We are often asked, “How can I give my baby up for adoption? What is the process?” Pregnancy can be an extremely stressful time, especially if you aren’t sure what the right path is for you or how the process works in general in the United States. Friends in Adoption(FIA) wants you to know that you are not “giving up” your baby for adoption. You are placing your baby with an adoptive family who will give them love and compassion.
Read through to see Friends in Adoption’s United States’ adoption process, and steps we recommend for pregnant individuals wondering how to “give” their baby up for adoption.
Step #1: Choosing Adoption in the US: Before or After Birth
The first step towards placing your child up for adoption in the United States is choosing adoption as the right path for you and your child. Adoption is a very difficult decision to make, and you are incredibly strong to make this choice. If you choose adoption, you can provide the baby with a loving family who are looking to become parents. By working with Friends in Adoption, you also continue to communicate with the baby and their adoptive family. We champion open adoption, where you are able to communicate with the adoptive family and engage with them. You can have the baby in your life, while still giving them a loving home.
You may be wondering if you can give your baby up for adoption after birth or if you need to make the decision beforehand. The answer is- yes. In the United States, you can make an adoption plan for your child before they are born, at the hospital immediately after birth, or after the birth. Whenever you determine adoption is the option for you, we are here to meet your needs as much as possible.
Step #2: US Adoption Agencies to Place Baby: Contact Friends in Adoption
After you’ve decided to place your child for adoption, you need to contact a United States/domestic-based adoption agency or adoption team. Friends in Adoption is available 24/7 for pregnant women and individuals considering adoption, by phone, text, or email. Contact us and let us know that you are a pregnant individual looking to place your baby for adoption, either before or after the birth. Our adoption team is dedicated to supporting you each step of the adoption process. We are a 100% judgement free environment, here to help you through the difficult decision you are making, no matter what you decide.
Your Friends in Adoption team (case managers, counselors, adoption specialists, social workers, and adoption attorneys) will ask a few questions. It is vital that you are honest and open with your team. This allows us to help with any legal hurdles in the adoption process, like if the father doesn’t want to pursue adoption, you’re experiencing a difficult pregnancy, or you are uncertain of the father’s identity. Remember- we are 100% judgement free, and here for you at all times.
Step #3: Create Adoption Plan
Adoption plans are key to a smooth and safe U.S. adoption process where your wishes are openly stated. With an adoption plan, we will address your concerns, adoption needs, traits of adoptive families you like, and more.
You are in charge of your adoption plan. Each step of the way, your adoption team will be here to craft your plan with you. You can create your adoption plan at any point in the pregnancy or even after the baby is born, but there are benefits to creating it as early as possible. This plan will involve information like:
- Health and family backgrounds, situation of the pregnancy information
- Do you want to choose the adoptive family, or would you prefer the adoption agency choose?
- Traits or information you would like from the adoptive family
- Contact/communication levels you are comfortable with
- Location of adoptive family
- Hospital stay information
Your United States adoption team will help you do this every step of the way. Your adoption plan should outline your goals, comfort levels, and needs.
Step #4: Choose U.S. Based/Domestic Adoptive Family
There are several ways you can approach this step in the adoption process, depending on what makes you comfortable. You can browse the adoptive family profiles at Friends in Adoption, looking for families that stand out to you and have traits that you want. All our families have been home study approved and screened, and are located throughout the United States. Your adoption team can discuss traits you are looking for, and present a few options they think have the qualities you want in an adoptive family for your child. Before looking at any potential adoptive families, consider the following:
- What is important to you, regarding culture and religion?
- What family structure/dynamics are you comfortable with? What do you picture for the home your child grows up in?
- Where will the family ideally be located- in the same state? The same region? In a city, the suburbs, or the countryside?
- Are there any lifestyle traits you want your child to experience? Traveling, growing up in a musical home, being active, playing sports?
By considering these traits, you can narrow down your search and find families you really identify with. The adoptive family profiles will offer insight into the families, offering their names, location, hobbies, and more. If you are stuck between a few families, your case manager can put you in contact with each family to help you decide which one is a good fit.
Step #5: Contact Adoptive Family
This is one of the most important steps. Take your time here. Your adoption case manager will help ensure that you don’t feel pressured into choosing one family over another. Many of our birth parents wonder how they will know they are choosing the right adoptive family. Take the word of one of our birth mothers, Allison. When you meet them, you’ll know.
Once you select the adoptive family, you may choose to contact them by phone, text, or email. You may even want to meet with them to go over the adoption plan. Either way, the adoptive family will receive your adoption plan. This helps them know the plan for the hospital stay and your preferences for communication.
Step #6: Hospital Stay & Legal Aspects
If you have not already given birth, the next step is creating a hospital plan. This will be a component of your adoption plan, but focuses more on the technical aspects of being in the hospital in the United States. Your Friends in Adoption team will help you choose an adoption friendly hospital, to make the process easier on a stressful day. You also will address topics like how much time you want to spend with the baby, who will be in the room when you give birth, who will be first to hold the baby, who names the child, and if you’ll leave the hospital with the adoptive family.
After giving birth, there are a number of legal aspects to cover in the United States. Our adoption attorney and social workers will assist with all of this, to ensure you understand the legal documents. It takes on average 48-72 hours to complete and process adoption paperwork. The paperwork varies by state, but typically includes:
- Social and medical history forms (helps the adoptive family later in the baby’s life)
- Consent to adoption forms
- Birth certificate
- Giving up parental rights
Step #7: Post-Placement Services/Assistance
You need to take the time and space to heal, both physically and emotionally. Physically, it takes 6-12 weeks to recover from giving birth. Please remember, grieving is a complete natural reaction to placing your baby for adoption. Take this time to process how you are feeling and heal. Friends in Adoption is here to help, offering counseling and support services whenever you need them- even years after the birth.
Considering Adoption? We Are Here To Help.
The process of “giving” a baby up for adoption is difficult and can be confusing without the support of an ethical adoption agency. Friends in Adoption is proud to be a 100% judgement free, supportive environment for birth parents. We will guide you through each step of the process, up to counseling services and aiding in the communication between you and the adoptive family.
Are you a pregnant individual in the United States considering adoption and wondering how you can “give up” your baby for adoption? Call, email, or text Friends in Adoption today to get answers to any and all of your questions.