How to Sign Up for Adoption
Making your first phone call to an adoption agency may be easy, but knowing how to start the adoption process and what kind of paperwork is involved can be a little trickier. If you’re considering placing a child for adoption, you’re probably wondering how to begin the adoption process. What papers are needed to “give a child up” for adoption?
Before you start looking into considering giving a baby up for adoption brochures, it’s a good idea to understand what the formal adoption process looks like.
Are You Ready to Start the Adoption Process?
Adoption will be one of, if not the, biggest life‐changing experiences that you will go through. As such, it’s important that you understand all of your unplanned pregnancy options before asking how to sign up for adoption.
Here are some questions that you should ask yourself before moving forward with an adoption plan:
- Am I prepared for the grief and loss that I may feel after the adoption?
- Have I learned about all of my unplanned pregnancy options, not just adoption?
- Have I come to terms with not being the one to raise my child?
If you’re having difficulties coming to a decision that you feel comfortable with, you can always contact an adoption hotline for advice from a trained adoption counselor.
Once you’ve done your preparation for the adoption, you will need to find an appropriate adoption professional. Some agencies, like national adoption agencies, have all of their services in one place. But, you can also contact a local adoption agency, adoption law firms, and adoption facilitators. This decision is entirely up to you, so remember to pick the adoption professional that you feel most comfortable with.
After you’ve contacted an adoption agency and you’ve been assigned an adoption specialist, it’s time to fill out some initial paperwork. You can either find an adoption application for pregnant women online, or you can ask your adoption specialist to provide one for you. Your adoption specialist can email the forms, fax them, or send them to you through the mail. You can pick which option is the easiest and most comfortable for you.
Every adoption professional is different, but there is some common “giving your child up for adoption” paperwork you will be expected to fill out:
Social and Medical History Forms:
This will usually be the first form that you receive from your adoption specialist. These forms are used by your adoption specialists as a way to get to know you and your personal situation.
You’ll be asked to include information such as:
- Your first and last name
- The state you live in and your address
- The name of the birth father and your relationship to him
- And more
The information that you provide on your social and medical history form is completely confidential. Your adoption specialist will need this information in order to provide you as much help as they can during the adoption.
Adoptive Family Preferences:
Your adoptive family preferences form will be one of your top priorities as you learn how to begin the adoption process. When you are a prospective birth mother, one of your biggest responsibilities will be finding the best adoptive family for your baby. With this form, you can decide:
- The adoptive family’s race and age
- How many children you’d like them to have
- Their level of education
- Their religious beliefs
- Where they live
- And more
Your preferences take priority when it comes to finding an adoptive family. Once you’ve filled out the adoptive family preferences form to the best of your ability, your adoption specialist can start showing you different adoptive family profiles who meet your expectations.
Living Expenses Form:
Prospective birth mothers often ask if they’ll be paid for adoption. While this won’t necessarily be the case, most women considering an adoption can receive financial assistance. This type of financial assistance is referred to as your living expenses.
When you complete this form, your adoption specialist will determine whether you can receive assistance for:
- Rent and utilities
- Phone plans
- And more
The amount of living expense that you’re able to receive will depend on what state you’re from and your personal situation. Once you’ve sent your living expenses form to your adoption specialist, they’ll work as quickly as possible to get you the financial help that you need.
If you need these online forms for “giving a baby up” for adoption right away, let your adoption specialist know, and they’ll be able to send them over as soon as possible.
Paperwork after the Adoption
Once you’ve been discharged, your adoption specialist will have some final “giving child up for adoption” legal papers for you to sign.
Consent to the Adoption:
The first and most important form is your consent to the adoption. Without this “giving up for adoption” form, the adoption can’t proceed. Your consent to the adoption is a legally binding contract. So, once you’ve terminated your parental rights, you won’t be able to get your baby back. Your adoption specialist and adoption attorney will make sure you understand everything before signing this legal document.
If you have decided to have an open adoption or a semi‐open adoption with your child, you can sign a post-adoption contact agreement with the adoptive family. This will include details such as the frequency and type of communication you will share moving forward.
Post‐adoption contact agreements are enforced according to state laws. For more information, contact your adoption specialist and adoption attorney to understand your legal rights during the post‐adoption.
Remember, nothing that you sign before your adoption consent obligates you to choose adoption. You may change your mind for a number of reasons, and that’s perfectly okay.
How Do I Start the Adoption Process with an Adoption Agency?
To start your adoption paperwork, or to learn more about starting the adoption process, here are some great agencies that you can contact: