If you’re pregnant and doing open adoption for your baby, you may be wondering what the process is. Lifetime Adoption is here every step of the way to walk you through the process. Here are the steps you’ll take before your baby is born:
1. Talking to & emailing your Adoption Coordinator.
Early in your adoption process, you’ll speak with an Adoption Coordinator who’ll tell you what your choices are, and help you decide what feels right for you and your baby.
2. Creating your personalized adoption plan.
You and your Adoption Coordinator will work together on creating an adoption plan that has what you want. She will also get info from you, such as your health history, the baby’s father, and your pregnancy. Your options in an personalized adoption plan include:
• what you’re looking for in an adoptive family
• how much contact you want with the family in the future
• what type of contact you wish to have with your baby
3. Choosing your baby’s adoptive parents.
Think about what you’re looking for in your baby’s parents. Do you want your child to be raised by two parents? Is it important to you that the parents be a certain age? Have certain jobs? Share your religion? Have no kids, or already have kids?
After you’ve let us know your preferences, Lifetime will mail you profiles of adoptive couples that meet what you’re looking for. They’ll be sent unmarked, in case you’re keeping your adoption plans a secret right now. All of our adoptive families have to go through in-depth background checks including a visit to their home by a licensed social worker. This way, you can know your baby will be safe with whichever couple you choose. After you’ve chosen a few “favorites”, Lifetime will arrange for you to interview them over the phone to decide if they’re a good fit for you.
4. The option of counseling.
If you’d like, you can get one-on-one counseling from a therapist that doesn’t work for Lifetime. We also offer peer counseling, from a woman who’s placed her child for adoption in the past. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of counseling, both before and after your baby is born. It’ll help you handle the many emotions and questions that may come up.
5. Ask about help with pregnancy expenses
The adoptive couple you choose to match with can help you out with pregnancy-related fees, such as doctor’s visit co-pays. If allowed by their state laws, they may even be able to help you with legal or living expenses. Ask your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime for more info on this, if you need help.
Making an adoption plan moves the process forward, but it doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind after your baby is born. Your adoption plan is flexible and can be adjusted to meet your needs and changing preferences.
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.