1. If you haven’t already, the first step is to meet with one of our social workers to learn about the adoption process and get all of your adoption questions answered.
2. Continue meeting with one of our social workers as much or as little as you want until you feel confident in your pregnancy decision.
3. If adoption is your choice, one of our social workers will help you determine what you want your adoption plan to look like and identify your preferences for what you are looking for in an adoptive family. Adoption is a journey and there is a lot to think about. We will talk with you about the process and help you through the steps of adoption. In addition, you can talk with other women who have made adoption plans for their children to help determine what level of openness you desire.
4. Explore waiting families that fit what you are looking for based on what’s important to you in an adoptive family, whether that is family size, location, or lifestyle choices. You will read through detailed profiles of families that match your preferences to get an idea of who they are, why they are adopting, and what their lifestyle looks like.
5. Select an adoptive family. You can choose to meet a family or two to confirm your choice in an adoptive family for your child. We’ll help you identify questions you may want to ask and we’ll facilitate the meeting for you.
6. Make a birth plan for you and your baby. We can help you figure out your medical insurance needs and help you prepare for the hospital time. It’s up to you how much you want the adoptive family to be at the hospital. You will also create an openness plan for the future that works for you.
7. Additionally you can elect to have an entrustment ceremony for you, your child, and the adoptive family. This is a time for your closest family and friends to commemorate your adoption decision. Our social workers will help you plan for this special ceremony, which can occur in the hospital or in the weeks following the birth of your child.
8. During your delivery and hospital stay, your social worker will visit and help you sort through the details and the emotions during this time. The hospital stay can be a difficult time. To support you, both you and the adoptive family will have a social worker available during your stay.
9. Before you leave the hospital, you will complete some paperwork to allow the adoptive family to take the baby home. These are not the final adoption papers – in Minnesota there is a mandatory waiting period of 72 hours after birth before final papers can be signed, but most birth parents prefer to wait at least a few weeks before signing.
10. After the adoption has become final, we offer ongoing support through counseling, connecting you with other birth mothers, facilitating meetings or communication with the adoptive family (if desired), and ongoing post-adoption services. We also host an annual Birth Mother Dinner for all birth mothers to honor you and your choice of adoption.