- Weighing Your Options
Adoption is a loving choice to give a child the life you wish you could, but are unable to do so at this time. We offer free counseling that is caring, supportive, and non-judgmental, regardless of the outcome you choose. Talking to a counselor does not commit you to choosing adoption. You are never pressured to make a decision.
If you proceed with choosing adoption, you will continue to meet with your adoption counselor, who will help you make an Adoption Plan. If there is an involved birth father, he is also encouraged to participate.
- Gathering Information
Your adoption counselor will ask you to fill out some important information, like a Social, Family and Medical History Report.
- Choosing a Family
Your adoption counselor will help you explore the qualities that are important to you when selecting an adoptive family for your child. You are able to review parent profiles and contact the family if you would like to speak with them on the phone or meet in person. If you are not comfortable with choosing a family, you may also ask the adoption agency to select one for you.
When you have chosen a family who you believe to be the most appropriate for your child, your adoption counselor will contact the adoptive family to discuss your situation and mail your social and medical history information to them to make sure everyone agrees it is a good match.
During the pre–placement phase, your adoption counselor will maintain weekly contact with you. Your adoption counselor will assist you and the adoptive family in creating a mutual adoption plan. This plan will include the type of contact desired during labor and delivery and the post-delivery hospital stay, as well as outlining the type of contact desired during post-placement and following the adoption. Your adoption counselor understands the relationship you develop with the adoptive family evolves over time, which also means that your adoption plan may also change. The pre-placement period is a time where you and the adoptive family will have the opportunity to get to know each other better. If you are comfortable, you and the family can exchange phone calls and you can update them on the progress of your pregnancy and the baby’s development. In return, they can provide you support and encouragement during your pregnancy. Some birth mothers are not comfortable with this type of arrangement and would prefer to communicate through their adoption counselor only. In either case, your counselor will be there to support you every step of the way and assist you and the adoptive family in reevaluating the adoption plan throughout the process.
When you go into labor, you will contact your adoption counselor, who will make arrangements to meet you and the adoptive family at the hospital. Your adoption counselor will ensure that everyone respects the adoption plan that you and the adoptive family have agreed upon. This will be a very emotional time, so having the adoption plan in place will help keep everyone’s wishes in the forefront. You may also experience some unexpected feelings at this time, but your counselor will be there for you to help you process your feelings. You will decide what you need at this time and no one will pressure you in to making any decisions right away.Texaslaw requires that a mother wait for at least 48 hours following the birth of a child to sign the Affidavit of Relinquishment of Parental Rights.
Your adoption counselor will continue to be there to support you after the adoption, and we encourage you to stay in contact with her.
The benefit of open adoption is saying goodbye at the hospital does not always mean saying goodbye forever. You will be able to have the amount of contact that you and the adoptive family determined in your adoption plan. You will be able to see your child grow and develop, knowing that he or she is being well cared for by their adoptive family.
Some people are concerned that an open arrangement may be confusing to a child. But if handled with positive and cooperative interactions by the parents, the child may be reassured that everything in this situation is okay.