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Archive for Open adoption

How to Get Your Adoption Home Study Done Quickly

Happy couple meeting with their adoption home study providerAs the first step in the adoption process, the home study can bring up many emotions, from the excitement of beginning the adoption journey to feeling nervous about the process. Typically, a home study includes paperwork and documentation, a precise background check, interviews with household members, and a visit to your home.
 
Even though this may seem like a lot, you can get through the home study process in record time.
 

Here are 7 proven ways to finish your home study quickly:

 
1. Make sure you’re both committed to the process
 
First of all, it’s crucial that both of you are committed to your adoption. It’s your home study provider’s goal to place children in loving, accepting homes. But family dynamics can be strained when one spouse is more dedicated than the other.
 
In addition, if just one parent is committed, the other tends to procrastinate about finishing the necessary paperwork and setting appointments.
 
2. Compile a list of required documents
 
Since some of the required documents for your home study might require additional time to obtain, we recommend that you start working on those first.
 
As an example, you’ll need to gather personal documents, like copies of your driver’s license, marriage and birth certificates. It can take awhile to request copies of these from the appropriate government departments if you don’t have these documents on hand. Some documents, such as your financial statement, will require notarizations.
 
Please check with your home study provider, because requirements vary state by state. Make sure to verify with them which documents are necessary to submit for your home study.
 
3. Schedule appointments as soon as possible

Most home studies will require a signed physician’s statement regarding your health. In addition, you’ll need to schedule a visit to an authorized authority so that you can get fingerprinted. So that these appointments don’t become a bottleneck in finishing your home study, schedule them right away.
 
4. Complete your paperwork online

Find a home study provider who will accept home study applications via e-forms. If you can complete your paperwork online, you may be able to finish it all within a week. Hopeful adoptive parents who complete paper forms typically take a few months to finish.
 
5. Give your references a heads-up

Most home study applications require reference letters from your family and friends. We recommend choosing your references early on in the home study process since it’ll take time to get the reference letters returned.
 
Once you’ve chosen your references, let them know they’ll receive a reference request. Kindly ask them to submit it as quickly as they can. That’s because missing reference letters are often the last hold-ups to completing a home study.
 
6. Dedicate time to work on this

Try to set aside some time in your schedule just for completing your home study application. The questions on the application should be pretty straightforward, so you just need to make some time to do this. Try setting aside a couple of hours each day to power through the application.
 
7. Check your home before the home visit

After you’ve completed the paperwork, the next step in the home study process is to schedule a home visit and interviews with a social worker.
 
Even though your social worker will give you an opportunity to fix any potential safety hazards before finishing their report, taking care of all safety hazards before their initial visit will expedite the overall process.
 

Lifetime Adoption Agency provides affordable home study services in Florida.
 
You can learn more by calling 727-493-0933 or visiting our Adoption Home Study page.

how to finish your adoption home study #homestudy #adoption #adoptiongoals #adoptionagency #adopt #hopingtoadopt
how to complete your adoption home study #homestudy #adoption #adoptiongoals #adoptionagency #adopt #hopingtoadopt
how to finish your adoption home study #homestudy #adoption #adoptiongoals #adoptionagency #adopt #hopingtoadopt

3 Things Birth Mothers Want to See in a Profile

Woman looks at open adoption profilesMany hopeful adoptive parents wonder what birth mothers are looking for in an adoption profile. They want to increase their profile views so that a birth mother chooses them. However, what to include in your adoption profile isn’t an exact science. That’s because every birth mother is different, and so there’s no single answer to what every woman wants to see. Because every birth mother’s preferences are different, so is what she wants to see in the profile of the family she picks.
 
With that said, there are three major items that most birth mothers seek in adoption profiles:
 

1. A Genuine Connection

When we’ve asked birth mothers why they chose the particular adoptive couple that she did, most of them share that they just had a “gut feeling” about the family. Sometimes, birth mothers know the exact attributes they want to see in an adoptive family. Others might not know what they want and then something just “clicks” when they look at an adoptive family profile.
 
