Expecting Mothers: Your Wishes are Important
You have made the decision to place your child in a secure, loving home. Now you need to write an Adoption Plan that states your wishes during birth and after your child goes to its adoptive family.
What, Exactly, is an Adoption Plan?
An adoption plan is a document that expresses your wishes as the birth mother during and immediately after childbirth and after your child is placed with its adoptive family.
Do I Really Need All of This in Writing?
Why? Because the moments, days, and weeks following childbirth can be physically, mentally, and emotionally overwhelming. Having a plan written down beforehand helps the adoptive family, the adoption agency, and even your family ensure that your wishes are honored during a hectic and stressful time.
What Should I Put in an Adoption Plan?
In a sense, the first part of your adoption plan is choosing the adoptive family. An ethical, open adoption agency will have adoption books for several pre-screened adoptive families. You’ll get to know important information about each family, such as their religion, culture, whether your child will have siblings, and more.
After you select—and meet—your chosen family, it’s time to think about the details of your adoption plan.
Contact with the Adoptive Family
Many birth mothers choose to remain in contact with their child and its adoptive family. Whether you want to be part of your child’s life is up to you.
You may decide you want to visit the adoptive family on or around holidays and birthdays. Or you might choose to communicate via regular phone calls, visits, or text messages. You may prefer getting occasional photos and emails from the family instead. All of that is strictly up to you.
You’ll also want to consider whether you want other members of your child’s birth family to have contact with the adoptive family. If the child’s biological father or grandparents want to stay in touch, that should be included in the adoption plan as well.
Your Birthing Experience
Giving birth is a vulnerable experience for a woman. Many women, whether they are placing a child for adoption or not, have a birth plan, and it should be part of your adoption plan, too. Details you want to consider include:
- Who you want in the room during your labor and delivery
- If you want to hold the baby after it is born
- If you want to be the first person to hold the baby
- How much time you want to spend with the child after birth
While post-placement logistics can be worked out even after you give birth, you’ll probably want to have your birthing plan in place before you head to the hospital.
What if I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?
Technically speaking, an adoption plan is not legally enforceable in Ohio. However, an ethical adoption agency will move mountains to ensure that your wishes are honored.
You will, of course, need legal counsel for the actual adoption process. Check with your agency to make sure it will cover your legal fees pertaining to your child’s adoption.
Can I Change My Adoption Plan?
Yes. And it is a good idea for you and the adoptive family to approach your adoption plan with a flexible mindset.
As we mentioned above, there are some details of the plan you’ll want to have in place before you give birth. You may change your mind about issues such as contact and the timing of the child’s placement after the baby is born.
Remember: as the birth mother, YOU have the final say until the documents terminating your parental rights are signed and filed.
Work with an Agency That Has Your Best Interest at Heart
Even when you are at peace with placing your child for adoption, you may have questions about the process and what your rights are as the birth mother. It’s important that you work with an ethical adoption agency with staff who understand the process from every viewpoint. They will help you create an adoption plan that ensures a smooth and peaceful adoption process.