Young mother holding infant son.

What to Know Before Making an Adoption Plan for Your Child

If you are pregnant and don’t believe you can raise your child, adoption is a precious and selfless act to unite your baby with a family who will lovingly care for him or her.

Before you make the decision to place your child for adoption, however, you may have many questions about the process. This is perfectly natural. No matter what reasons you have for choosing adoption, it’s understandable that you want to make sure your child will be cared for and placed responsibly.

After many years of facilitating adoptions, we have a few facts birth mothers like to know before choosing adoption for their baby.

Does Placing a Child for Adoption Cost the Birth Parents Any Money?

Many birth parents wonder how to begin the adoption process and what it will cost. Since many women choose adoption for their child because they are already experiencing financial hardship, paying to go through adoption would create a burden they could not bear. The good news is that all services provided to the birth mother regarding adoption are free.

For the length of their pregnancy, birth mothers receive:

  • medical care
  • counseling
  • legal services
  • other services like education and housing assistance

In many cases, postpartum services are also available to help the birth mother move forward after the adoption. Adoptions are financially supported by the adoptive family, who are more than willing to help provide for the health and wellness of their adopted child and his or her birth mother.

Are Adoption Agencies Licensed and Regulated?

When trying to determine how to make an adoption plan for their child, birth parents often wonder if the adoption agency they work with is held to any standards. They want to make sure their child will be placed with a loving family that has been vetted and found capable of taking in a new baby.

The good news is adoption agencies are regulated by their states and they must be licensed to operate legally. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Human Services has a directory of licensed adoption agencies. Licensed agencies, like Haven Adoptions, must be inspected yearly, and we must maintain legal compliance in all of our practices.

For the protection of birth parents, children, and adoptive families, it is vital for everyone considering adoption to verify that they are working with a licensed and reputable agency.

Do Birth Parents Have the Option of Open or Closed Adoptions?

One of the most difficult decisions birth parents make when creating their adoption plan is what level of contact they want after the baby is placed with an adoptive family. Adoption is truly an act of parental love, and the decision of whether to remain in your child’s life may be one you’re not quite ready to make.

There are various options available for birth parents, but some decisions are difficult to change once the paperwork is complete. As part of the adoption counseling process, our advocates help birth mothers consider all the factors in choosing an open or closed adoption. Some birth parents who choose closed adoption, which means that they do not want to make their contact information available once they give the baby up for adoption, will still complete the Adoption Information Registry for health and ancestry purposes.

With open adoption, the level of contact varies, and it may take several years for the birth parents and adoptive family to discover a rhythm that works well for everyone’s best interests. One key element of matching a family with birth parents is making sure that the preferences for open or closed adoption match.

Your child’s adoption plan will be carefully laid out by a caseworker who fully understands how important this process is to you. Caseworkers are very knowledgeable, and they are prepared to answer every question you have to make sure that your plan is the best fit for you and your child. Find the answers to other questions you may have on our FAQ page, and remember that we are available 24/7 if you need immediate assistance.

About the Author

Kelly Weidner is a co-founder of Haven Adoptions, Inc., and is a a well respected advocate in the adoption community. In that time, she has lead Haven Adoptions in connecting countless children with loving homes. Kelly is a member of the National Association for Professional Women, on the Executive Committee of the Our Lady of Mercy Board of Jurisdiction and lives in Ambler, PA with her three children.
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