How Does Adoption Work
Many times, the first question we hear from expectant mothers considering adoption is “How does adoption work?”
If you are pregnant, it starts with looking at Lifetime’s safe and approved families. These are families who have been through a rigorous process to ensure they are legally ready to adopt. We can show you families who are ready to adopt your baby. (Please know that there are families available for every child, even if there are special needs, drug exposure, etc. No child is unadoptable).
Your coordinator will help show you families who are specifically open to your child based on many factors, including race, substance exposure, assistance with financial needs, and more. If there are specific things you are looking for, she can help in that way too. For instance, some women want a family who matches racially with their child (such as African American parents) or a family in a certain state or location. Still others may want a family with children (or without!), with certain interests or talents, or who have special characteristics like a stay-at-home mother or medical careers.
You have the opportunity to speak with one or more families, until you feel you have decided who you would like to adopt your baby. Once you have decided, you are considered ‘matched’ with a family. The process changes a little, as you continue to build a relationship with the chosen family and talk about the type of ongoing contact you’d like after adoption. At Lifetime, we begin working with you on your hospital plan – or how things will go at the hospital.
You have the choices of how things happen at the hospital. You can choose to see and hold your baby. You can choose who is in the delivery room. You can name your baby for the original birth certificate and even order your own set of newborn photos. You can decide when the adoptive parents get to see the baby.
Typically, the baby is discharged from the hospital to the adoptive parents you have chosen. You will meet with an attorney a day or two later to sign the legal papers for the adoption.
Throughout the entire process, you have access to counseling (both licensed counselors and peer counselors), assistance with immediate needs (like maternity clothes, toiletries, etc.) and the right to have help with your pregnancy related financial needs (like medical care, transportation, and more). Your counselor will walk you through your entire pregnancy.
If you already have a baby or young child you wish to place for adoption, the process is similar, except that your child is already born. You have the same opportunity to speak with parents and get to know them. Once you have chosen a family, they will typically travel to you to meet both you and your child (or children).
You will all spend some time together, and if it seems to be a match, your coordinator will work with you, the adoptive parents you have chosen, and the attorney on a transition plan. It can be over a period of days or a week or two. The child’s age is an important factor in a transition plan.
Regardless of your choices, it is important to remember that all of Lifetime’s families are open to ongoing contact with you after the adoption. This is an important aspect of getting to know the parents and building a relationship together.
You can click to start looking at families now. You can also call or text us at anytime to get confidential answers to your adoption questions at 1-800-923-6784.