While the decision to make an adoption plan for your baby can feel overwhelming, the actual adoption process doesn’t need to be. At Lifetime Adoption, we understand the stress and uncertainty that comes with your choice. We are committed to supporting birth mothers throughout the entire adoption process. Your adoption professional will offer you non-judgmental support and guidance every step of the way.
We want to take the mystery out of the adoption process by laying out each step. Find out more about how this process works, from the moment you discover you are pregnant, all the way to maintaining a future relationship with your baby’s adoptive family.
Step #1: Learn About Adoption and Create a Plan
At Lifetime Adoption, you are in control of your adoption plan. You make the choices, including:
- Your baby’s parents
- The type of contact you desire after the adoption
- How things will go when you deliver
- Whether you need help with expenses
- If you need help with your educational or career goals
- Who will be involved in your adoption plan
You might not be ready to make these decisions right now, and that’s fine! At Lifetime, we will help you as you make each decision when you’re ready. We’re here to tell you about all of your options.
As you think about your choices, you will be helped by an adoption professional here at Lifetime called an “Adoption Coordinator.” She can connect you with any counseling, financial and legal resources you may need.
You will be in contact with her as you create your adoption plan. Based on your circumstances and hopes for the future, you can choose a closed, semi-open, or open adoption plan. If you pursue an open adoption plan, your Adoption Coordinator will help you find potential adoptive families that best fit the life you wish for your baby.
Step #2: Select the Perfect Adoptive Family
While there is no such thing as a perfect family, there is a perfect family out there for you! That family will look different for each birth mother. Decide what values and lifestyle you want for your child. Do you want your child to grow up in an urban or rural setting? Do you want your child raised with a specific faith? Is it important that your child has siblings? You will feel more prepared to view hopeful adoptive family profiles when you know what you are looking for.
Every hopeful adoptive family with Lifetime Adoption has completed a background check and an adoption home study. Browse the pictures, videos, and testimony in each profile. Communicate openly with your Adoption Coordinator about families who interest you.
Step #3: Get to Know the Adoptive Family
Before you make any decisions, you can have a pre-placement visit with the hopeful adoptive family. This is your opportunity to get to know them, so ask plenty of questions. Here’s a list of possible questions you might ask.
Once you decide on a family to be your perfect match, you will work together to design an open adoption agreement. How will you communicate after your baby is born? How do you want the adoptive family to share the adoption story with your child? Many birth mothers also write a letter of love that the adoptive family will share with their child one day. With open adoption, this is just the beginning of your relationship with the adoptive family.
Step #4: Create a Hospital Plan
You are in the driver’s seat during the entire adoption process, and that includes your experience in the hospital as you deliver your baby. You decide who you want to be in the hospital with you, how much time you want to spend with your baby, and what role you want the adoptive family to take.
The adoptive parents you picked will travel to your city once you go into labor. If you’d planned for them to be at the hospital when you deliver, they would arrive.
After you give birth, you can spend as much time with your baby as you wish. Remember, you are in charge of how things go at the hospital. If things change, remember that your Adoption Coordinator is just a text or phone call away.
Step #5: Sign Adoption Papers
Typically, in the next day or two, you will meet with an attorney who will present you with the legal paperwork for the adoption. He or she will also share your rights and help you understand the process. Before completing the paperwork with you, the adoption attorney will make sure that you are confident in your decision.
Your baby will go home from the hospital with the family you have picked. You don’t have to care for your baby between the time you are discharged from this hospital and when you sign paperwork. The adoptive couple will stay in your town and are available to meet up if you’d like to spend more time with your baby.
Each state has its own revocation period (a waiting period before the adoption can be finalized). This timeline can range from 72 hours to 30 days.
After the revocation period, there will be a court hearing where a judge will review whether the adoptive couple will be good parents. The judge will then grant parental rights to the adoptive couple.
Remember, when you have an open adoption plan, you are not saying goodbye forever to your baby.
Step #6: Self-care and Healing
Plan on 6 to 12 weeks for your physical recovery, depending on how you delivered.
Your emotional recovery has a more complicated timeline. Expect to feel conflicting emotions throughout the adoption process, but especially now. Even if you are confident that adoption is the right choice, you still have a loss to grieve. Give yourself time and space to process your feelings.
Surround yourself with the people in your circle who will support you. Consider joining a birth mother support group or connecting with a birth mother mentor. Your Adoption Coordinator will still be with you during this part of the adoption process, so reach out for counseling, support, and other resources.
Get one-on-one adoption help and answers by
calling or texting Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784.
As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) 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.