The Adoption Process, Step by Step

Are you considering placing your child for adoption?

As the birth parent, you make the earliest decisions about your child’s future. You choose what type of adoption plan you want for yourself and your child, the family that will raise your child, what type of hospital and delivery plan you see for yourself, and a plan for future contacts with your child and the adoptive family. You may wonder what the steps are to place a child for adoption. 

10 Steps to Place Your Child for Adoption

Step 1: Think About Your Options 

Before starting, ask yourself these questions.

Every woman’s situation is different and only you can know the right decision. Adoption Choice, Inc. can help you sort through your choices when faced with an unplanned pregnancy or when you are home with your baby and thinking about an adoption plan. In addition, you will become educated on the legal process, Wisconsin’s Adoption Search Records Program and your rights. 

There are many reasons women consider adoption including:

  • financial instability
  • not ready to be a parent
  • opportunity for a solid future for their child
  • young age
  • desire to finish high school or college
  • cannot afford another child
  • no support from the child’s other parent

Whatever the reason for considering adoption, you should become fully aware of the process before committing to placing your child for adoption.

Step 2: Learn About Adoption 

When you contact Adoption Choice, you will be asked a few questions and will be offered a meeting with one of our caring, compassionate counselors. You will receive a packet of information and have an opportunity to ask as many questions as you need to. Our staff has years of experience working with expectant parents and they understand how difficult it can be to make that first call for information. Our staff is comprised of both adoptive parents and adoptees who want to help you in making the right decision for you and your child.

Step 3: Create a Personalized Adoption Plan 

Only you can know what type of plan is right for you and your child. Our counselors will assist you in making a personalized plan and helping you to carry that plan out throughout your pregnancy and adoption. 

Here are just some things you can personalize:

  • Type of family you wish to place your child with 
  • Openness and level of contact you would like to have with the adoptive family and your child during pregnancy and after the adoption 
  • Hospital and delivery stay 

Step 4: Select an Adoptive Family

If you decide adoption is the right choice for you and your child, you will be able to view adoptive family profiles. We have many families available who have already been pre-screened and are ready to take on the responsibilities of adoption and parenting. There are families for all children regardless of age, race or medical condition. Your adoption counselor will help you sort through families to determine which ones meet your preferences. Adoption Choice, Inc. conducts thorough home studies on adoptive families and accept families who:

  • have completed the required hours of pre-adoptive education
  • have the financial stability to provide for a child
  • are healthy and active
  • have been screened through background checks and interviewed several times
  • have a strong commitment to adoption
  • are open to the various level of contact from birth parents

Step 5: Meet or Speak with Prospective Adoptive Families 

You will have the opportunity to speak with prospective families. Your adoption counselor will join you on these meetings as you may feel uncomfortable or nervous. Your counselor will help you generate possible questions to ask the family such as:

  1. Why are you adopting?
  2. How do you plan to discipline?
  3. What are your hobbies and interests?
  4. What kind of involvement do you hope to have with birth parents? Are you open to exchanging letters, photos and possible visits?

Step 6: Make a Match and Get to know Each Other

Once you have selected an adoptive family, met with them (if you choose to), and both parties feel comfortable moving forward, it is considered “a match”. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you may wish to continue building your relationship with them throughout your pregnancy. This helps you to get to know the family and confirm they are the right family to raise your child. You can discuss your hospital plans and other plans, such as post-placement contact, throughout your pregnancy. Contact can look different in every situation. You may exchange information through phone or video calls, texts, emails, or in person throughout your match.

Step 7: Plan for Delivery

If you are expecting and making an adoption plan, an important part of the adoption process is a birth parent’s plan for delivery, otherwise known as a birth plan. Your adoption counselor will assist you in creating a birth plan according to your wishes and how you imagine your hospital stay and delivery. You will work with your adoption counselor early on in the process to create your birth plan. However, we understand things can change and you are able to modify your plan at any time. This plan will help everyone involved in your process to understand your wishes. This includes hospital staff, the adoptive family, your family and friends, and your adoption counselor.

There are a number of things to consider in your birth plan including:

  • who do you want at the hospital when you deliver?
  • who do you want in the delivery room?
  • do you want to hold the baby first?
  • who can visit you at the hospital?

Step 8: Complete the Legal Process for Adoption

Once your child is born, you must complete paperwork in order to request a hearing to terminate your parental rights. This hearing usually occurs about four weeks after the birth of your child or after the paperwork is submitted. Your counselor will be there with you at the hearing and will ensure that you understand your rights and feel comfortable moving forward with your decision.  Though this can sound like a daunting process, your counselor will be there to walk you through the process and will prepare you for each step of the way.

Step 9: Post Placement Contact

Post placement contact can include phone or video calls, texts, emails and in-person contact between you, your child, and the adoptive family. The amount of contact can be as little or as much as you want. Your adoption counselor will help you determine what level and type of contact you desire with the adoptive family to ensure that the adoptive family you pick is also open to the same level of contact. 

Step 10: Reach out for Assistance if you Need It

The time after placing your child for adoption can be full of relief, sadness, or you may even feel numb. Take time for yourself and know that you have resources you can use to help you through this time.

Ready to talk with a counselor? Reach out today!