The expectant mother contacts the adoption agency.
The expectant mother speaks with a social worker; paperwork may be mailed and/or a meeting between the social worker and expectant mother may be scheduled.
At the first meeting, the social worker discusses parenting and adoption issues and answers questions. If the mother is close to giving birth, the social worker may take a medical and social history and talk about prospective adoptive families. If there are a few months or weeks before the baby is due, more interviews or phone conversations may occur for the medical/social history and discussion about families.
The expectant mother considers adoptive families and chooses one (or asks the agency to choose a family). If she wants to meet the adoptive family or talk to them on the phone, there is an opportunity to do so. Some women may want the adoptive family to be active in her prenatal care.
A hospital and adoption plan is made. This plan may change at any time, according to the expectant mother’s wishes.
The expectant mother continues in regular contact with her social worker, and has her social worker’s cell number so she can call when needed.
When the expectant mother goes into labor, she calls the social worker and the worker may then call the adoptive parents if that has been planned. Depending on the mother’s plan, the social worker or adoptive parents may be present for birth or not.
The day the baby is born, the mother will need to sign permission for the social worker to speak with the hospital about the baby’s health, according to confidentiality laws.
The adoptive family will be able to visit with the baby, if the mother chooses. What happens in the hospital, in the way of visits and time with the baby, is completely up to the mother!
On the day of hospital discharge, the baby will be released into the care of the agency. The agency will either place directly with the adoptive family or into temporary cradle care according to the preference of the birth mother.
Paperwork to request voluntary termination of parental rights will be signed a few days after the baby is born. An attorney will assist with the legal aspects, at no expense to the birth family.
Termination of parental rights will occur, either by signing legal paperwork or at a court hearing. This process is dependent on state law.
The arrangements that were agreed upon for ongoing contact (in the form of pictures, letters, emails, phone calls, and even visits if desired) are now to occur, according to the schedule determined by birth and adoptive parents.
The social worker is available as needed to provide support in the weeks, months, and even years that follow, at the request of the birth parent.
If you are pregnant and considering adoption, you can contact a pregnancy counselor 24 hours a day at 1-866-424-2974. Or, simply text 217.898.1158 or email Maria for adoption information and assistance.