Placing a Baby for Adoption
1. Who will adopt my baby?
There are many married and single people who are ready and willing to adopt a baby in the US. Parents featured on Parent Profiles have been screened through a process called a home study. These hopeful adoptive parents have chosen to adopt for many different reasons. You can see pictures of each family and read about their feelings and experience with adoption at Parent Profiles.
2. What will the adoption process look like?
The adoption process will look different depending on your state’s laws, your adoption agency, how far along you are in your pregnancy (if you are pregnant), and your future plans for contact with your child. Generally speaking, you will work directly with an adoption caseworker to complete adoption paperwork, choose a family from Parent Profiles to adopt your baby, access any resources you may need throughout your pregnancy and after placement, and (after the birth of the child) sign relinquishment paperwork. Later on, the adoptive parents go before a judge to finalize the adoption in court. (You do not need to attend the court hearing).
3. Where will the adoption take place?
Depending on your adoption and birth plan, the answer may vary. If you plan to deliver the baby at the hospital, you may choose to invite the adoptive parents to come spend the day at the hospital before placing the baby with them there. If you prefer to spend some time with your baby before placing him or her, you may choose to place the baby with the adoptive parents at the adoption agency or the home of the adoptive family. During the placement, your caseworker will be there to help you through the paperwork. This is a personal and emotional process, so communicate your needs with your case worker, the hospital staff (or birth team), the adoptive parents, and those surrounding you during this time.
4. How do I tell my family I’m choosing adoption?
Adoption is a personal and private choice. Your reasons for choosing adoption and how you go about the process are yours alone. Your family may be a great source of emotional support throughout the adoption process and post-placement. When you decide the time is right to share your plans with them, communicate your needs, priorities, and intentions in making an adoption plan.
5. When will I see my baby again?
Contact after placement is one of the topics you will discuss with the potential adoptive parents of your baby. If you choose an open adoption, you may decide to have a planned yearly visit with your child and adoptive family. These visits may be more or less frequent depending on your and your child’s needs.
Adopting a Baby
Can you adopt a baby from the hospital?
Many expectant parents will choose to place their baby with the adoptive family at the hospital. While the adoptive parents will work closely with their adoption agency to prepare for placement and complete all necessary paperwork beforehand—the physical placement may take place at the hospital. After the birth, the adoptive parents will then go to have the adoption finalized by a judge.
When will the adoption be finalized?
Adoption laws and practices can vary from state to state. Typically, the paperwork to relinquish and terminate parental rights is signed at the hospital shortly after the birth of the baby. Later on, the adoption will need to be finalized by a judge at the courthouse.
How do I find a baby to adopt?
Hopeful adoptive parents have different options when it comes to adoption. In domestic infant adoption, hopeful adoptive parents can work with an adoption agency or Adoption.com to create a Parent Profile. From there, expectant parents who are considering adoption can learn more about you. If there is a match, a meeting may be organized by the adoption agency. Adoption through foster care is different in that parental rights must be terminated by a judge before a child is considered eligible for adoption. There is no telling if and when this will take place from one case to the next. An international adoption is also an option for hopeful adoptive parents who are looking to adopt overseas. Depending on the country and laws, this process will also look different from one place to another.
Who is placing babies for adoption?
You may think that most babies being adopted are from unplanned teenage pregnancies. In actuality, there are many 20- and 30-somethings placing babies for adoption as well. Whether they are prioritizing other goals and plans or already raising a family that cannot support another child in the home, these cases do exist and are actually becoming more common.
Why do I need a home study?
The home study process is intended to screen hopeful adoptive parents in taking every precaution to ensure their home and family create a safe and nurturing environment for a child to be raised in. The safety of the child is the number one priority in completing a home study.
Adopted as A Baby
How do I find my birth parents?
Adoption.com’s Reunion Registration is a great place to start. Submit your information and search for a match. You may also choose to hire a private investigator or legal intermediary to facilitate the process.
What do I say when people ask who my “real parents’ are?
Positive adoption language matters. If you feel comfortable, use this opportunity to educate others about the difference between an adoptive parent and a birth parent.
How do I celebrate my culture?
Some adoptees feel they can connect with their heritage by celebrating the culture of their biological family. Whether you were adopted domestically or internationally, you can find ways to recognize your culture through holidays, food, sports, music, movies, and books.
How do I tell other people I was adopted?
Your adoption story is personal. You may or may not choose to share the details with others. If you do choose to share your story with others, you can start by asking the person inquiring about their familiarity with the adoption process, adoption language, and adoption culture. Once you understand their experience, you’ll be able to determine how and what to share from your own story.
Why was I adopted?
This is a question that every adoptee will have at some point in their life. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer—not one you can find here anyway. There are countless reasons why different birth parents chose adoption for their children. If or when you’re able to have a conversation with your birth parent about those reasons, you can find support and belonging in a community of adoptees who may not know all the answers to all the questions, but they can relate in trying to find peace in the unknown.