Usually, the thing that makes her feel an immediate connection is a small, unique trait. As an example, a birth mother that had a particular breed of a dog growing up might see a family with that same breed and then decide they’re right for her. It might also be that the adoptive mom shares their interests or hobbies.
 
The things that allow a birth mother to feel a connection are usually things that an adoptive family can’t control. That’s why it’s important to be yourself in your adoption profile. It seems to be the unique things about a family that causes a birth mother to choose them. If you’re true to yourself in your profile, you’ll have a better chance of the right birth mother choosing you.
 
Women reads adoption profiles from hopeful parents

2. Happy, Candid Photos

While birth mothers do read an adoptive family’s profile, the text usually comes second to the pictures. Like most people today, birth mothers often prefer looking at photos over reading text. Having quality, current, photos in your adoption profile will give her a better idea of what your family is really like. Naturally, a birth mother would be more comfortable choosing an adoptive couple who looks happy and candid in their photos over one with staged, stiff photos.
 

3. A Positive View of Adoption

Adoption is a difficult decision to make. So, birth mothers want to feel reassured that the family they select for their baby respects and celebrates adoption. Most birth mothers want their baby to grow up knowing about his or her adoption and their birth family. Seeing an adoptive family focus on that commitment in their profile is crucial.
 
Put yourself in a birth mother’s shoes, and try to imagine what she’s going through. Make sure to share how you’ll celebrate adoption and your child’s birth mother in your family. If you emphasize your excitement for the adoption in your profile, a birth mother will notice it.
 
If you’re a hopeful adoptive family, make sure to represent yourselves honestly, and the right birth mother will find you!
 
At Lifetime Adoption Agency, each adoptive family receives one-on-one guidance and tips from their own dedicated Profile Coordinator.
 

Do you have questions about adopting through Lifetime or how we can help you create an effective adoption profile?

Send us an email or call us at (530) 271-1740!

What birth mothers want to see in a profile #adoptionprofile #adoption #hopingtoadopt #adoptiontips
What birth mothers want to see in a profile #adoptionprofile #adoption #hopingtoadopt #adoptiontips
What birth mothers want to see in a profile #adoptionprofile #adoption #hopingtoadopt #adoptiontips

How to Rock Your Home Study

Married couple with adoption consultantMany hopeful adoptive parents find the home study to be the most time-consuming and nerve-wracking part of the adoption process. They wonder things like, “Will they find our home to be acceptable? What about our parenting approach?”
 
Today, Lifetime Adoption Agency will share what to expect with a home study and how to prepare, as well as shed light on common home study myths!
 

What’s the adoption home study?

It’s an evaluation that a licensed social worker completes on a prospective adoptive family. Per state and federal regulations, you must have an approved home study to adopt. That’s because your home study will be used by your attorney to file adoption paperwork with the court. Before he or she approves and finalizes your adoption, a judge will review your home study.
 
It’s the perfect time to learn more about the adoption process and how to parent an adopted child. So make sure to ask your home study provider your questions as they come up!
 

Information in a Home Study:

  • Your background (childhood, parents and siblings, and life events)
  • Important people in your lives
  • Marriage and family relationships
  • Reason for adopting
  • Expectations for your child and the adoption
  • Outlook about infertility issues (if relevant)
  • Parenting approach and childcare plans
  • Family environment
  • Your health history
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Finances (including your insurance coverage)
  • References
  • Criminal background clearances

What to Expect in a Home Study

The home study process typically happens in 3 stages:
 
1st Stage: Complete required paperwork
 
2nd Stage: A social worker will make at least one visit to your home, and conduct individual interviews of both of you.
 
3rd Stage: The social worker writes an evaluation of your family and their recommendation for adoption.
 
The home study process will take from two to four months, depending on how quickly you complete your paperwork and how busy the home study worker is at the time.
 
Completing adoption paperwork

Common Myths About Home Studies

“Our house must be perfect.”
A social worker is expecting to walk into a home that looks lived in, not one that’s been perfectly staged. The social worker won’t arrive in a little white outfit for a white glove test, we promise!
 
