Step One: Connect with Adoptions Together
If you’re exploring adoption for a toddler or young child, you can reach an Adoptions Together counselor via email, text message, online chat or a confidential phone call. Your counselor will explore the reasons you’re considering adoption, discuss parenting resources, kinship care, adoption and/or foster care.
Step Two: Provide Information on Your Child
If you decide to move forward with an adoption plan, your counselor will request all medical (and school, if applicable) paperwork, as well as a social and medical history of yourself and your family. This is a necessary step before the consent to adoption can be signed and any matching/choosing a family occurs.
Step Three: Prepare Adoption Plan
Next, your adoption counselor will discuss open adoption options, and the opportunity to have a relationship with your child and the adoptive family over your child’s lifetime. Your counselor will show you several profiles of qualified, waiting families who are ready to adopt a toddler or young child. Your counselor can help you in choosing a family that is a good fit for your child. Once you choose a family, your counselor will arrange an initial in-person or virtual meeting.
Step Four: Signing Adoption Paperwork
After the initial meeting with the adoptive family, should you decide to continue to move forward with making an adoption plan, you will sign the consent to adoption and other adoption paperwork. Depending on which state you live in and the laws of that state, you will have anywhere from 7-30 days to change your mind about the adoption and revoke your consent.
Once the consent to adoption is complete, Adoptions Together becomes the temporary guardian of your child. The adoptive family will then complete a placement agreement and will have physical custody of the child. If there is a period of time between the signing of the adoption consent and the signing of the placement agreement with the adoptive family, Adoptions Together will place your child in the home of a licensed interim caregiver until placement can occur.
Step Five: Transition Plan
Whether your child is being placed directly with the adoptive family or in interim care, Adoptions Together will work to create a transition plan that is appropriate to your child’s age and needs. This plan will often include multiple visits, increasing in length, to support attachment and bonding while assessing the specific needs of you, your child, and the adoptive family.
Step Six: After Child’s Placement
After placement, there will be a period of time where the adoptive family and your child will need to focus on bonding. During this period of time, there will likely not be visits scheduled for a few months. When appropriate, your adoption counselor will help facilitate post-placement contact with your child and the adoptive family. The level of open relationship you have will be in accordance with the openness agreement you mutually sign with the adoptive family outlining the number of visits and updates you receive per year. You will have access to ongoing support from Adoptions Together and Adoptions Togethers’ partners including counseling, support groups, case management, and retreats for birth parents.