Maybe the birthfather is not a positive influence and you don’t want the child exposed to that, or perhaps parenting together would give that man a direct line to both you and the baby. Maybe you have other children you’re parenting and the best you have to give is not the best for another baby. Or you fear that your family or friends will shame you because you’re choosing adoption. Birth mothers have told us that their mother or others of that generation have told them, “We did it, you should, too.” But the world is different than it was 20 years ago. Communities, and even families, aren’t as intact as they used to be. As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” If you don’t have a village, where is your support system? You want better for your baby.
Our mission is to walk alongside you with kindness and respect. We start by asking questions to find out information about yourself that will help us find the best match for an adoptive family. We obtain a proof of pregnancy and valid ID, whether it be a driver’s license or state-issued ID. We talk with you, answer your questions, and explain the process.
We do independent adoptions, also called private adoption. We are not an agency. We can help with every aspect of the adoption process; we just do it differently than an adoption agency. We do not add an overlay of agency regulations. We meet and even exceed all state laws and requirements, and we tend to be very birth mother focused. We say we’re birth mother centric! We aim to make the process as simple as possible for our hero birth moms.
After the initial conversation on the phone, we overnight you a FedEx package with the necessary paperwork to start your adoption plan, which includes:
- Medical-Social form—this provides us background information about yourself and your family. This information is required by states for the legal process of adoption.
- Openness Questionnaire—this gives you the opportunity to choose what you want for contact with the adoptive family before birth, and then the family and the baby after birth.
- Hospital Plan—this is an outline of how you want things handled in the hospital.
- Living Expenses Questionnaire—this form asks if there are adoption-related appropriate living expenses needed by you; those are for housing, transportation, cell phone, maternity clothes, food, medical, and toiletries/miscellaneous.
- HIPAA Release—this form is needed to obtain prenatal records for this pregnancy only.
When we receive your completed paperwork by a return pre-paid FedEx envelope, we share with you the adoptive families that fit your preferences and criteria on your paperwork. When you choose a family, we coordinate a first call or first meeting with that family. After the call or meeting (moderated by us), our birth mothers usually start communicating directly with the family by text or calls. We’ve found it’s helpful for our birth mothers to get to know the family during this time because it makes things more comfortable in the hospital, and it reassures her that she’s made the right decision for a safe and loving family for her baby. However, you are the one who drives the process and makes the decision, so we take our cues from you how much or little communication you want with the adoptive family.
We work all over the country and will work to assemble the legal team in the state where you will be delivering. Not all states require that a birth mother have her own attorney. In those states, it’s your decision, but our recommendation is that you be represented independently so your rights are thoroughly explained free of conflict of interest. The adoptive couple agrees to pay for your attorney and understands that this attorney represents you, not them. We’ve been helping birth mothers make adoption plans for almost 30 years, and over those years we’ve worked in the majority of states so we have professionals whom we believe have high standards of practice proficiency and ethics.
After you give birth and place the baby with the adoptive family, almost always upon discharge from the hospital, we help set up post-placement contact with you and the family. Our firm offers a website called Child Connect to which the adoptive family uploads picture and letter updates on the schedule determined by you. The family agrees to pay for this for five years. Alternatively, you may prefer the family set up a Facebook page private to you and them, or you may prefer texting them. The decisions are yours.
Our hope is that when you look back on your adoption experience, you will feel that it was a brave and mature decision, and you will commend yourself for doing what was in the best interests of your baby. We want you to be able to move forward in your life with positive feelings for a positive future. We’ll be cheering you on!
The Heart2Heart Adoption Team