“We have to be rich.”
Even though adoption can get expensive, you don’t need to be wealthy to get your home study approved. The social worker is looking to see if you’re financially stable; that you stay out of debt and pay your bills on time. So, what’s more important than how well-off you are is your budget, debt, and how you spend.
 
“We have to own our home.”
Couples who rent a condo, apartment, or house can also get their home study approved.
 
“My past has to be clean.”
The social worker understands that you’re only human. With that said, you’ll have to answer questions about your criminal background, social environment, and medical history. Shares Linda Rotz, Lifetime’s Director of Adoption Services, “The adoptive couple needs to share if they’ve been directly or indirectly exposed to circumstances such as alcohol/drug abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, jail, counseling or financial issues. The truth is, most couples have had some sort of exposure,”
 
The social worker completing your home study will evaluate the issues and address them. Sometimes, a hopeful adoptive couple needs to show growth and change in a specific area, or take additional training. While there are felonies that would disqualify a couple from adopting, each state has its own laws. So it’s best to evaluate them with the social worker.
 
Social worker tours a couple's home

How to Get Ready for Your Home Study

Be prepared to answer questions about very personal topics such as your marriage, childhood, and any issues you might carry around. The home study provider might ask about your mental health, how you were disciplined as a child, marriage conflict, infertility issues, and financial struggles.
 
By asking questions like this, the social worker is seeking to determine how you manage stress and difficulty. How have you worked through tough issues in the past? Do you have a strong support system? Are you willing to ask for help when it’s needed? By being straightforward about how you’ve moved through difficult events, the social worker can get a clear picture.
 

Home Study Tips

Expect to spend quite a bit of time completing paperwork and gathering the needed documents. Here’s a list of items that most home study professionals require:

  • Tax records
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificate
  • Background checks
  • Bank statements
  • Employment verification
  • Proof of insurance
  • Physicals

We recommend reserving a few weeknights or a weekend to work through the process. Put on your favorite music, grab some snacks, put on some music, and get to work!
 
It’s important to be yourself during the home visit and interview. Since the home study professional is trying to get to know you and your family, it’s beneficial for you to be honest and straightforward.
 
The adoption home study might involve a lot of work, but once you bring your baby home you’ll see that it’s completely worth it!
 

Home Study Resources

Adoption webinars about the home study, which are free to access!

Lifetime’s Adoption Expert Q&A: The Adoption Home Study, and more…
Behind the Scenes of Your Adoption Home Study
Adoption Q & A – All About the Home Study
 
Here are some useful articles on the adoption home study:
 
Home Study 101: All You Need to Know
6 Proven Tips on How to Get Your Home Study Done in a Flash
How to Get Ready for Your Home Study in Florida
Surviving the Adoption Home Study

Adoption Home Study #adoptionhomestudy #homestudy #adoption #hopingtoadopt
Adoption Home Study #adoptionhomestudy #homestudy #adoption #hopingtoadopt
Adoption Home Study #adoptionhomestudy #homestudy #adoption #hopingtoadopt

What If No One Wants to Adopt My Baby?

Pregnant woman cradles bellyMany pregnant women who are thinking about adoption for their baby wonder, “Are babies that are put up for adoption always adopted?” They worry that no one will want to adopt their baby.
 
This worry usually comes from confusion about the adoption process. Some women are concerned that their baby’s health issue will affect his or her chances of being adopted.
 
We know that you want the best for your baby.
 
You’re probably thinking of adoption because you want your baby to have every opportunity in life. And right now, you might not be able to provide the kind of life you envision for your child. But, you might be wondering, “What if they aren’t adopted? What if nobody wants to adopt my child? Will they go into the foster care system?”
 
When you make an adoption plan through an adoption agency, your baby will be adopted. He or she will be placed into the arms of an adoptive couple who have been waiting and praying for a child.
 
The main reason that people wonder how many kids “given up for adoption” really get adopted is because they think adoption is just like foster care.
 
With adoption, you’re intentionally choosing for your baby to be parented by an adoptive couple. You’re able to select your adoption professional, your baby’s adoptive parents, how much contact you’d like with them, and how your time in the hospital for delivery will go.
 
