An adoption plan is a road map of how you want your adoption to go. My job is to help you think about each of your options so that you can make some decisions. You are always able to make changes and adjustments if something isn’t working for you.
Here are 5 important choices you will make as we plan this road map.
In an open adoption, the birth mother chooses who will adopt her baby. I will show you family profiles that include photos and letters. You can read all about their life style, their hopes and dreams for a family, and why they have chosen open adoption. All of the families I work with have been fingerprinted, background checks cleared, medical clearance from their doctors, and have shown financial stability.
You may feel that you’d benefit from counseling before the baby is born, especially if you are anticipating the loss and feeling a lot of sadness. Counseling can be very helpful when you’re processing grief and is always available to you for several months after the baby is born.
Birth father rights vary from state to state. We will spend a good amount of time talking about the baby’s father and whether he has any rights with respect to the adoption. You will not have to deal with the baby’s father if you don’t want to. That is my job, and I will always let you know ahead of time if I’m going to contact him. (Read more about birth father rights)
You will decide how you want things to go at the hospital. The hospital plan involves deciding things like how you will get to and from the hospital, who will be in the delivery room, whether you want to hold the baby, and whether you want to recover in the maternity ward or change floors. We will also plan how the baby will be discharged from the hospital directly to the adoptive parents. (Read more about making a hospital plan).
Some women don’t want contact with adoptive parents before or after the baby is born. This is all part of making the adoption plan. If you want contact at a minimum, you might just talk with them on the phone or wait to meet them at the hospital. After the baby is born, typical contact includes photos and letters throughout your baby’s childhood and, potentially, visits by agreement. It’s important to think about how much contact you want before you choose a family to adopt. You want to make sure you and the adopting parents want the same amount and type of contact moving forward. (Read more about choosing a family)
You can send me your questions about adoption or ask me to send you more information. Your communication with me is always confidential, and you’re never under any obligation to do an adoption. I’m here to help, not to pressure you or tell you what to do.
Megan Cohen is the only adoption attorney in the country who is also a birth mother. (Click here to read her story.) Megan has received the Super Lawyers’ Rising Star award every year since 2013. She graduated magna cum laude and first in her class from law school all while she worked as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and elder abuse.