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What is an Adoption Process and How do I Get Started?

By Shaina Santagata

The adoption process might seem confusing at first glance, and you might not know where to begin. You found out you were pregnant, but the timing and situation did not make this a joyous occasion. At Adoption Choices of Texas, we have helped birth mothers, birth parents, and adoptive families for more than a few decades.

Our passion is to give birth mothers (and parents) a safe place to turn to in their time of need. We understand that adoption can be the best option for everyone involved. The birth mother and the baby deserve to have a happy and fulfilling future, and that journey is different for everyone. An unplanned pregnancy can lead a birth mother to start searching for how to give her baby up for adoption, and we are more than ready to be the guiding light you’ve been searching for.

What are the Steps of Creating an Adoption Plan?

When creating a birth plan, you can write down everything you want for yourself and your baby. We know that this can be a stressful and emotionally difficult time. But by writing down your adoption needs on paper, we can better guide you on your journey. Two big questions you should consider for your plan might be as follows:

1. What type of family would I like my child to be adopted by?

For every birth mother, the answer is different. We diligently screen all families who come to Adoption Choices of Texas excited and ready to adopt a baby. We do all the legwork, so you don’t need to! You can choose a single, married, or LGBTQ+ family. Perhaps select a family that already has children or wants an only child. If you’d like them to have a specific religious background. You can also decide the characteristics you wish the adoptive parent(s) to have. You can also choose if you’d like the family to have pets. If you don’t have any preferences in these areas, that’s perfectly okay, too!

2. What type of adoption plan would you prefer for your child: open, closed, or semi-open?

Choosing the relationship you want to have with your child is a challenging decision. There is no right or wrong with any of the three adoptive options. It is up to you to decide what you believe is the best scenario for your baby. We understand that this part is quite a lot to think about. Take your time. There is no need to rush and choose at this moment. Think about how each choice fits or doesn’t fit into your life and what you’re going through now.

  • An open adoption allows the child the opportunity to know their birth mother and have information about their cultural and ethnic background. Plans to have the adoptive family send pictures of your child and receive letters from you at specific points in their life (i.e., special milestones like birthdays, graduations, marriage, etc.) 
  • A closed adoption is when a birth mother decides to have no communication at all with your child once they are adopted. Many birth mothers choose this option, especially when they feel it is best for themselves and their baby.
  • Lastly, a semi-open adoption is a mix between both open and closed adoption. The adoption agency will mainly handle the interaction, as they will assume the role of the mediator. There would be limited identifying information (i.e., birth parents’ names and addresses) given to the family who adopts your child. If you should choose to leave room for any contact in the future, it may be limited to receiving only pictures of your child.

Pre-adoption Support Provided for Birth Mothers:

When your baby is born, your adoption plan will have covered almost all of the key parts of the adoption process. Before you go into labor, you can decide on a few more matters, such as:

  • Do you want the adoptive parent(s)/family to be with you in the delivery room?
  • Would you like any alone time with your baby after they are born?
  • Is there anyone you would like to be with while you deliver your baby? (i.e., a friend or relative that will be supportive of you)

Post-Adoption Support Provided for Birth Mothers:

After the birth of your child, they will become part of their new adoptive family. They will be loved, cared for, and given a chance to have the best life possible, all because of you! What a beautiful and selfless act it is to put your baby up for adoption. We want you to remember that you did not “give up” on your baby. You know you’re providing yourself and your baby with a wonderful new start. Hundreds of birth mothers have been where you are now, and an unplanned pregnancy puts you into a tailspin of worry.

But seeing your child welcomed into the arms of their adoptive family as if it was their own, you can feel the weight off your shoulders lifting. Moving forward, you can decide whether or not you want the birth father to be involved in the adoption plan that you chose. We understand that the birth father could be in the picture or not at all. Each person’s situation and relationship is different, so your plan can include the birth father as much or as little as you see fit.

What Other Support Do Birth Mothers and Parents Receive After Adoption?

From this point forward, our support for our birth mothers (and parents) does not simply end.  We have counselors ready to assist you on the next part of your adoption journey. Initially, you may be wondering if you need counseling. Whether you feel you do or don’t, the door for that option always remains open.

All of us at Adoption Choices of Texas want our birth mothers to feel a compassionate blanket of love around them. We know this is not a small moment in your life, and the emotions can be overwhelming. You can be part of our group sessions, have a one-on-one, or perhaps you want to do both; whichever option feels right, we highly encourage you to try! You can contact us for support via phone, text, email, or social media, as we never want you to feel alone. As long as adoption agencies in Houston exist, our mission is to give you and your baby the best possible future.

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Serving Expectant Parents Statewide
Birth Parent Hotline: 945-444-0333 (Call  24/7)

 Or Text: 945-444-0333

Adoptive Parents instead, call: 832-971-1358

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