In foster care, a child is removed from their home by the authorities. The child is usually placed into temporary care while waiting to go home with a biological family member. If they can’t be reunited with a member of their family, they’ll become eligible for adoption through foster care. These children then may face a long wait until a couple adopts them permanently from foster care.
 
When you contact Lifetime Adoption Agency to make an adoption plan, we’ll work with you as you choose adoptive parents who you feel are right for your baby. Your baby won’t go into state custody, so he or she will never be waiting to be adopted. Once your baby is born, you’re able to place him or her into their parents’ arms.
 
You might have heard about how children in foster care wait years to be adopted into a permanent family. Many of these children remain in foster care until they become adults at 18.
 
Fortunately, choosing adoption for your baby with an agency isn’t like that. By working with an adoption agency like Lifetime, your baby will have permanent adoptive parents ready and waiting for them. Making an adoption plan for a baby through an agency is different than a foster care adoption. Your baby is able to go home with their forever family.
 
If you’ve ever been worried that no one would want to adopt your baby, you can rest easy. There are hundreds of waiting adoptive parents who have been praying for a child and would love to welcome your baby into their family.
 

Click to view some of their profiles, or contact us to see more profiles of potential parents for your baby.

“We knew that there was a child meant for us!”

Brandon and Megan with their cherished daughter, ArianaThe blessing in reading adoption stories is that you can really learn a lot from them. This especially holds true when you’re hearing from adoptive couples who have adopted recently.
 
Florida adoptive couple Brandon and Megan were blessed to adopt a baby girl through Lifetime just last year. In this family’s story, we hear from Megan about how they decided adoption was the way they’d build their family and their experience with becoming parents together through an open adoption.
 
You’ll learn valuable tips about how to cope with the adoption wait, as well as how to educate your family and friends about the beauty of open adoption! Now a forever family, adoptive mom Megan shares their beautiful story in this special guest blog post!
 
 
Megan gazes lovingly at her daughter“When I think of adoption it is with mixed emotions, the most overpowering one being love. We have been blessed by the adoption journey and by our daughter. However, I can also remember a time not so long ago that adoption was bittersweet and only wishful thinking. We had known we wanted to adopt long before the infertility issues began.
 
Once we were told that we would not be able to have children, adoption became more real. Throughout the process, there were fears, yet there was always hope. We knew that there was a child meant for us. Now, we can’t imagine our life without adoption and the greatest gift we’ve ever known: our daughter, Ariana.
 
Our adoption journey was relatively short. We spoke with Lifetime in August, and by March we were blessed with our daughter. During the process, I underwent a hysterectomy, and my husband and I endured a lot of grief during that time.
 
For me, adoption was something to hold onto, and I kept the faith that we would be parents. The waiting period was difficult, but my husband and I kept busy. We went on vacation for his birthday the month before we were matched. We focused on enjoying every moment before it would no longer be just the two of us.
 
Brandon with ArianaWhen we shared with our family and friends that we were going to adopt, they were both excited and nervous. Many people were skeptical of our decision, and we received a lot of questions about cost and age and the process.
 
One hesitation that people had was regarding an open adoption. Although we had researched the topic and felt comfortable, I think it made our family uneasy. We would get questions like, “How can you have a relationship with the birth family?” and “What if the birth mother wants her child back?” So we would educate them.
 
We were set in our decision that this was the right path and felt strongly that open adoption would be best for our child and us. We wanted that relationship, and now that we have it, we’re so thankful that we stuck to our guns. Once people realized how passionate and confident we were in the process, they were more enthusiastic and supportive.
 
We continue to speak with Ariana’s birth mother every month. For Christmas, she mailed Ariana a gift, and we sent something in turn. We love having an open relationship with her. She is uncomfortable with visits at this time. But she knows that if she changes her mind in the future, we are open to visits. We are so glad that our daughter will grow up knowing her birth mother and how much love we all have for her!”
 

Lifetime would love to help you adopt a baby, too!
 
