1. What can America Adopts! do for me?
America Adopts! is a free web-based service that can help you in two ways: if you’re looking for a family to adopt your baby, you can view and directly connect with hopeful adoptive couples through our Adoption Profiles. We also offer information and resources about the open adoption process and how to create a lasting relationship with your child’s adoptive parents.
2. What’s the difference between finding a family on America Adopts! or an agency?
Our Adoption Profiles lets you take control over the selection process by giving you the tools to directly interact and contact hopeful adoptive families. At an agency, a third party usually pre-screens the profiles for you based on the criteria you’ve provided and then asks you to choose the one that best matches your needs.
3. What are the benefits of finding a family through America Adopts!
Adoption can be overwhelming. We try to simplify the process by allowing you to view and reach out to prospective birthparents from all across the country, from the comfort and privacy of your bedroom, school or office, without any pressure or obligation.
4. Do I still need an agency?
Yes. An agency can provide you with counseling and/or legal work. We’re not an agency nor our services designed to replace theirs. We can help you with one part of the process: finding hopeful adoptive parents for your baby. However, in order to get your adoption approved, you’ll need the services of a licensed agency or attorney.
5. What are the disadvantages of using your Adoption Profiles?
Adoption is a legal and social process that involves more than just finding the right parents for your baby. We can provide information about what you need to know and help you connect with waiting adoptive parents. But ideally you should have a face-to-face meeting with a counselor before making any big decisions.
6. How do I know if open adoption or any kind of adoption is right for me?
Adoption can be a wonderful alternative to parenting, but it’s not for everyone. To find out if it’s right for you, educate yourself about the process as much as you can, speak to others who have placed their baby for adoption, get counseling, and then make a decision based on what your heart and gut tell you.
7. How much does it cost?
Adoption is free for expectant parents, whether you go through with your adoption plan or not.
8. Can I get financial assistance?
Depending on which state you live in, you may be eligible for help with your living and medical expenses during your pregnancy and after the birth.
9. How long does the process take?
It can take a few weeks or a few months. It all depends on what stage you’re at in your pregnancy and how quickly you can complete the paperwork and get the guidance you need to make an informed decision. You can make an adoption plan any time before your baby is born, but it can’t be finalized until after your baby’s birth.
10. What happens if the couple I find are from another state — can they adopt my baby?
Interstate adoptions are possible, but they’re also more complicated. In addition to abiding by the laws in your state, you’ll need to follow the laws of the hopeful adoptive parents’ as well.
11. How much information do I need to share with the adoptive parents?
The more information you’re comfortable with sharing, the better. As part of the process, you’ll be asked questions about your social and medical history. This is designed to give the adoptive-parents-to-be the information they need to make an informed decision and it could be beneficial for your child, too, if he or she experiences a serious illness down the road.
12. Can I get my baby back after I place him up for adoption?
Adoption is a permanent process. Before the birth of your baby you have the option of changing your mind any time. However, once you sign the consent papers, your rights to your child will be terminated and your baby can’t be returned unless you can prove that your decision was made under duress or coercion.
13. How will I know if the couple I choose will love my baby?
Every couple on our Adoption Profiles has been carefully screened by an adoption agency or attorney and are ready, able and eligible to adopt. They have undergone medical, financial and criminal record checks and can’t wait to become parents.
14. How do I know they’ll follow through on all of their promises?
Open relationships are based on trust and on the best interests of your child. Some states have open option agreements, but they’re non-binding. The best way to ensure a successful relationship is to keep the lines of communication open and to be as honest and upfront as possible with the waiting adoptive parents.
15. Will they judge me?
No. Even though the adoptive parents may not know the circumstances that led you to consider adoption, they understand you’re going through a tough time. As a result, they’ll be there to support you, not judge you.
16. Do I have to meet them?
No. It’s totally up to you. Meeting your child’s hopeful adoptive parents will give you a better sense of who they are and could even help put your mind at rest. But if you’d rather have a closed adoption– an arrangement where you don’t exchange identifying information or have ongoing contact –that’s O.K., too. The adoptive parents will honor and respect your wishes.
17. When do I have to give up my baby?
In open adoption, babies are placed for adoption, not given away. Most placements occur at the hospital shortly after the birth of the baby. You can decide how much time you want to spend with your baby before saying goodbye. If, on the other hand, you’re not ready to make a decision, you have the option of temporarily placing your baby with a foster family while you think through your decision.
18. What if my baby’s father disagrees with my adoption plan?
As a rule, it’s a good idea to include the birth father in the adoption process or at least to make your plans known to him. Birthfather rights are tricky and vary from state to state and situation to situation. To find out more, contact an adoption agency or attorney.
19. How much involvement does the birthfather need to have?
Having the father of your child support you during the adoption process is always a plus. But you may have your own reasons about why you don’t want him to be involved. Again, an adoption agency or attorney can explain your options in more detail.
20. Can I name my baby?
Yes. You can give your baby a name at the hospital and that name will be on the original birth certificate. Usually the adoptive family and expectant parents will decide on a name together before the baby is born as part of their adoption plan. The adoptive parents also have the option of giving the baby a new name, on an amended birth certificate, after the placement.
21. What if I used drugs or alcohol during my pregnancy?
Drugs and alcohol could affect your baby’s health, so this is something you’ll need to share with your counselor and/or the adoptive parents before the placement. It may be an issue for some families, but not for others. Whatever you decide, it’s important is to get good pre-natal care and to take care of yourself and your baby.
22. What if my baby is born with a medical problem?
There are no shortage of families who are interested in adopting a child with medical challenges. If the family you choose isn’t open to that option, others will be.
23. Will my child resent me when he gets older?
Adoption is a loving decision that involves putting your child’s interests before your own. In open adoption, you have the ability to keep in touch with your child as he or she grows up. Through those discussions and the ones he has with his adoptive parents, he or she will grow up to understand the reasons behind your adoption plan.
24. Will I regret my decision?
Adoption is a life-changing decision that involves pain and loss. Different people react to it in different ways. To help prepare yourself for the long-term repercussions of your decision, be sure you get all the counseling and support you need from your adoption worker and/or a birth parent support group before your baby is born–and afterwards.