The ABC's of Adoption
A. Getting to Know You
We look forward to meeting with you when you are ready. Please know that we are here to help ease any of your concerns about the adoption process and to answer all of your questions. It is important to us that you feel empowered by making a healthy and informed choice. During our first meeting, we will discuss any supportive services and resources you may need during your pregnancy, such as counseling, maternity clothes, and prenatal care. You are not alone. There are so many resources available to you and Heartsent can either provide them or help you to find them in your community. We can refer you to a mentor program through which you will be matched with a woman who has placed her child for adoption. A mentor can be a wonderful source of support to you throughout your pregnancy. During our meeting, we will also review some additional paperwork together. We are here to explain it all to you and ensure that you understand the process of adoption.
B. Choosing an Adoptive Family
Most potential birth mothers choose an adoptive family during the 2nd trimester of their pregnancy. As always, we are here to support and guide you through this next stage of your adoption process. Our adoptive families come from wide-ranging backgrounds and they are different ages and ethnicities. They have all been through a detailed screening process and are financially and emotionally stable. And, more than anything in the world, they would love to open their homes and hearts to a child.
We will discuss the characteristics that are important to you in potential adoptive parents. Then, we will show you letters about and pictures of the families who we think would be the best match for you and your baby. If you would like, you can talk with the potential adoptive family on the phone and/or meet them. This will be your time to ask questions, for you to get to know the adoptive family, and for them to get to know you. We will also discuss what level of contact and/or type of relationship you want to have with the adoptive family and baby after the birth.
C. Meeting with a Social Worker
Before you give birth, you will meet with a social worker to review the important legal paperwork that you will sign after the baby is born. At this meeting the social worker will explain your rights to you. This is the time to be sure you understand the process of relinquishing your parental rights and to ask any questions you may have about the process. You will not actually relinquish your parental rights until you are discharged from the hospital after the baby is born. At that time, you will meet with the social worker again to sign the legal paperwork. Once again, this is an opportunity for you to ask questions and to be sure you understand the process. Please know that our social workers approach everyone with kindness and compassion. They are there to help you with this process.
D. The Birth
It is very important to us that you have a positive experience during your delivery and hospital stay. We will discuss all of your options and assist you in completing a hospital action plan. This plan covers all aspects of the hospital experience, from pre-labor, to the delivery room, to walking out the doors of the hospital. We will respect your plans and advocate for your unique needs, wishes, and desires. The plan will be shared with the adoptive parents, the medical team, and the hospital social worker so that everyone understands what you wish to happen during the birth of the baby and hospital stay. We want to ensure that you are treated with the respect and care you deserve throughout your experience.
Your social worker will meet with you after the baby is born to see how you are doing and, when you are ready, to assist you in signing the relinquishment paperwork. Please know that we will continue to be here for you to offer support and refer you to any needed additional services after the birth. Your mentor from the birth mother mentor program will also be a wonderful source to support to you.
Please rest assured that a social worker will meet with the adoptive family at least four times after the birth to make sure that everything is going well with them.