Start your open adoption journey today by completing Lifetime’s free application to adopt.

Is Adoption What’s Best for My Baby?

Pregnant woman wonders, 'is adoption what's best for my baby?'Are you pregnant and considering adoption? You’re not alone; we’re here to help you. Lifetime Adoption Agency helps expectant mothers in Florida and across to the U.S. explore adoption in a supportive, safe, and personalized environment. We’re here to provide you with up-to-date adoption information and support.
 
Discovering that you’re pregnant unexpectedly can be a very emotional time. No matter where you live, we can connect you with a hopeful adoptive couple who wants to provide your child with a stable, loving home.
 

Why Do Women Choose Adoption?

Are you wondering “is adoption what’s best for my baby?” There are many reasons why a woman decides to make an adoption plan for her baby. Overall though, women choose adoption because they want the best for their baby. Here are a few common reasons why a pregnant woman or mother might choose adoption:
 

  • Not ready to become a parent right now
  • Not financially able to provide for a baby
  • Still in school
  • Doesn’t want to be a single parent
  • Desires the best for her child

How Will My Baby Benefit from Adoption?

If you’re not ready to become a parent, you can choose an adoptive family for your baby through our Florida adoption agency. Adoption can provide your baby with many things, such as:
 

  • Safe, stable, loving home life
  • Parents who are emotionally ready to care for a child
  • Loving grandparents and relatives
  • Financially stable parents
  • Opportunities for a happy, fulfilling life
  • Opportunity for a quality education

Women reads adoption profiles from hopeful parents

Getting Started with Adoption

After you have learned all about adoption and have decided to move forward, our adoption agency in Florida is here to help you create your adoption plan.
 
An “adoption plan” describes your wants and needs for the adoption process. It includes your preferences on the adoptive family you’re hoping for, the level of contact you’d like in the future, and your adoption hospital plan.
 

Choosing a Family

A big part of the adoption process is selecting the adoptive family for your baby. Lifetime’s hopeful adoptive couples have been pre-screened and are approved to adopt a baby in the U.S. Plus, they’re excited to provide a safe, stable, loving home for your baby.
 
After you select your favorite adoptive family, we encourage you to speak with them. During the phone call, you can ask them questions about their faith, family traditions, parenting style, family background, and more.
 

We’re Here to Support You

Lifetime’s Adoption Coordinators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’re happy to discuss your options, answer your questions, and help you make the decision that’s best for you and your baby.

Just call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784 anytime, day or night.

“Our son is a gift, made of miracles and divine love!”

Anthony and Sara with their son ElijahLast year, adoptive couple Anthony and Sara were blessed to adopt a baby boy through Lifetime. In this family’s story, we hear from Sara about her life-long call to adoption, getting “the call” that a birth mother was interested in them, and their experience with becoming parents together through an open adoption.
 
Now a forever family, adoptive mom Sara shares their beautiful story in this special guest blog post!

 
On February 28, 2018, we got the call that would change our lives forever. For some reason, I didn’t have my phone on vibrate that day, and I heard the ringing from the next room as I was unloading the dishwasher. I set the plastic plate in my hand down on the counter and made my way to the desk where my phone was perched. Grass Valley, California was on the caller ID.
 
Newly-born Elijah“We have a birth mother who’s interested in you.”
 
Fast forward exactly four weeks. This time, the caller ID was flashing our birth mom’s name. Not the first time she had ever called, but this call was unscheduled, after 10 pm, and less than a week out from her due date.
 
“My water just broke.”
 
Fast forward about forty hours. We had just driven cross-country to a tiny town in upstate New York. There was another name, but it wasn’t on a caller ID, it was on a hospital crib. “That’s him. As soon as you sent her his name, she had us write it on the crib card.”
 
Fast forward nine months. Here we are. At the time that I’m writing this, it’s been nine months to the day since we left the hospital. As I sit here and reflect on this adoption journey that led us to the most beautiful and perfect baby boy I could have ever dreamed into existence, I realize that adopting our son has taught me some things – not the least of which is my fresh perspective of the gospel message.
 
