PREGNANT/How Does Adoption Work

Answers to Your Questions About Adoption

Are there any costs to me?

No. There is no cost to you as a birthmother.  Most states allow birthmothers to receive financial help during and after pregnancy.  Each state is different but we can tell you what your state allows.  Typically, these expenses include rent, utilities, food, transportation, maternity clothing allowance, and medical bills.

What is open or semi-open adoption?

Each adoption situation is different and will depend on your preferences. In an open adoption, you choose the adoptive family rather than having us choose one for you. “Open” versus “closed” adoption also refers to the amount of contact that you want to have with your child’s adoptive family. You may want to have a life-long ongoing relationship with the adoptive parent(s) you choose as well as your child or you may not want contact but want letters and photos. This is up to you and we can help you explore what you feel is best for you and for your baby.

Is assistance available to me?

Assistance with living expenses may be available for birth parents, depending on the laws in your state. While adoption laws vary in each state, many states allow adoptive families to assist birth parents with their expenses related to the pregnancy. Expenses which are often allowed include: rent, utilities, food, transportation, maternity clothing, medical bills, etc. Adopt America assists you in finding your own housing if necessary or paying your rent so you remain independent.  We don’t require that you stay in dormitories.

Who can I talk to about adoption or parenting?

We are available to talk to you about all your options and we encourage you to explore with us your various options. We are an adoption agency but we are interested in having successful adoptions and so we don’t believe that a birth mother should be persuaded to give up her child for adoption. It is an extremely important decision and we want you to be comfortable and as certain as possible about the decision. We will approach your situation with you by looking at all your options and helping you to explore your feelings about what is best for you and your baby at this point in your life.

Do I have to have to know for sure that I want to place my baby for adoption before contacting an adoption agency?

Absolutely not. We are here to help you explore all your options, not just your adoption option. Exploring adoption is a personal process that varies from one individual to the next, and there is no set time in which you have to make your decision. We know that making that first contact with an adoption agency can be scary, but find comfort knowing that when you contact us it is confidential and there are no obligations should you decide that you do not want to choose adoption. It is also important to understand that adoption counseling is free so it is beneficial to explore your options.

How do I decide if adoption is right for me and my baby?

The decision to parent your baby or choose adoption is often a very difficult one and it is a very personal one. This is why you should feel encouraged to explore all of your options thoroughly. You need to explore where you are today and where you are going. Whether you choose adoption or parenting, it is decision that should be made with great care and talking it through with people who understand what you are facing can prove very helpful. Our goal is to help you explore your thoughts and feelings in a nonjudgmental environment.

Is adoption a selfish decision?

Choosing adoption for your child when you are not ready to become a parent is the most loving and unselfish decision that you can make. When someone states that adoption is a selfish choice, they are someone who does not understand the sacrifices a woman makes when she chooses adoption nor have they considered that not every woman who finds herself pregnant is at the right place in her life to parent a child. Adoption reflects positively on everyone involved. Your child will be able to have all the opportunities and experiences that you want for him or her but are not able to provide right now. Your situation and circumstances may make it too difficult for you to raise a child, but adoption allows you to make sure your child receives the type of life you want your child to have.

I’m afraid my child will think that I didn’t love him, and that is the reason that I placed him for adoption?

Placing a child for adoption is the most loving thing any mother can do for her child when she knows that she is unable to care for him in the manner that the baby needs and deserves. We counsel with all of our birth mothers and adoptive families about how hard this decision is to make. We know that only mothers who truly love their child are capable of placing it for adoption. You love him so much and you know that you have limited options and scarce resources and adoption provides an opportunity for this child to have a stable, nurturing, loving family in which to grow.

Will the race of my baby affect the adoption plan?

We believe that there is a family for every child. We work with birth mothers of all races, backgrounds and families want to adopt children of all races and backgrounds.

What is the cost of parenting a child?

Parenting a child can easily range from $1,000-$2,000 per month. This estimate includes, but is not limited to: diapers, bottles formula, clothing, day care, crib, car seat, stroller, blankets, hygiene products. Of course, this does not take into account the cost of housing and transportation.

When all of these expenses are added up, it will cost approximately $12,000 – $24,000 per year to raise a child.

Do I get to choose the adoptive parents of my child?

Yes. When you fill out our paperwork, we ask you to describe the family you want for your child. We have families who are waiting to adopt a child. They have filled out paper work, too. They have also listed criteria or described the type of birth mother they would want to work with toward an adoption. We present to you profiles of hopeful adoptive parents for you to consider.

Do I get to meet them?

