If you are pregnant or have a young child that you are struggling to take care of, you may have considered putting the child up for adoption. This can be a big decision, but it is one that makes sense in many ways.
It takes a long time for adoptions to go through, because the agencies need to make sure that you understand what you are doing, and that you are making the right decision for yourself and your child. They also need to make sure that your child is placed with a family that will take good care of them, and that you are completely comfortable with. It’s not always easy to find a good family—one that you are happy with, and that wants your child. There are hundreds of families looking to adopt kinds in your area, and while the ones that adoption agencies are working to help have all been carefully vetted to make sure that they are reputable and ‘qualified’ as parents, that doesn’t mean that they are the right family for you. Though social media makes the search easier.
The challenge with adoption is finding a family that you are comfortable with. One that agrees to the same level of contact post-adoption as you want, and one that shares the values that you do as a parent so you know that your child will get a good start in life.
You will need to talk to the adoption agency yourself or consult with an adoption lawyer to get an understanding of the process, and then talk to the potential adoptive families, both in mediated discussions over the phone and then also by email and in person. You will have the chance to ask lots of questions, and you will need to go through lots of health checks throughout your pregnancy so that the parents will have an idea of any health issues that the child might face.
When you give birth, the hospital stay will need to be 2-3 days, and then you will have the option of signing off on the adoption. You will not be allowed to consent to the adoption until whatever the mandated time in your state is has passed. You will, by this point, however, have spoken at length to people from the adoption agency and the hospital about your plans and had several meetings with the would-be adoptive family.
After the adoption, you may stay in touch with the family if you wish. Many will send you photos and letters as the child grows up. You may opt for less contact if you feel that is best. This is a personal choice and there is certainly no right or wrong option. Make sure that you discuss your plans and wishes with the family before the adoption takes place. Be open to the relationship evolving over time, but accept that it can be hard for everyone, and be willing to compromise – put the needs of your child first, and respect that the family is doing something special.