Worth the adoption wait!I first felt the call to adopt as a very young teenager. It started with one of those controversial “Feed the Children” commercials. Then learning about the unwanted baby girls in China. Then hearing a missionary speak about the orphans they help care for in Uganda, and working with poverty-stricken American children on various missions trips throughout high school. And so on. Each experience was like kindling to my little spark, and God continued to breathe on it.
 
I wanted to adopt because there are so many children in the world who need parents. I wanted to adopt because I want women to choose adoption over abortion when faced with a choice between the two. I wanted to adopt because not everyone has the emotional make-up for it, but for some reason, God gave that to me. I wanted to adopt for reasons that can’t be articulated but only felt with the heart. I felt so strongly about adopting that it would have kept me from marrying someone who didn’t share that desire. So, God sent me a man who had been adopted himself and understood my heart for it. And the flame continued to grow. It was like “a fire, shut up in my bones (Jeremiah 20:9, NIV)”. I was weary of holding it in, and indeed, I could not.
 
On November 1, 2016, the first day of Adoption Awareness Month, Anthony and I officially announced our plans to begin an adoption process. Exactly two years later, to the day, we finalized Elijah’s adoption. It was a beautiful full circle moment, and the moments in between were wrought with God’s goodness.
 
Anthony and Sara's adoption profileWe had to postpone our home study for a while, due to an upcoming move for my husband’s job. So, once our application with Lifetime was approved, we set aside a handful of months to save some money and work on our digital and print profiles. We officially contracted with Lifetime in July 2017 and were home study-ready that October. Then, the real wait began.
 
It was daunting. Looking through page after page of the digital profiles for so many wonderful waiting families on Lifetime’s website made me feel overwhelmingly…small. How could we possibly stand out to someone in that ocean that was teeming with such life? But I kept reminding myself that God had called us to do this and that He would make the right thing stand out to the right birth mother at the right time.
 
Elijah as Max from Where the Wild Things AreAnd He did. Just four months after completing our home study, we were selected by an amazing young woman who had contacted Lifetime late in her pregnancy. She was initially drawn to the fact that Anthony and the birth father have the same college degree, and once she read the rest of our profile, according to her, “it just felt right.” After speaking with her, it felt right to us too.
 
We’ve been blessed with an incredible birth family for our son that we look forward to remaining connected with throughout the years. The coming together of our families is undoubtedly something to celebrate.
 
There are thousands of babies born in the world each day, and the vast majority of these births are insignificant to most of us. Certainly, we rejoice when pregnant women choose life. Certainly, we acknowledge that each life is special. But, we don’t necessarily take a particular interest in all of those lives.
 
Anthony, Elijah, and Sara todayAn example of such a life is the baby boy born in a tiny town in upstate New York at 8:22 am on March 29, 2018, to a woman none of our family and friends have ever met. But, the moment he took on our name, he became part of the family. Elijah has become such a source of excitement and joy in our family. He was automatically accepted and loved. Because he took on our name. That’s the gospel, and watching it play out in front of me these past months has been too beautiful for words.
 
Some people wonder if having an adopted baby could possibly feel the same as having a child that you helped create, but I can say with absolute certainty that we couldn’t love this precious little soul any more in this moment. He is made of dream dust and miracles and divine love, and he is better than we ever imagined. He is a gift. As he grows, we’ll tell him his story – about the God who created him, his birth parents, and the string of holy moments that brought us all together.
 
There are parts of Elijah’s tale I’ll never share publicly, out of respect for him and his birth mother’s privacy. Those sacred details are tucked away in my heart, convincing me even more that he was meant to walk this earth and meant to do it as part of our family. That the God who paid the ultimate price for him has set the stage for His great and marvelous plans for my son’s life to unfold.
 
I can’t wait to find out the rest of the story!
 

Lifetime would love to help you adopt a baby, too!
 
Start your open adoption journey today by completing Lifetime’s free application to adopt.

How to Create a Connection With the Family You Chose

Once you choose adoptive parents for your baby, you’ll move forward in what’s called an adoption “match.” Through modern adoption, you have options on how you’d like to communicate with them throughout your pregnancy.

