Before an individual begins the adoption process or makes plans to give up a baby for adoption, it is important to develop an adoption plan. Many adoption plans are best done with the counsel and advice of a licensed adoption agency, however the first step in the adoption plan helps you choose an adoption agency. This article provides five must decisions needed to create an excellent adoption plan.
Choosing an adoption agency. A licensed agency’s goal is to put birth mothers who want to give up a baby or child with well screened and caring parents. A professional adoption agency won’t force either the birth parents or the adopting family to do anything with which they don’t feel comfortable. An excellent agency will have the ability to help both parties recognize the value of each type of adoption: open, semi-open, closed, or international. The adoption agency will have had years of experience counseling and working with both the adopting and those giving up the child in a positive, pre-adoption and post-adoption environment and will help to smooth the way for each party during this highly stressful time.
Establishing the written adoption plan. Whether you are the adopting couple or the ones giving up the child or placing the child, writing out your plan is vital. You will need to research, talk with your adoption agency advisers to fully understand the types of adoption: open, semi-open, closed, private, or international adoption. You will want to know the laws affecting the adoption process in your state and the state where the baby or child resides. You will want to understand that an open adoption allows the couple placing a child certain rights and responsibilities for both sides, but doesn’t guarantee the adopting couple will respect those open adoption agreements after the adoption is finalized in the courts.
This is where your trust and reliance on your adoption agency’s help post-adoption will be required. As you begin your plan, you will want to decide what kind of baby you are willing to adopt: a single race baby, a mixed race child, one whose mother’s been on drugs or an alcoholic, a foreign child, or a special needs child. There will be positives or negatives with each of these types of adoption. As the placing the child, you will want to decide if you are willing to place your baby in a different race home, a mixed race home, a single parent home, or some other type of family. In an open adoption, the birth parent, with the help of the agency chooses the type of family or situations under which they are willing to adopt. By being able to make a variety of choices within the adoption process, both sides are able to have a greater sense of control and comfort as they work with their adoption agency.
Positive adoption experiences are in the adoption plan details. In open adoption agreements particularly, it’s important to remember what you agreed to do and do it. In order to be sure you remember, write, write, and write everything down. Your adoption agency will help you in this agreement process.
Money. Both sets of parents need to be aware that adoption payments to the one giving up the child for adoption are set by law. It is illegal to “buy” a baby. An adoption agency will advise the couple of the charges for the home study, placement home study visits, done by a licensed social worker, lawyers, any legal expenses required by the birth parent for medical bills and/or some living expenses. The adoption agency fee should include all the pre and post counseling the adopting parent and the one giving up the child for adoption need.
Counseling, will I need it? Yes, take advantage of the counseling offered by your adoption agency. Both adopting and placing families will have feelings of stress, guilt or anger, sorrow, etc. and a good adoption counselor will help you to understand what is happening and some positive tools to help you through these difficult times. The adoption family, especially the mother, may actually have some after birth depression and it is important to get adoption agency counseling help immediately.
The adoption couple’s home will undergo numerous changes, things might seem out of control and both parents might not be able to get a good solid sleep for quite a while. All of these things, plus a new baby or child, can cause concerns. An adoption agency counselor will help you with coping ideas and helps, as well as give you ideas of what to expect and how to handle these various challenges.