“I’m a sophomore in college and just got a positive pregnancy test. I’m seriously freaking out because having a baby wasn’t part of my plan! I’m thinking about adoption because I don’t believe in abortion. How do I put my baby up for adoption?”
If you’re pregnant and considering adoption, feeling overwhelmed by all the information is normal. You may feel you don’t fully understand the adoption process. Remember, you’re not alone. There are many young women who’ve been in this situation.
Lifetime Adoption is here to provide you with information about the adoption process. We can help you make the best decision for you and your unborn child. Our experienced professionals will walk you through each step of the adoption journey.
The phrase “put up your baby for adoption” isn’t used much today. Instead, most birth mothers explain adoption as “placing their child” in adoption. After all, adoption isn’t “giving up” on anything; it’s about making the thoughtful decision to place your child with loving and ready adoptive parents. You can watch this short video about the adoption process, then keep scrolling to learn more about your choices!
“How Do I Put My Baby up for Adoption?” – Steps to the Adoption Process
- See a Doctor
If you think you’re pregnant, it’s important to see your doctor right away. They will be able to confirm your pregnancy with a medical-grade test. Choose an obstetrician/ gynecologist (OB/GYN) because they have experience dealing with pregnancies. They can confirm you’re pregnant, give you recommendations for a healthy pregnancy, and do tests to make sure there aren’t any problems.
Prenatal care is important for both you and your baby. During pregnancy, your body will go through changes. Taking good care of yourself helps you feel better and helps the baby stay healthy. Your OB/GYN will give you specific instructions on self-care.
Remember, being pregnant isn’t an illness. You’ll be able to stay active, and unless there are problems, you’ll be able to do many of the same things you always do. If you need help to find an OB/GYN or can’t afford prenatal visits, please call or text Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6764. We can help you locate a doctor, as well as find out if you’ll be able to get assistance with your pregnancy-related medical expenses.
- Learn About Adoption
If you’re wondering, “How do I put my baby up for adoption?”, it’s important to learn everything you can about it. Understanding the process of how adoption works will help you with the various decisions you’ll need to make during the process.
- Choose an Adoption Agency
Choosing a reliable adoption agency is important in getting all of the services you’ll need. Lifetime is a state-regulated, insured and licensed agency. Our experienced professionals have helped many women walk through the adoption process. The adoption agency you choose should provide:
- 24/7 availability
- Emotional support and counseling
- Caring, expert adoption assistant with personalized attention and support
- Screened and qualified adoptive families ready to adopt
- Resources to help learn about adoption rights of birth fathers
- The option to exchange letters, photos, and more with the adoptive family
- Medical aid
- Legal assistance
- Public aid, including housing referrals
- Transportation assistance
Lifetime offers these services and more for prospective birth mothers!
- Complete Forms
After you find the adoption agency you want to work with, they will assign you to an Adoption Coordinator who will be there alongside you through the entire adoption process.
She will help you fill out adoption forms and the other required paperwork. For example, you’ll need to submit your medical history for your baby’s future health records. Your Adoption Coordinator can also help you make phone calls to get the information you need.
- Choose Adoptive Parents
Your Adoption Coordinator can assist you in finding the right adoptive parents for your baby. You can browse adoptive family profiles right now on our website or search for adoptive parents using a variety of criteria. You might wish to place your baby with a couple on the West Coast, for example, or maybe an adoptive couple who don’t yet have any kids is what you’re seeking.
Each adoptive family’s profile includes information about them, such as their jobs, values, and hobbies. You’ll also see pictures of them and their family and a video of the couple sharing more about themselves.
There are so many waiting families who are eager to adopt your child. Don’t worry. You’ll find just the right family for your baby.
- Meet the Adoptive Family
Once you select an adoptive family, your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will arrange for you to have a phone conference with them. It’s common to feel a little nervous about talking with and meeting potential adoptive parents for the first time.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable or anxious about this phone call, please speak up to your coordinator. She can join in on the call and help you out so it doesn’t feel awkward. Having her there can help break the ice.
When you meet with them, it’s your chance to ask lots of questions. No question is off-limits. How long this takes depends upon you and your comfort level. If you’re wondering what to ask the adoptive couple, check out this list of possible questions to ask adoptive parents.
- Decide on Future Contact
Open adoption allows the birth mother and adoptive family to decide together how they will stay in contact. These decisions get worked out as you build your adoption plan. Typically, adoptive families and birth parents stay in contact through:
- In-person visits
- Phone calls
- Zoom calls or Skype
- Create Your Adoption Hospital Plan
The next step is to create your hospital plan so that the adoptive family, the hospital staff, and Lifetime know exactly how you want your hospital stay to go. Having your plan in place before you go into labor allows everyone (especially you!) to concentrate on the birth of your baby.
Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will guide you along as you create your adoption hospital plan. To get started, you might consider these questions:
- Do you want the adoptive family to be at the hospital when the baby is born?
- Do you want them in the delivery room with you? Do you want them in the waiting room?
- Would you like to hold your baby? Would you like to feed your baby?
- Do you want the adoptive family to take part in the birth process, and if so, how?
- Would you like to leave the hospital before your baby leaves with the adoptive family?
- Receive Post-adoption Support
The post-adoption experience is different for every woman. Lifetime will guide you through every phase of the adoption, including post-placement. Your Adoption Coordinator remains available for support after you place your baby with the adoptive family.
While it’ll take a few weeks to recover physically from giving birth, the emotional recovery can be a whole other story. Many birth mothers find that the first few weeks are very difficult, and need post-adoption support. Emotions are raw, and the feelings of grief are intense.
Through Lifetime, you can receive access to different support systems, including one that is made up of birth mothers with first-hand experience.
The phrase “put up your baby for adoption” isn’t used much today. Adoption isn’t “giving up” on anything; it’s making the thoughtful decision to place your child with loving, ready adoptive parents.
Lifetime has experienced adoption professionals to provide you with information, videos, and websites to help you understand your choices with modern adoption. Today, most adoptions are open adoptions, which allows the birth parents to stay in contact with their child and the adoptive family. In an open adoption, you choose the adoptive family and how you want to keep in contact with them and with your child. For example, birth mothers often choose to stay in touch through phone calls, emails, texts, and even in-person visits.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on June 6, 2017, and has since been updated.
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.