You’ll be part of each other’s lives for many years to come, so we encourage you to get to know the adoptive parents you’ve picked. Doing so can make you feel positive and confident in your decision.

Today, Lifetime Adoption Agency is sharing 4 effective ways to connect with the adoptive couple:

Birth mother chats on the phone with adoptive family

By Talking on the Phone

We want your adoption match to be a cooperative (and conversational) journey between you and the adoptive parents. Talking with the adoptive couple on the phone allows you to create a two-way conversation where you can share your wishes. Not sure what to say when you only talk with the adoptive couple on the phone? You might share about your pregnancy, how involved you’d like to be in your child’s future, and what you want for your child as they grow up. Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime is here to help you during this process.

By Emailing or Texting Back & Forth

Are you intimidated at the thought of talking on the phone with the couple? You might try starting out by emailing or texting back and forth with them. Think of it like this: you’re getting to know a new friend, and you share one of the most important people in your lives in common.

By Seeing Them In Person

Lifetime recommends having a face-to-face meeting with the adoptive couple. Visiting with them will make all of you feel more comfortable and familiar with each other. Meeting up allows you to see that they care about you, not just your baby. Choose to meet in a casual, public location to start, so there’s no pressure. “I’m so glad I met up with my daughter Hailey’s adoptive parents before giving birth! It allowed me to feel much more comfortable with them once the time came to deliver her,” says one birth mother, Jessica.

Birth mother in the hospital

During Your Hospital Stay

In open adoptions, many adoptive families wish to be at the hospital when their baby is born. But it’s totally up to you whether or not they’re allowed in the delivery room. Some birth mothers decide to allow the adoptive mother to be present.

We recommend that you decide how your hospital stay will go down before you go into labor. Here a few things to think about for your hospital stay:

  • How much time do you want alone with your baby after he or she is born?
  • Would you like to have a family member or friend with you as support?
  • When it comes time to go home, would you like to leave before your child’s adoptive family, after, or at the same time?

Your Baby, Your Choices

You can decide how much contact you’d like to have with the adoptive couple before you give birth. If you’d like to have an open adoption with visits later on, try to take the time to get to know the adoptive family before your baby is born. Many birth mothers have shared with us that getting to know the adoptive couple made them feel more confident in their decision. It allowed them to realize that this was the right family for their baby.

Lifetime is always here for you to talk to about your baby, the process, any concerns you have, and so much more.

Just call or text us at 1-800-923-6784.

4 Ways to Build a Quality Relationship With Your Child’s Adoptive Family

Learn about building a relationship With your child’s adoptive familyWhen you decide to make an open adoption plan, it doesn’t just mean having a relationship with your child. It also means having a relationship with your child’s adoptive family. And creating a bond with them can be a wonderful experience!
 
Today, we’re giving you 4 tips to help get you to begin the path towards a quality relationship with the adoptive family:
 

1. Get to Know Them

Getting to know your child’s adoptive parents before and after placement is important! So, ask them questions about things like their lives, jobs, church, vacations, and traditions. You could try chatting with them like you would to a friend.
 
“When I go to California to visit my daughter and her adoptive parents, I always update them on my life – school, dating, work, and stuff like that,” says Taylor, a birth mother. “I think that when we show interest in each other’s lives, it makes us all feel more comfortable.” Who knows, the adoptive couple may even become some of your closest friends!
 

2. Honor Boundaries

It’s crucial to respect their roles as parents, and yours as the birth mom. These roles are equally important but different. When you honor their boundaries and parenting decisions, the adoptive parents will feel respected and secure in their role. This security will make them feel more comfortable with you.
 

3. Notice Your Child’s Siblings

If your child has siblings, you’re important in their lives too. “My son’s brother is one of my favorite kids. When I visit, we all play together. He knows that I love him and his brother,” says Hailey, a birth mother. So if you get your child a gift, think about getting a gift for their brother or sister, as well. They need to know they are important to you too.
 

