What Should I Include in My Adoption Plan as a Birth Mother?
Adoption is a wonderful and incredibly selfless choice to make for your child’s wellbeing. As a birth mother, it is your right to create an adoption plan that suits your needs and wants for your child’s adoption. Deciding the adoptive parents, the type of adoption and many other smaller details are completely up to your discretion. But what is most important? What should you focus on?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed you’re not alone. Adoption plans are essential, especially for an unplanned pregnancy; which means many other birth mothers have gone through the same emotions as you. Take a breath and try to imagine what you want your child’s future to look like in small steps.
Beginning Your Adoption Plan as a Birth Mother
First and foremost, the adoptive family is going to be a crucial factor in your adoption plan as a birth mother in New York. Is choosing the adoptive family something you want to do or would you prefer to have an adoption professional do it? Or, would you rather have the professional choose families based on your criteria and then give you options? Deciding the how and who of the adoptive parents should be the first big decision in your adoption plan.
Smaller, but impactful, decisions about the adoptive family are a natural next step. Ask yourself, where do you want your child to live? Do you want your child growing up in a small town, a big city, a suburb, overseas? Is an apartment okay or do you want them to have a big backyard? Is family size important? Consider whether you want your child to grow up with older siblings, be an only child, or be the eldest in a family who wants to have or adopt more children.
Discussing finer details with the adoptive parents will give everyone involved a full picture of your child’s future. Include as many specifics as you want if they are important to you. It will be much easier on you and the adoptive parents if there are no grey areas in the adoption plan.
Choosing What Type of Adoption You Want
There are three types of adoptions for you to choose from: open, semi-open, and closed adoption. The majority of modern adoptions are open or semi-open, but the particulars are completely up to you. Your future relationship with your child needs to be concretized in your adoption plan so you and the adoptive parents are aware of what will be acceptable and unacceptable going forward. Creating boundaries early on helps create a solid foundation of trust between both parties that will positively benefit your child as they grow.
Open and semi-open adoptions come with a variety of ways to keep in touch with your child and their adoptive parents. Receiving text updates, photos, letters, phone calls or scheduling in-person meetings on special occasions such as birthdays or holidays are just a few of your options. Many families seeking to adopt expect an open or semi-open adoption, but every adoption is different. Before vetting potential adoptive parents be sure you’ve decided what type of contact you want and if there would be any possible additions as the child grows older.
Adoption Involvement in Pregnancy and Delivery
Choosing how much or how little you want the adoptive parents involved pre-birth is another important part of your adoption plan. As the birth mother, you are able to judge how much of the pregnancy journey you want to share. Some adoptive parents offer financial assistance during pregnancy to the birth mother by purchasing maternity clothes or helping with utilities. Depending on what state you’re in, there is a cap on what adoptive parents can do in terms of financial assistance. In some cases, the hospital stay is covered by the adoptive parents too.
Again, this is all up to what you want ultimately as the birth mother. Your adoption plan is as unique as your personality. Some birth mothers have the adoptive parents involved completely from early pregnancy to being in the hospital room and some only alert the couple after the baby has been born. Creating a specific adoption plan early will help give both parties a clear depiction of how the entire process is going to go if you’re beginning the adoption process early in your pregnancy.
The Adoptive Family and Birth Parents
Properly vetting adoptive families is the core part of an adoption plan whether you do it, an adoption agent does it, or a combination of both. You’ll need to decide how well you want to get to know them and in what way. Are you expecting to meet in person or just exchange through the phone or email? Are you going to be looking at multiple families or hone in on one in particular that stands out from the rest?
The process of choosing the right adoptive couple or individual has many different routes to take; but, ultimately, you will be the one choosing what is right for your child. If you’ve decided to look into multiple adoptive families, it’s a good idea to put down exactly what you want to know about them and their family. Are you going to let them know you’re looking into multiple couples and individuals? Do you want personal or family history? Do you want to meet the adoptive grandparents or any other family that will be spending time with the child?
Any question you find important, make sure to write it down before you begin the interview process. You’ll go in knowing what you’re looking for and if the couple doesn’t seem like a right fit you have a base to go off for the next couple or individual looking to adopt. Remember, this is about you and your child’s future. If you’re unsure about anything, your adoption agency is there to guide you throughout this process.
An Adoption Plan as a Birth Mother?
The foundation of an adoption plan comes down to what experience you want for yourself and your child. As the birth mother, you have full control on how you’d like the adoption experience to go. Before you begin writing anything in ink, answer the basic questions from above to help build a framework for what your adoption plan will look like. Don’t be afraid to read out and ask for help from professionals or other birth mothers who have been through the adoption process.
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