How Do I Put My Unborn Baby Up for Adoption in Virginia?
If you’re pregnant and thinking about adoption in Virginia, you’re most likely experiencing a lot of stress about this decision. That’s completely normal. The first thing you should know in this situation is that you aren’t alone. While no one but you knows what’s best for you and your baby, there are plenty of professionals and resources to help you understand your options at this point.
If you’re considering giving your baby up for adoption in Virginia, you should first understand that, while this is a popular term in adoption discussions, it’s a little misleading. You aren’t “giving up” your baby; you’re making an extremely selfless decision to put him or her ahead of yourself.
Private domestic baby adoptions in Virginia generally have six steps:
1. Make an adoption decision.
When any woman learns of an unplanned pregnancy, she ultimately has three options: parenting, abortion or adoption. The first step in giving a baby up for adoption in Virginia, then, is making the decision to do so and feeling confident about it. Take some time to research your options and learn if adoption is right for you. If you have questions, you can always call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an American Adoptions adoption secialist for free, unbiased information.
2. Plan your adoption.
Only when you’re confident in your adoption decision will American Adoptions begin working with you to create your adoption plan. You are completely in charge of this process. Your adoption specialist will help you decide exactly how you want the adoption to go, from determining what you’re looking for in an adoptive family to outlining every detail of your hospital stay.
3. Find an adoptive family.
If you are pregnant and thinking about adoption for your baby, it’s most likely because you aren’t sure you’re ready to provide the life your child deserves at this point. It’s your right, then, to feel confident in the adoptive family you choose to do so. American Adoptions works with hundreds of hopeful adoptive families at any given time, so you’re sure to find someone whose values align with your own and who will give your baby exactly the life you imagine. It’s important to note, too, that all of our adoptive families have completed a home study and various background checks and are excited to get to know you.
4. Get to know the adoptive family you choose.
American Adoptions recommends open adoption above any other type. In an open adoption, the birth parents and adoptive parents share identifying information and maintain contact throughout the adopted child’s life. It’s a relationship that benefits everyone in the adoptive triad. The child grows up knowing his or her story and understanding the love that went into this adoption decision, and you have the comfort of knowing how your child is doing as the years pass.
Your adoption specialist will help to mediate contact in the beginning, after which point you can communicate with your child’s adoptive family however you wish. This communication may take the form of calls, emails, texts, social media interactions, or in-person visits. It’s completely up to you!
5. Prepare for your hospitalization.
As we mentioned earlier, your adoption specialist will help you plan every detail of your hospital stay. Like every pregnant woman, you’ll need to have a birth plan that outlines how you’d like to deliver, etc. But as a pregnant woman choosing adoption for your baby in Virginia, you’ll need to get a little more specific. Prior to delivery, your adoption specialist will ask you to consider:
- If you would like to interact with the adoptive family at the hospital and, if so, how much
- How much time you’d like to spend alone with your baby
- If you want to nurse your baby
- If you’d like to be alone with your baby
Once your baby is born, Virginia law states that you must wait until his or her third calendar day of life before you can consent to adoption.
6. Continue your adoption relationship.
Adoption doesn’t end the second your baby is placed with the adoptive family. It’s a lifelong relationship. Depending on the type and degree of contact you’ve agreed to with the adoptive family, you’ll continue to interact with your baby and his or her adoptive parents for as long as you like. At the very minimum, you will receive picture and letter updates through American Adoptions until your baby is 18.
Giving up your baby for adoption will not be easy, and it’s not right for everyone. However, if you think placing a baby for adoption in Virginia could help both you and your child, please call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time for free, unbiased information.
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