The Adoption Process of Placing a Baby for Adoption

Six Essential Steps of How the Adoption Process Works

Below is a tour through the steps of the adoption process for a woman considering adoption, complete with helpful links and resources. If you are an adoptive family, please click the following to learn more about the domestic adoption process.

If, however, you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, please begin your decision-making process with the following helpful information:


Before we begin, please know that you may speak directly with an adoption specialist 24/7, confidentially, and with no obligation via our contact form or by calling 1-800-ADOPTION.

We will talk to you honestly about your options and will provide you with resources to help you make the best decision for your situation.

If you do indeed decide to take the next step toward adoption, here's how the adoption process will work:

Step 1 – Deciding if Adoption is Right for You and Your Child

Some women facing an unplanned pregnancy are unsure if they are ready to parent and begin looking into adoption. Every woman’s situation is different, and only you know what’s right for your baby – not the father, your parents, your sister or your best friend.

To help you decide if adoption is right for you, our Adoption Specialists have answered some of the most commonly asked questions about adoption:

We are here to help educate you about adoption, and only if and when you are ready will we take the next step of the adoption process.

Step 2 – Creating an Adoption Plan

At American Adoptions, you are in charge of the adoption process. Your Adoption Specialist will ask you about your ideal adoptive family, the type of contact you wish to share with the family, the type of contact you wish to share with your child, how you envision the hospital stay, and much more.

Your answers to each of these questions will allow us to develop your “adoption plan," which will allow us to find the best adoption situation tailored specifically to your wishes.

Step 3 – Finding an Adoptive Family

Because we have hundreds of waiting adoptive families, you are sure to find the family who will provide your baby with the best life possible.

All of the families on

  • have completed a home study and various background checks
  • are excited to get to know you through phone calls, emails and more
  • have an Adoptive Family Video Profile
  • have moved on from their infertility and are fully committed to adoption.

When you are ready to take the next step of the adoption process, your Adoption Specialist will send you family profiles and video profiles that best match what you are looking for in an adoptive family.

Step 4 – Getting to Know the Adoptive Family

Over the past few decades, adoption has become increasingly “open,” in that birth parents have more opportunities than ever to get to know the adoptive family prior to placement.

If you are interested in a relationship with the adoptive family, you may get to know them through:

  • mediated phone calls with your Adoption Specialist
  • email exchange
  • a meeting in your hometown
  • interaction at the hospital

This contact will help confirm whether you have indeed selected the perfect adoptive parents for you and your child.

Step 5 – Preparing for the Hospital Stay

Your hospital plan is much like your adoption plan in that you have full control over the hospital stay. Your Adoption Specialist will help guide you in creating your hospital plan and understanding what to expect while at the hospital.

Once your baby is born, you usually must wait 48-72 hours before you can legally consent to the adoption.

Step 6 – Sharing Contact After the Adoption

Contact with the family after the adoption can be as much or as little as you want, which you will decide early in the adoption process. However, remember that like any other relationship, it is common for adoption relationships to also evolve over time.

Most women are interested in receiving pictures and letters of their child periodically for up to 18 years after the adoption. You may also engage in email exchange, phone calls and even future visits.

Remember, there is always a family who wants the same adoption relationship that you are seeking. Your Adoption Specialist will help you find that family.


Hopefully, this article helped you learn more about how the adoption process works. If you've made it this far, you likely have many more questions about each of these steps in the process, or perhaps even questions that were not addressed. Please contact one of our adoption specialists today to help you decide which path is truly best for you and your child at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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