1) Contact KidsFirst to request more information
You can reach us anytime, anonymously, by phone, text, or email. We can talk about all of your worries, concerns, and your questions regarding adoption, our services, and the adoption process. You have the right to remain anonymous until you feel comfortable, but we will ask you some questions such as:
– Are you safe?
– Do you need help?
– What are your main worries?
– Who is your support system?
– When is your baby due?
– Do you have a doctor?
– Do you need help with housing, food, clothing, or medical care?
2) Gather information and decide if adoption is right for you and your child
KidsFirst will talk you through all of your worries and concerns about adoption. No question is off limits. It’s not uncommon to wonder how much control you have in choosing a family. Can you get to know and meet the family first? How much can you be involved in the child’s life after the adoption and will the baby’s father have any rights or say in the decision? The truth is, most of these things are completely up to you and we will support your decisions every step of the way. KidsFirst will help you find the family that best fits your hopes for your child.
There are many reasons mothers cannot parent their child and consider adoption. Maybe it’s just not the right time in their lives or they don’t have enough money to support a child and give them the life they deserve. Maybe the baby’s father isn’t in the picture and the mother doesn’t have enough support to care for a baby right now. Perhaps their facing jail time. There are so many factors that cause a mother to consider adoption, and we’ve seen them all.
3) Meet us in person to create an adoption plan
Once you have made the difficult decision to place your baby for adoption, we will walk you through the process step-by-step. We honor and respect your decisions, hopes, and dreams for your baby. KidsFirst believes in having a very personal, close relationship with our birth mothers. You are important to us and we want to do everything we can to be there for you through the entire process. You are in charge of the entire adoption process and KidsFirst is here to help and listen. We will discuss your desires for your child’s future so we can create a plan and give your baby the life you want for them.
Here are some questions to help you begin forming your adoption plan:
– What kind of adoptive family do you want for your child? A family with no children? A family with other children? A married couple or a single mom?
– How involved do you want the adoptive family to be before the birth of my child? Do you want them to come to doctors appointments with you? Do you want to meet with them occasionally and get to know them?
– You have the power to choose what kind of contact you want with the child and the adoptive family after the adoption. Do you want to receive pictures and letters with updates? Occasional phone calls? Visits? No contact at all? Anything is okay, and it’s best to be honest with yourself about how much contact you hope to have after the adoption.
– What are your wishes for the birth and delivery? Would you like the adoptive family to be there? Would you like for members of the family to be there? How much interaction would you like to have with your baby following the delivery?
4) Choose a prospective adoptive family
When it comes time to choose the family for your child, you are in complete control. Think about the life you want for your baby and the kind of family you would feel comfortable with. Every hopeful adoptive family makes a profile book full of pictures and information about them and their family. We will bring you several of these books to look through that fit with the hopes and preferences you expressed for your child. Take as much time as you need and imagine your child’s future within each family. You have the option of meeting with these families before making your decision. Even after choosing a family, you are always free to change your mind and choose a different family for your child.
Every family hoping to adopt is required to complete something called a home study. This is a long, thorough process full of meetings, conversations, and passing requirements that make sure the entire family is prepared to deal with any issues that might arise. A home study looks for numerous things including the following:
– Criminal history
– Financial reports that show the family can provide a good life for a child
– Verifies that they have a strong support system
– Checks to make sure they have a safe home
– Considers doctor’s reports to ensure they are in good health
– Checks for proof of medical and life insurance
– Checks for proof of employment
– Extensive interviews are conducted to understand the family’s marriage, parenting style, discipline style, and their family background
– Considers the reasons why the family wants to adopt
5) Meet with adoptive families to get to know them and discuss the details
KidsFirst will meet with you and your chosen family of choice to work out all the details and make sure any questions you have are answered. You want to be upfront and straightforward with your intentions for your child’s future. This is your child and your decision, so don’t be afraid to speak up. If you want the adoptive parents, or just the adoptive mother, to come with you to the appointments, they will. They will also be with you in the delivery room if you would like for them to be. If you decide you want to continue getting to know them better, we can set up different get togethers periodically throughout your pregnancy. You have the option to make a plan with the family for communication to continue after the adoption, whether through pictures and letters, phone calls, or even visits.
