Even if you are pregnant and in jail, you still have the right to choose adoption for your baby. You can choose an open adoption, which allows you to pick adoptive parents who can provide a loving and stable home for your child.
By choosing to place your baby with a family through open adoption, you can stay in your child’s life. All of Lifetime’s adoptive families are open to the birth mother staying connected to their child as they grow up.
You Have a Say in Your Child’s Future
You may feel like many things are outside of your control right now, but you can still take control of your child’s future. Open adoption will give you the opportunity to choose adoptive parents and provide your child with a bright future.
The adoption process for a woman having her baby in prison is essentially the same as any other woman. Lifetime can help you create an adoption plan that is right for you. Read on to learn how you can make a plan from jail for an adoption.
Choosing Adoption for Your Baby
Your prison caseworker will work closely with Lifetime to help you create an adoption plan that fits your situation. Your plan will include choosing a family for your baby and deciding how things will go when you deliver your baby.
By choosing adoption, you can avoid having your baby placed in the foster care system. Instead, your baby will be able to go home with the adoptive parents you’ve chosen as soon as you are discharged from the hospital.
Many wonder what happens when a woman is pregnant in jail. A U.S. Marshall, Transportation Sergeant, or Transporting Correctional Officer will transport you to a nearby hospital to give birth. Depending on your situation, you might be able to interact with the adoptive family at the hospital. You can control who is present during your delivery and who holds and feeds your baby first. Some birth mothers choose to have the adoptive mother present for the birth. They do this so that the adoptive couple can start bonding with their baby right away.
Your adoption professional will also help you put together a Post-Adoption Contact Agreement so you can have what’s called an “open adoption.” This means that you can receive updates and pictures of your baby. By getting these updates on your child as they grow up, you will be able to see that they’re being loved and cared for by the family you chose for them.
However, if you don’t have an adoption plan in place, the state will take your baby into custody. You can reunite with your child once you are released, but there is no guarantee that this will happen. The Department of Social Services will have to determine whether you can reunify with your child. Suppose you are in a situation that makes it impossible for them to approve reunification. In that case, your child could spend years in the foster care system or get adopted by a couple you didn’t choose and don’t know. That is why you need to make a solid plan for your baby while pregnant.
Adoption for Your Child
Adoption is still an option if you are a mother in jail or are about to start serving your sentence. Foster care is far from a perfect system and does not give you the option of choosing where your child goes. This situation can be difficult for your child, and there is no guarantee that siblings will be placed together or will stay together in the future.
Lifetime Adoption does not separate siblings. Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will help you find a family open to sibling groups. She will also ensure that the family adopts both of your children together into their loving home.
Let Lifetime Help As You Determine Your Baby’s Future
At Lifetime Adoption, you will find caring, non-judgmental coordinators who will walk you through the adoption process. They will help you find a loving family that wants nothing more than to provide a wonderful home for your child or children.
These families go through an extensive home study process that includes background and financial checks, health screenings, interviews, and home visits. As a result, we can assure you that the adoptive parents you choose will welcome your child into a safe, warm, and loving home.
Lifetime Adoption can send you adoptive family profiles to review as you consider parents for your baby. Depending on the security rules in your prison, you may or may not have access to the Internet, so we can mail you profile booklets to look over. Arrangements can be made with your prison caseworker so you can have the opportunity to speak to the family you choose.
How Do I Get Started With a Jail Adoption?
All you need to do is call Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784. If you need help placing a call, ask the chaplain or clinic staff to help you. One of Lifetime’s adoption professionals are ready answer your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your coordinator will work with you and your prison caseworker to put together your adoption plan.
You can let your coordinator know what is important to you in an adoptive family. This might include religious preferences, racial preferences, family location, and any other desires you have in a family for your child. You may see your child growing up on a farm or in the city. It is up to you. You can search our families online to make sure you find a great match for you and your child.
Choosing open adoption for your child during this difficult time is a loving and generous gift to your child and an adoptive couple looking to fulfill their dreams of becoming parents. Adoption puts you in the driver’s seat. You can place your child in a home that you know they will be happy and thrive in. You will have peace of mind that they are safe and loved and can look forward to a bright future.
To get started with adoption, just call
Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on August 17, 2018, and has since been updated.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.
She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.
Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.