reading home studies or meeting families. Also, you may allow the agency to decide who the adoptive family will be. If you require medical or financial assistance, the agency worker can assist in identifying resources, which may be of help to you. Ongoing counseling is also given in preparation for the child’s birth and what can be expected after the baby is born.

Because you must wait at least 72 hours after the baby’s birth before signing a relinquishment or consent, your social worker will discuss what temporary placement plans your prefer for your baby after he or she is born. You may decide to:

  1. Take the baby home and care for him or her yourself; or
  2. Allow the baby to remain in the hospital (if permitted by the hospital); or
  3. Permit the agency to place the baby in temporary foster care. You may ask for the child’s return to you at any time before you sign relinquishments or consents

Once you have signed the relinquishment or consent for the child’s adoption, you will receive a copy of all paperwork for your records. The social worker will then arrange for the baby to be released to the adoptive family.

What if I find a family whom I want to adopt my baby?

If you find a family whom you want to adopt your baby, you may make plans directly with that family. In that case, the family applies to have a home study completed and the agency social worker will meet with you to confirm your adoption placement plans with that specific family. Some birth parents prefer this option because all identifying information is exchanged and it is possible to make plans for some type of ongoing contact after the baby is placed (letters, pictures and/or visits). Also in these types of adoptions, the adoptive parents can sometimes assist you with payment of expenses related to the pregnancy.

If you decide on a plan for adoption with a specific family, you must wait 72 hours before signing consents and the family must have an approved home study completed by an adoption agency before the baby can be placed.