Infant Adoption

I wanted to share some information about the infant adoption process. Many people have asked about this process, because I am not sure how other agencies work and other states work please note that this is the process our agency uses.

For our first adoption we really are looking for an infant to join our family. There are so many agencies out there and I am sure it is hard to pick who to use. For us, we selected an agency that is close to home, they specialize in infant adoption, they have and support Christian beliefs, they offer support to expectant mothers and adoptive families. To top it off, this agency was founded in Grand Rapids, MI so we felt a great connection with this.

Years ago adoptions were closed, adoptive families didn’t know mother, the mother didn’t know the family that her child was going to spend their entire life with. This caused trauma on the the birth mother as well as the child. As you can imagine from a mothers point of view, you are going to carry a child for 9 months then hand it over to someone you have never met or spoken to and typically will never hear from again. From the child’s perspective there was no background story. They never knew where they came from, the reason they ended up where they ended up etc. With all the DNA testing now, so many people are looking for their birth parents, they want to know. Even if the child was raised with the knowledge of being adopted and any information the family may have had at the time, it is not always enough.

This agency meets with expectant mothers across the state of Florida. A pregnancy counselor physically connects with this mother from day 1 until delivery day. Around the third trimester, if the mother is still on the path of giving her child up for adoption, her and the counselor talk about adoptive families. The agency will send out an email to the approved families waiting for placement with any details they may have on the mother, health, history and child. This allows the adoptive families to review the information and decide if it is a child they are interested in. If they opt in their ‘book’ is shown to the mother. I’ll talk more in the future about the ‘book’ as we have not started creating ours yet.

Once the expectant mother selects a family, a face to face meeting is set up. If all goes well and the mother selects you, this child is tentatively yours. Some expectant mothers will have the families come to ultrasounds and doctor appointments while others may not. This is gauged by each case. The adoption of this child is still not finalized even though the birth mother has selected you. Upon delivery of the child the birth mother still has the opportunity to back out of the adoption process and keep the child. She has 48 hours to make this decision permanent. 30-45 days after birth the official termination of rights occurs. Finally after 90 days the adoption can be legalized. From the sign over of the baby until 90 days after birth the agency acts as the child’s legal guardian even though the child will go home with an adoption family. This allows the agency to do 3 home checks on the baby with the adoptive family to ensure all is well and the child will be safe and loved in its new home.

This is just a brief summary of what we know so far, of course as we get deeper into the progress we will update any information, but since many of you have asked about this process in particular I wanted to share what I know so far.

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