Yes, we encourage you to meet with them and to develop a relationship before your child is born. You will choose your adoptive family by looking through several profiles that we have of people who meet your criteria. You can talk to or meet with any and all of them if possible. That is up to you. We know how important that it is for you to be able to know and trust the adoptive family that you have chosen as parents for your child.

What information is the adoptive family given about me?

The agency is required to keep your confidentiality. We never disclose your last name, social security number, home address or any type of identifying information during the matching process. We give out your home telephone number with your permission for the purposes of matching with the adoptive couple. When you meet with or talk to the adoptive family that you have chosen, you are free to tell them anything about yourself that you choose.

What will I know about the adoptive family?

All families must have a home study completed by a licensed adoption agency or social worker recommending them for adoption. This process is very detailed. It includes a complete criminal and child abuse background check, their finances, the quality of their marital and other close relationships such as with their parents, siblings or any children they may have. They have to provide the social worker with a letter from their doctor showing they are in good health and free of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, etc.

The adoptive family must also provide documentation which shows that they are stable and are financially able to support a child. The agency or social worker completing the home study will visit the adoptive family’s home to ensure that the child will be in a safe and appropriate environment. Adoptive families have to go through a lot to be able to qualify to adopt a child. The home study is not shared with the birth mother because of confidentiality. However, a judge will read it prior to finalization of the adoption.

They will have provided a detailed profile of themselves, their home, family members, etc. You can keep the profile of the family you choose after the match is complete and both you and the adoptive family have decided to go forward with the adoption plan. They usually are very open about their reasons for choosing to create their family through adoption. Infertility is the main reason that most people choose to adopt. Our families have usually spent many years trying to conceive and have been unable to, so they have chosen adoption as a means to create the family that they want.

Will the family live in the same state as I do?

This is totally up to you. You are told which profiles are from people who live in a different state than you do.

What would a family like to know about me?

They would like to know just about everything. They might want to know what your favorite music, food, hobby, etc. is. They are going to be very interested in your family, your brothers and sisters, your extended family members. They will want to know all you know about your family’s health history, of course. They will also want to know about your heritage such as: German, Italian, Mexican, Jamaican, etc.

You may want to write a letter to your child that the family can later give to him or her. The more you are comfortable sharing with your chosen family, the more they can share with your child as he or she grows.

After I sign my paperwork consenting to the adoption, will I need to have any more contact with the agency?

This decision is up to you. We love to hear from our birthmothers and often we have updates that we receive from adoptive families to share with birthmothers.

What do you mean about contacts with the family afterwards?

You and the family you select to be the parents of your baby will decide whether you will have contact after the adoption or not. If you decide that you prefer communication or updates to be through Adopt America, that is fine. We can do that for you.

What if I don’t want to meet them or have contact with the family later?

These are decisions that only you can make though we help you to explore these issues. Your feelings and thoughts about this may change throughout the process. Sometimes, we have birthmothers who start out not really wanting much contact but then they form a bond with their chosen family and they keep in touch. Finding peace in your decisions is what we hope for you. Sometimes, a few updates to see how your baby is doing is enough to give you the peace of mind that you made the right decision and that your baby will be loved and cared for by his or her family .

Will I be able to hold my baby in the hospital?

Yes, this is your baby and until you sign your relinquishments. We encourage you to have the child brought to your room as often as you want to so that you can love him, bless him, pray for him and spend time with him. These are very private and important moments for you which can help you to find peace in your decision.

What sort of things can I send to my child at placement or afterwards?

You may send anything you want to your child at the time of placement or afterwards. Many families put together a baby book of the whole adoption process which they will share with him or her later. We encourage you to write a letter to your child which might explain how and why you decided to place him or her for adoption. You might just share things about who you are, what you love, and what you hope for his or her life.

If you don’t want to write the letter at this time that is also okay. You may want to in the future. So, send it to us and we will make sure the family gets it. Sometimes birthmothers put together a family album and share pictures of your family, your other children, extended family.

Does the father of my baby have to be involved?

We will ask you for the name or names of any man or men whom you think could be the father of your baby. Each state has its own process for notifying birth fathers. In Florida, we serve any man you name with papers notifying him that you are pregnant and that you want to enter into an adoption plan. He has 30 days to notify the court if he does not agree with the adoption and he will then be required to show the court he is willing to support you and the baby. He will also need to file a document with the Florida putative father registry. If you don’t know the whereabouts of the father, then we use whatever information you provide to conduct a search for him. If you are married, regardless of whether or not your husband is the father of the child, we must also serve him with documents as well. If you are not married, then the birth father can sign before the birth.

How do I start the adoption process?

The best way to start the adoption process is to EMAIL US or call us or text us at 305.984.2154.

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can be very difficult and scary. The most important thing to remember is that you have a choice. Every woman does.