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 at any time 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.

Because we've worked with thousands of women in your exact situation, we understand your feelings, fears and questions during this delicate time. 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

This is likely the biggest decision you've ever been forced to make, so it's important that you first consider all of your options. 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 is your partner, counselor and friend throughout this process, and she will work closely with you to understand, and most importantly, fulfill all of your wishes for this adoption. She 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 develop your “adoption plan," which will help us find the best adoption situation tailored specifically to your wishes.

Step 3 – Finding an Adoptive Family

American Adoptions has helped countless pregnant mothers through this delicate process of finding the perfect adoptive parents. 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. All adoption professionals, especially American Adoptions, believe pre-placement contact is essential to a healthy adoption relationship, as it helps you confirm the people you've chosen will provide the life you've always dreamed of for your child.

Remember, your social worker can serve as a mediator for much of this contact, including conference calls and email exchange.

You may interact with the adoptive family through:

  • conference calls
  • email exchange
  • texts
  • social media interaction
  • a meeting in your hometown
  • interaction at the hospital

Some women are a bit nervous, albeit excited, to get to know the adoptive family. If this describes you, please remember that your social worker will be with you during this important step in the adoption process.

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. For example, you may decide:

  • how much interaction you have with the adoptive parents
  • how much time you want to spend with your baby
  • who is the first to hold your baby
  • whether you want to leave together with the adoptive family
  • and many, many more

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

In today's adoptions, "goodbye" doesn't have to mean forever.

Most women who choose adoption receive picture and letter updates for 18 years. Many also stay in contact with the adoptive family through emails, texts messages and social media updates. Some even plan personal visits once per year, or more.

However you envision this relationship can become a reality, as long as you choose an adoptive family excited to pursue a similar relationship. We can help you find that adoption situation - one in which you are as much of a witness or participant in your child's life as you feel comfortable with.


Hopefully, this article helped you learn more about how the adoption process works. 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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