Adoption Plan (Glossary)

Adoption Plan: A formal plan (usually in writing) that is created by one or both of the biological parents of a child who will be placed for adoption. The plan can be simple, or detailed and comprehensive, and can include such things as:

1. The decision of the biological parents of the child to place the child for adoption.

2. The identity of the individuals or family that will adopt the child, or the method by which they will be selected.

3. Whether the adoption will be a closed adoption, a semi-open adoption or an open adoption.

4. Details of the planned involvement of individuals that will be involved as part of the adoption plan, such as biological parents, adoptive parents and extended family members, including how they will be involved with each other before and after the delivery.

5. Who will provide for the birthparents, what counseling services and birthing classes, and how and when they will be paid for?

6. How medical care for the birthmother and the child will be provided and paid for, both before and after the birth, and where the baby will be delivered.

7. How the living expenses of the birthmother will be paid and by whom.

8. How the birth parents and the adoptive parents will be involved with each other after the adoption, including the nature and frequency of contact, reports or photographs.

9. Which adoption attorney or adoption agency will provide assistance in obtaining the necessary adoption consents or relinquishments, and in procuring a finalization of the adoption.

Detailed Descriptions of Adoption Plan Components

An adoption plan involves couples who are not able to take care of a child or raise a baby and decide to make arrangements or an Adoption Plan to allow someone else to raise their child. In this case, the birth parents give up any legal rights to the child. In many cases there is a counselor or an adoption agency which can help to get all the information one needs to consider in making an adoption plan as well as answer any questions. Adoption is not an easy decision at all and one should be very comfortable with their adoption plan. In some instances after your baby is born, you can choose to have the baby go directly from the hospital into the home of your chosen adoptive family.

Choosing the Family

There are available options where you may feel secure in knowing that the family you choose would be a safe and loving home for your child. There are many adoption agencies and private counselors who do the job of pre-screening and background checking prospective adoptive families. They are also guided and informed on open adoption and becoming a parent. If you make an adoption plan, your counselor may also provide you with letters and pictures from families waiting to adopt and arrange for you to meet with the family you choose.

Open Adoption

open adoption refers to birth parents selecting the adoptive family and choosing to keep in touch with them and the child after placement. Every adoption plan is unique, and you and the adoptive family can work together to create a plan for staying in touch that is convenient for everyone. If you feel that an open adoption is not for you than you can opt for a Closed Adoption. (The birth parents do not know who is adopting their child and the adoptive parents are not given any information about the birth parents.) It is all for you to decide.

Adoptions without Agencies

Not all adoptions are handled by adoption agencies. These are called independent adoptions and are handled by lawyers. The adoptive parents usually hire the lawyer and the birth parents may also have one. Depending on the arrangements and the negotiations the adoptive parents may pay the birth mother's hospital and medical bills until the baby is born. In some instances the adoptive parents also pay for her (birth mother's) living expenses during the pregnancy. When the baby is born, the adoptive parents take the baby home. Once the adoption is legally approved, it is permanent.

When You Have Decided to Place Your Child

Planning adoption is a predicament for a birth parent at any given situation of their life. It is one of the most difficult and crucial decisions you'll ever make. But once you have found this option right as a possible solution for an unplanned pregnancy, you will still be facing many emotional set backs and obstacles on the way. There are a number of milestones that a birth parent must cross to follow through with an adoption plan. Making a decision through your counselor or your adoption agency as to whether you want a closed or an open adoption is only the beginning of the Adoption voyage.

The first step begins with the birth mother contacting the birth father. It would be great if he wanted to be a part of the adoption process but many chose to decline from the whole process. In any case you should try to obtain his address and contact details for any future correspondence and gather crucial information regarding his family medical history. Always remember that correct medical information is a very important element of the adoption procedure as well as for the baby's future. His parental rights should also be terminated appropriately.

Financial support is another important thing for both the birth mother and her baby. You should locate appropriate social services through your state or province that may be available for your everyday needs. Help can also be obtained from an adoption agency or some other related organizations. Regular prenatal care is a must for both you and your baby's health.

You should try to do the best for you upcoming child's health and his/her good placement and bright future. You may have to seek necessary treatment to address any drug, alcohol, or smoking issues. By doing this and ensuring a healthy pregnancy, you are increasing your options in the search for prospective parents for your baby as very few prospective parents are ready to adopt a child with medical complications.

Then there is the search stage for an agency or attorney. You can start seeking help with the adoption process through any pregnancy center, an adoption agency, an attorney or any other organization. One should always keep in mind not to get disheartened if options do not work out within the first few adoption agencies visited. There are numerous agencies and you can be sure that one is tailor-made for your specific requirements. In many instances the adoption agencies work with attorneys to assist them during the adoption process and in some cases the same attorney provides legal council to both the birth parents and the adoptive parents. In any case, if you are not comfortable with sharing the same attorney try to seek out a personal attorney which you can afford.

You should also have a possible picture of the prospective adoptive parents. Your chosen adoption agency should have an idea of what you are looking for in a family your child will be raised in. Preferences in regards to the best interests of your child, religion of the adoptive family, family with or without siblings, and others should be given great thought. You should at least have all these options in your mind before you browse through the prospective parent profiles. Also prepare a set of questions you may want to ask them.

There should also be an agreement on paper on the level of contact you may wish to have with your child after placement with the adoptive family. In this regard you should work out an agreement in the best interest of both you and your child. You'll need to have open discussions with the adoptive family about different situations so that a consensus can be reached and agreed upon by both families.

Things to Remember While Planning Adoption

Before leaping into any adoption plan you must make up your mind to be actively involved in the search and selection for the ideal family for your child.

Your child will be raised in that family and everything about his making will depend on his upbringing. You must find a family that should be in the best interest of your child, and know that family well. Therefore, one should look through many adoptive families before selecting one. Looking and browsing across potential parent profiles is strongly recommended.

The advantages of involvement with an adoption agency then come into play. Agencies which are big in size will have more families and options and much greater credibility on their records which may be helpful.

Never hesitate to ask the adoption agency or attorney to provide you with more extensive parent profiles or additional ones if you are not satisfied with their database of potential adoptive parents. This is a very personal and crucial decision, none the less if you have friends or family members whose opinion you value do not hesitate to consult with them.

At any point in time, if you are not satisfied with the services of your agency or you become uncomfortable with that agency for any reason, find another agency. There should never be any reason that would prohibit you from moving to another agency.

Always remember not to work with two agencies simultaneously unless each of them is aware of the desired services to cater to you. You should also communicate openly to the agency about what you need from time to time. Today adoption agencies are increasingly open in their adoption practices. Those agencies that are not changing are closing down.