There are three kinds of adoption to consider and choose which is best for you.
Open adoption means that you will receive pictures and updates by mail or email, have conference calls with the adoptive family, and planned visitations with the child.
Closed adoption is when you choose to have no contacr with the adoptive family. If you call us at KidsFirst later and decide you want an update, we will be happy to get that for you.
With this choice, you can receive pictures and updates about your child through our agency. There is no direct contact with the adoptive family and you.
6) We will be here to help you through your entire pregnancy
It is common for birth mothers to be in difficult situations and in need of financial support. This is NOT payment for the child, it is support provided to make sure you have a safe home, food, clothing, and the ability to move forward with your life. Indiana law allows a maximum of $4,000 from the second trimester to 6 weeks after delivery. This financial support can be used for rent, apartment deposit, food, clothing, phone bills, and other miscellaneous expenses. KidsFirst is able to help you with transportation to your doctors appointments and help you apply for Medicaid if needed.
7) How to tell friends and family about your decision
If you are nervous or unsure about how to tell your friends or family about your adoption plans, here are some helpful ways to communicate. Begin with telling your friends and family members you believe will be supportive and respectful of your decision. If you do get a negative reaction from friends and family, remember that you are the decision maker and you are the one that is responsible for your child’s future. Many people try to offer their advice to you during this difficult time, but only you know what is best for your unborn baby. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a decision that you don’t feel right about. It’s not the friends and family’s responsibility to create a life for the child that they deserve, it is yours. They should know it’s not their choice and you should remember that you deserve to have your decisions respected.
8) Prepare your delivery plan
You make all of the decisions and you call the shots regarding your hospital stay and your baby’s delivery. We are here to help guide you through making a plan for your delivery so we will make sure you know all of your options. You will have the chance to decide on all of the following:
– Who is allowed to be in the hospital with you as your support
– Who is allowed in the delivery room during your delivery
– You can choose who cuts the umbilical cord
– Who holds the baby first
– If you want private time alone with the baby following delivery
– Whether you have a natural delivery or receive medication
– Whether or not the baby is circumcised
– If you would like to feed the baby and take pictures
– How much contact the adoptive family has at the hospital
9) What happens after delivery
A hospital social worker will come talk to you and communicate with us. Relinquishment papers are usually signed 24 hours after vaginal birth or 48 hours after a C-section, but this can sometimes depend on hospital policy as well. KidsFirst will come to the hospital and be there for you during the signing of the papers. You’re able to have the baby and/or the adoptive parents in the room with you while you’re recovering. We will provide you transportation home if you need it and pick up all of your medications on the way. We will make sure you have groceries at home and arrange for the financial support you need for up to 6 weeks after delivery. If you have a child at home, we will provide money for a babysitter during our hospital stay.
We continue to be there for you after delivery and will continue to communicate. KidsFirst will still provide transportation for post-partum doctor’s appointments and assist with finding accommodations after delivery if needed. But we will respect your decision of privacy if you decide you want no further contact. If you wish, we are able to give you updates about your child soon after the delivery since we check in on the adoptive families as well.
10) Life after placement
The truth is, you will be sad. We realize you could experience so many emotions and that this is a sensitive time. We will support you as much as we possibly can. We hope that as time goes on, you’re able to find peace in your heart knowing that your choice secured a good, stable life full of opportunity for your child. You’re free to change your mind about receiving updates about your child. We hope you know, and it brings comfort, that the adoptive parents we work with are stable, loving, and secure people who will be forever thankful to you for this incredible gift.
There are many ways you can choose to give your child the chance to learn about you. Some ideas include:
– Making a picture book
– A journal
– A book of your favorite recipes
– A knit blanket
– A family tree
– Anything else you would like
Whatever you choose, the adoptive family will cherish and keep safe.
Definition of adoption: A legal proceeding that creates a parent-child relation between persons not related by blood; the adopted child is entitled to all privileges belonging to a natural born child of the adoptive parents.