Making an adoption plan for your child is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. These 8 questions will help you select the right adoption professional for you. Your journey will go a lot smoother if you are working with a good adoption company…they will be there to answer your questions and help you deal with things you’re worried about.
Here are the top 8 questions to ask and adoption center:
1. Do they offer me any counseling?
It’s important to know that the adoption professional has third-party counseling available for you during this major decision. At Lifetime, we offer licensed counselors who aren’t employed by Lifetime Adoption. That way, they are impartial and unbiased whether you do adoption or not.
You should also be able to speak with birth mothers-women who have been where you are now and placed their child for adoption.
2. Will they help me figure out adoption paperwork and health insurance?
If you’re not already on health insurance, you probably qualify for Medicaid or a low-cost insurance. The adoption professional should help you get health insurance info, and other helpful pregnancy info. Many adoption centers have a packet of paperwork for you to fill out. They should be willing to walk you through it step-by-step if you need it, or explain any items on it that you’re confused by.
3. Is open adoption supported by the adoption company?
Studies have proven that open adoption is best for the child, the adoptive parents, and you. Open adoption means that you’ll remain in contact with your child and the parents you’ve chosen for them. This can mean Skpye calls and emails, or it could be in-person visits. Open adoption helps self-identity for your child, and healing for you.
4. Do they offer counseling post adoption?
Will the adoption professional be there for you in a year or a few years from now? You never know when you’ll experience adoption grief. You may feel okay when you’re placing your baby with the family, but then feel sad a year or two later.
5. What does the adoption professional require of adoptive parents?
Most adoption professionals require that adoptive parents go through an in-depth application process and then background checks. Call the adoption company to find out what they require. It’ll put you at ease knowing that you have a selection of safe and pre-approved couples to choose from.
6. What will they do if I decide to keep my baby?
What happens if you change your mind about adoption and decide to parent? A good adoption company will support you if this occurs, and not give you a guilt trip to choose adoption.
7. Do they have resources such as career counseling to help me in life?
Most women come to choose adoption because something in their life is preventing them from being able to parent at this time (money, relationships, employment, or housing, maybe). Will the adoption center help you work towards making a brighter future for yourself? For example, at Lifetime Adoption, we offer birth mothers scholarships to further their education. Visit LifetimeFoundation.org to learn more.
8. Can I talk to any of your past birth mothers who placed through you?
Ask the adoption center for references-women who have placed a baby through them in the past. When you talk to these women, ask them what their experience was with the company. Did they feel forced to choose adoption? Was the adoption company always available for them, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
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.