4. Don’t Worry

Adoptive parents are only humans, so they might act awkward and make mistakes. They might be worried about saying or doing the wrong thing, just like you. So try not to feel intimidated as you start your relationship. What’s helped some birth moms is to think of them like extended family members.
 
 
The bottom line is that any relationship requires work. We recommend that you find what works best for you, since every open adoption relationship is different. Your relationship with the adoptive couple will naturally change as time passes. It’s possible to have an incredible open adoption relationship if you put the child first and remember that adoption is about love!

“I Praise God for Women Who Choose Adoption”

This guest post was written by a Lifetime adoptive mother who adopted a baby girl last year, along with her husband.
 
"I praise God for women who choose adoption" shares an adoptive mother“It’s National Adoption Month. I’ve had a lot on my mind. And I’ve tried to do my due diligence at reading/listening to all members of the domestic private adoption triad. Here’s what I’ve learned…
 
The adoptee doesn’t want to be told to be thankful. She lives with a label she can’t hide from and a shadow of what the unknown could have been like.
 
Birth mom doesn’t want to be told what a selfless and sacrificial decision she made. She may live with guilt and grief, and despise the adoptive parents because she feels like a doormat. Only getting contact to check off the box of what they owe her…
 
We haven’t heard from our birth mom since our daughter was six weeks old. I can’t help but wonder how she is. I send her a lengthy email every two months, update pictures in a Google share folder, and send text pictures randomly. No response. I gave her permission to tell me to be more frequent, or less frequent – but no response. I miss her. I care about her. I wish I knew how to help her.
 
Adoptive mother and newborn adopteeOur daughter is great! She loves her family, and we love her. This is a journey, and in 10 years there will be much more to say about how she is – how she has come to accept her heritage. My prayer for her is that adoption would not define her, that she wouldn’t let it be her sole identity. But rather, through this experience she would become an advocate for families. An advocate for children.
 
My husband is a pastor. We work with a lot of children and adolescents. There are so many difficult situations our kids are dealing with – living in. Step parents are cruel, moms are in jail, dads and boyfriends are abusive, and children beg for food, I could go on. This is really difficult to say without sounding judgmental, or proud – so please hear this carefully. 18 years is a long time for a child to live in turmoil. When I think about our daughter’s birth family, the writing on the wall tells me she would have been living among unstable and non-committal relationships. Her birth mom found herself in a very sticky situation, bless her heart. I have full forgiveness and mercy for her. And for our daughter’s sake, I’m so thankful she chose adoption. I’m not sure what her motives were. Whether she realizes it or not, she saved our daughter from a slew of messy and quite possibly abusive relationships. She gave her stability and full acceptance. She’s no longer an accident, a mistake, an ex-girlfriend’s other child, a half-sister, or a girlfriend’s daughter. This is an identity she does not have to live with! And I am so THANKFUL for her sake. She is a daughter, a sister. No strings attached.
 
This is also difficult to say, because I don’t want to exclude single adoptive moms – or cast judgement on single parents. I simply want to say, that on top of what I’ve already said about the gift our daughter’s birth mom gave her, she gave her a DAD. Had she stayed with her birth family, in 15 years she may have been saying to her pastor, like many have said to us in tears, ‘I don’t have a dad.’ They call mom’s boyfriend dad, but he’s not their dad and next month he could be gone. Their siblings’ dad babysits them, but he’s not their dad, and everyone knows it. Our daughter has a dad, and he’s not going anywhere.
 
The gospel has incredible healing power. And I believe God changes lives. I would 100% support a single woman with an unplanned pregnancy who wanted to parent, because I believe God can turn our mess into something beautiful. He is the God of restoration. But the road isn’t easy. Quoting the title of an excellent book, the Christian life is “a long obedience in the same direction.” Although this next part grieves me, I’ve also learned to accept that not every birth mom is ready for the long obedience that will transform her mess into a beautiful story. And so I praise God for those birth moms who choose adoption. And I also praise God for bringing the gospel to me, for cleaning up my own mess and equipping me to be a part of someone else’s story – my daughter’s story. It’s an overwhelming privilege. I pray I am faithful to the task.”

 

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