If you’re a pregnant woman who’s feeling scared and overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Every day, hundreds of women in your position seek out answers to the many questions they have about adoption. From understanding the process to finding resources, there are so many unknowns that can seem scary or overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be. Our blog post today seeks to provide assistance by providing real answers to common adoption questions and sharing helpful guidance for those considering adoption as an option. We hope that hearing straight-forward wisdom from experienced professionals will help alleviate some of your worries so that you can make confident decisions throughout this journey.
What happens if I feel a connection with a family after looking at their profile?
Even if you are strongly pulled towards one family, it is always a good idea to have a backup. Once you have decided, the first step is to let the agency know. After that, you have 3 options depending on how involved you’d like to be with the adoptive family.
Option 1: The agency will set up a meeting between the birth parents and the potential adoptive family they have chosen, in a place that is convenient for the birth parents. If the birth family is not comfortable with that quite yet, the initial meeting can be with just the social worker. They are always welcome to bring their support system with them (whether that be a boyfriend, family member or friend.) In the meeting, we will talk about the family you have chosen and why they want to adopt. The focus will be on what is important to the biological family and what kind of relationship would they like to have with the adoptive family.
If a young woman is pregnant, the majority of adoptive parents would love to be involved and be a support for her, both during pregnancy and during/after delivery. However, the nature of the relationship is completely up to her and what she feels is best. If she chooses to, she can get together with the adoptive family to spend time together and they can even join her at her doctor’s appointments. This is an important time to get to know each other and learn what is important to the biological family. The adoptive family can share a bit about their own lives and how they see themselves bringing up the child. They should also discuss if there is anything the biological family feels is important to be incorporated into the child’s upbringing.
Option 2: Some birth mothers prefer less contact and a less intimate relationship with the adoptive parents. This is absolutely okay! With this option there would be less meetings, and all communication would be done with the help of the social worker.
Option 3: Some biological families feel that it would be best for them to have a completely confidential adoption plan and not get to know the adoptive parents personally. They would communicate solely with the agency and give birth (if pregnant) without the adoptive parents present.
I am pregnant; what happens before I deliver?
Usually 6 weeks prior to delivery, we put together a birth plan with you and send it to the hospital of your choosing, regarding your wishes during/after delivery. This would include things such as: would you like to hold or feed the baby after delivery, would you like time alone with the baby, do you want the adoptive parents in the room with you? Everything is your choice and we will support you 100%. We will give a copy to you, your social worker, and the hospital. This is so you can feel safe knowing everybody knows exactly what your wishes are, and so you don’t have to repeat your story again and again.
What happens if my child has already been born?
There are again a few options depending on how much contact you would like to have with the adoptive family, and how quickly the placement needs to take place. The level of involvement is completely up to you, and no choice is wrong or right. Every woman’s choice and presence will be respected. If the child will be born at the hospital, usually relinquishment paperwork takes place 24 hrs after natural delivery, or 48 hrs after a c-section. Some hospitals may have slightly different rules.
Each woman also has the right to receive counseling prior to making this decision. After the paperwork is signed, the adoptive family will proceed to care for the child. If a placement needs to take place right away, it is not an issue and there are a number of families ready to step in. If the child is 3 or older or they are a sibling group, it is important that the agency helps the biological family identify an adoptive family who will be the best fit for the child (if they want to be involved in that decision.)
What happens after the adoption is finalized?
This depends on the type of adoption plan that was chosen. In the case of an open adoption, they would now begin following the plan regarding planned updates/communication and visits.
What support will the biological family receive?
We don’t see adoption as a process which ends at the time the child is placed. Both families will always be connected regardless of the type of adoption chosen, because both of them love the child and want the best for him or her. This agency is committed to supporting the biological family whenever possible, and will assist them in accessing community resources. This means we can help them with things such as applying for government/financial assistance, or help with needs such as where to get food or clothing. They will also benefit from having a connection with an agency who is always happy to talk, listen, and be a support regarding resources.
Indiana law also allows financial support up to $4,000, lasting up to 6 weeks after delivery. That could go towards rent, clothing, food, or any other immediate needs of the birth mother. We are always more than happy to stay in touch with the biological family, if that is their wish. We will also be available to assist with communication between the two families, and this support does not end after adoption. We offer full confidentiality, respect, and careful consideration. We offer understanding and patience regarding each unique situation; being kind is what we do.
Putting the needs of the child first and making sure the child is in a good, stable environment is our mission. We are fully committed to you and are so honored if you choose to trust us with something so huge.
This is a brief description. If you want to follow stories of women we’ve helped – because there are so many – please do. Every time we have a new and unique situation, another unique situation comes up. If these stories are interesting to you, please visit our website or follow us on social media. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have and bring up other topics upon peoples’ requests.
What if DCS is already involved?
Many families don’t know that they have a choice even if they have already been contacted by DCS. If you feel DCS might remove your child and you feel an adoption plan is right for you, do not wait. Contact us right away because even a small period of time, such as a week, could prevent you from making choices which you feel are right for you. If you just delivered a baby or are parenting a young child and you are contacted by DCS, all you need to do is ask for their business card.
If you feel an adoption plan is right for you, let the DCS worker know you want an adoption plan for your child and are contacting an agency. You can then give us the name of the DCS worker, and we will work with them to place your child in a safe family of your choosing. You will get to make decisions regarding which family and the type of adoption you hope for. Once you have chosen a family, DCS will examine their home and confirm that they would be a good, safe family for your child.
If your baby is 6 weeks or less, you can also receive up to $4,000 to help with your basic needs. This is not payment for a child; it is the amount of support that Indiana law allows for a mother who just had a baby, up to 6 weeks after delivery. Please also know that our services are completely free to you. Again, this is only if DCS has not yet removed the child from your home, as once it has been removed you are no longer able to make those decisions.