Making an adoption plan for your baby is a very unselfish decision to make. Adoption is not for everyone but it might be the best one for you at this time in your life. It is a difficult decision and you owe it to yourself and your baby to educate yourself in the process. You may not know that the adoption process today is very different from adoption of the past. It is important to choose an adoption agency that you have researched and know to be reputable. This agency should offer pre and post adoption counseling as well as help you select the family you deem would be the “ideal family” for your baby. Did you know that you can interview and choose the family yourself? It gets even better, you and the birth father can have visits, pictures, and letters from the family and eventually your child! There are three types of adoption:
• In an open adoption identifying information is shared between the birth parents and the adoptive parents. The birth parent(s) select the family. Many adoptive parents share pictures, letters, and special visits with the birth parents. The decision on the contact is agreed upon by the two families prior to the actual placement.
• In a semi-open adoption the birth parents can either choose the adoptive family or have the state or adoption agency select the adoptive family. • The birth parent(s) may choose to receive pictures and letters only. There are no visits agreed upon.
• In a closed adoption the adoptive parents and the birth parents are anonymous. Even if they meet at the hospital or at placement, no identifying information is exchanged. No follow-up information is given about the child to the birth parents.
• State adoption law, birth parents, and some child adoption agencies dictate whether an adoption will be open or closed.
Once you have decided which type of adoption you want (open, semi-open or closed) here are the main ways of adopting in the United States:
• Adoption agencies may be public or private; they are regulated and licensed by the state to place children with adoptive parents.
• Public adoption agencies usually handle children who have been abandoned, orphaned, or abused, and are made wards of the state. Many times they are in foster care or group homes as they await adoption.
• Private adoption agencies are often run by charitable or social service organizations. Typically they have been sought out by birth parents seeking to place their child with a good family.
• There are also attorneys who specialize in adoption.
• VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW IS THAT ONCE YOU HAVE SIGNED THE ADOPTION CONSENTS THE ADOPTION IS PERMENANT AND THE LAW LOOKS AT THE ADOPTIVE FAMILY AS THE PARENTS.