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How to Create an Adoption Plan for Your Baby

Making an Adoption Plan with American Adoptions

Today, pregnant women have a great deal of control over the events of their baby’s adoption. They are in charge every step of the way, from choosing whom to place their child with to what kind of post-placement adoption contact they want.

But, how do you make sure your adoption choices are respected when you pursue this journey? Through something called your “adoption plan.”

When you first begin your adoption process, you will work closely with an adoption professional to determine how your adoption will proceed. Your specialist will walk you through all the different aspects of adoption planning, asking you questions to help you determine what your preferences and goals are. Your adoption desires will be taken down in a series of documents, known as an adoption plan template. Your adoption professional will refer to these throughout your adoption journey to make sure your rights and interests are protected.

Want to learn more? Below, find out what making an adoption plan really entails.

How to Start an Adoption Plan

The first step in making an adoption plan is contacting an adoption specialist for free at 1-800-ADOPTION. They will discuss with you your situation, goals and desires for creating an adoption plan. Know that you are never obligated to choose adoption, even after you have started your adoption plan. As part of this plan, you will be in control every step of the way — which means retaining the right to change your mind at any time.

When considering each step of your own adoption plan, it is important to ask yourself two questions:

  • What is best for your baby?
  • What is best for you?

By answering these questions, you will ensure that the adoption goes exactly how you want it, and that your child will have the life you have always hoped for him or her.

As you start making an adoption plan, you will have control over various steps of your adoption:

Step 1: Choosing an Adoption Professional

Choosing a professional to assist you with your adoption plan is one of the most important decisions for both you and your child. It is important that your adoption professional…

  • is working in your best interest.
  • will build an adoption plan around your needs.
  • personally screens the families and only works with parents who are committed to adoption.
  • is available to you 24 hours a day.
  • is licensed and has qualified adoption specialists and counselors on staff to support you before, during and after the adoption.

When you choose to work with American Adoptions, you can be sure that all of our adoption specialists will meet all of these requirements.

Step 2: Choosing an Adoptive Family

Your adoption professional will help you find an adoptive family that best matches your adoption plan. You will always be able to choose the family for your child, no matter where you are at in your pregnancy or adoption plan.

To help you choose an adoptive family, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you want to choose the adoptive family, or do you want your adoption professional to choose one?
  • Do you want a large family with children already, or do you want a small family waiting on their first child?
  • Do you want a family that lives in the city, suburbs or in the country?
  • What kind of contact do you want with the adoptive family before and after the adoption?

Step 3: Planning the Hospital Stay

The hospital stay is one of the most important parts of your adoption plan. Thinking about the hospital stay in advance will help you focus on the healthy birth of your baby. Here are some of the questions to consider while planning your hospital stay:

  • Do you want the adoptive family in the delivery room?
  • Which family members or friends do you want with you in the hospital?
  • Do you want to spend time alone with your baby?
  • Do you want to take pictures with your baby? With the adoptive family?
  • Do you want to leave the hospital with your baby and the adoptive family?

Remember, you will have a social worker and adoption attorney with you during your stay to ensure your rights and interests are respected.

Step 4: Deciding What Contact You’d Like with the Adoptive Family and Your Child

Adoption is becoming more and more open, and you are able to determine how much contact you’d like with the adoptive family during your pregnancy and after the adoption. Here are some questions to ask yourself about contact with the adoptive family and your child:

  • Do you want to get to know the adoptive family before committing to them?
  • Do you want to talk to them over the phone? Email? Skype? Or even in person?
  • Would you like to have an ongoing relationship with the adoptive family and your child?
  • Do you want picture and letter updates of your child?
  • What kind of post-adoption contact would you like to have with the adoptive family? How often?

When you work with American Adoptions, our specialists can help mediate post-placement contact between you and the adoptive family for the best chance of continued communication success in the future.

What to Expect When Completing the Adoption Plan Template

At American Adoptions, an adoption specialist will work with you on your adoption plan to make sure the adoption process matches your exact wishes.

To ensure your adoption plan is documented and followed, your adoption specialist will help you complete some important forms that provide information about you, your baby, and the types of adoptive parents you want for him or her. Below, find a sample adoption plan template used by American Adoptions:

  • Personal Background Information
    • Your name
    • Your current address
    • Your date and place of birth
    • Your contact information
    • Your preferred method of contact
    • Emergency contact information
  • Pregnancy and Support Information
    • Your due date
    • The baby’s gender (if known)
    • Family members who know about your pregnancy and adoption plans
    • Any family support you have
    • Your feelings and reasons for considering adoption
  • Native American Heritage Information
    • Because of something called the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), you will be asked to disclose any Native American heritage. It is important to provide accurate information, as this information may affect your adoption plan.
  • Birth Father Information
    • His identity, if known
    • The nature of your relationship with him
    • His race
    • His role and support during the pregnancy
    • Whether or not he knows about the pregnancy or your adoption plan
    • Whether you think he will sign the adoption consent forms
  • Marital Information
    • Your marital status
    • If married, whether your husband is aware of the pregnancy
    • If married, whether your husband will consent/be involved in the adoption
  • Descriptive Information
    • Your race and heritage
    • Your height, weight and build
    • Your eye, hair and skin color
    • Your living arrangements
  • Family Information
    • The names of your immediate family members
    • Your history of previous children, including their birth dates, genders, birth weights, and whether they are full or half-siblings to your baby
  • Pregnancy History and Prenatal Care
    • Your previous pregnancies and births
    • Any accidents or complications during your current pregnancy
    • Any prenatal care you have received
    • Contact information for the doctor or clinic providing your prenatal care
    • Your Medicaid or insurance information
  • Employment and Education Information
    • Your current job
    • Your educational background and goals
    • Your hobbies and interests
  • Miscellaneous Information
    • Your history with adoption — whether you have been adopted or placed previous children for adoption
    • Your history of arrests or convictions
  • Contact with the Adoptive Family and Your Child
    • Your preferences for emails, phone calls, meetings and written communication with the adoptive family before and after the birth of your baby
  • Adoptive Family Characteristics
    • Family type (opposite-sex couple, same-sex couple, etc.)
    • Number of previous children
    • Neighborhood type (rural, suburban, urban)
    • Home type (apartment, single dwelling, etc.)
    • Hobbies and interests
    • Pets
    • Religious background
    • Age range
    • Education level
    • Occupation
  • Health History Information
    • Your history of any medical conditions
    • Your family’s history of any medical conditions
    • Any medications or drugs used during your pregnancy
    • Authorization form for the release of medical information
  • The Services You Would Like from American Adoptions

This adoption plan template may seem overwhelming at first, but it is an important piece of the process to help American Adoptions find the best possible adoptive parents for your baby. Remember, the information that you provide to our adoption specialists is always confidential; it will never be shared with anyone without your permission. If you have any questions about this plan, our specialists are happy to answer them and provide more educational resources to aid in your decision.

To learn more about your adoption plan, obtain a sample adoption plan, or start making an adoption plan today, please call 1-800-ADOPTION or complete the following to request free adoption information.


Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

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