Adoption is not an easy decision to make. But, it’s a choice that many women have made for a variety of reasons. There isn’t an instruction manual as far as adoption is concerned but here are a few do’s and don’ts of placing your child for adoption that you need to know.
- DO know that you’re not alone if you’re struggling with your decision about adoption and the future of your child. There are adoption coordinators here at Lifetime that you can ask for free advice on adoption. And, you can speak with other women that have been where you are and have made the choice of adoption for their child. Just ask your adoption coordinator for their numbers, and you can call or text with them.
- DO ask for adoptive parent profiles – every hopeful adoptive family with Lifetime have adoption profiles online and via mail. Your adoption coordinator can mail you adoption profiles that match what you’re looking for. Each adoptive parent must go through a full background check to be able to adopt a child; this means they are safe and pre-qualified to adopt. There are adoptive parents with different backgrounds, faiths, childless or with other children, and in all regions of the United States. The choices are up to you.
- DO ask for help – your adoption professional will be able to give you tips on how to tell others you’re doing adoption. This includes your baby’s father, close friends or your parents. There’s a legal process you’ll go through when making an adoption plan. There’s no charge to you for legal advice on the adoption, and the law protects you. Your adoption professional will walk you through all of this.
- DO choose your top 3 adoptive parents – most women speak with 2 or 3 potential adoptive parents before deciding on a specific family to adopt their child. When talking to them on the phone, make sure to call them when you are relaxed. Your adoption coordinator will help you make a list of questions to ask an adoptive family.
- DO ask the adoptive families personal questions – it’s OK to ask questions of the couple about their feelings on parenting, faith, education, and future siblings, along with the type of contact that you would like to have and both of you can agree upon. Asking these questions is your right, and it can make you more comfortable of your adoption decision. The adoptive parents know how it feels to be asked personal questions about adoption, since they’ve already gone through an extensive background check and home study.
- DO be open and honest with your doctor, adoption coordinator, and adoptive parents. This includes alcohol or drug use during your pregnancy, issues with your baby’s father, or that you’re questioning your decision to choose adoption. It’s best to tell them right away, instead of procrastinating.
- DON’T be shy about asking questions of the adoptive family, about things that aren’t covered in their adoption profile. You might feel more comfortable if your adoption coordinator is on the phone with you when you ask, or you can have her ask your questions. Having the answers to all of your questions will give you more peace about your decision. You aren’t required to go with the first adoptive parents you speak to.
- DON’T rush yourself to make a decision – there are no rules about when you place your child. Some women want to start their adoption plan right away in their pregnancy. Others want to wait closer to the due date, once the baby is born, or after they’ve been parenting.
- DON’T rely on family or friends to give you their opinions on adoption. It’s best to ask your adoption coordinator for advice regarding your adoption decision, since she has tons of experience in the field. Support is important and knowing how adoption works will help you have peace.
Lifetime Adoption is a nationwide leader in open adoption and we’ve been helping birth parents in their search for finding loving adoptive families for 30 years now.
If you’re considering adoption for your child, know that Lifetime isn’t here to pressure you to make a decision. The decision is yours and yours alone. If you are considering adoption for your child and you have questions, please call Lifetime Adoption: 1-800-923-6784. We’re available 24/7.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.