We have outlined some steps to help you understand the adoption process with Adoption STAR. Adoption STAR can help you make a plan at any point in your pregnancy. If you have just given birth and have not previously contacted us or if you are contacting us after bringing your baby home, please know we will provide you with the same services and options. The process may or may not need to be expedited, as it will depend on your timetable and preferences. Always feel free to call Adoption STAR directly 1-866-691-3300 so we may provide additional information and support.
Making The First Contact With Adoption STAR
When you feel ready, you may make your initial contact with Adoption STAR in a number of ways. Fill out our online form or you can also request an information packet by calling us directly, toll free, at 1-866-691-3300 or 716-639-3900 or, email Adoption STAR. Our philosophy is that you should educate yourself about the process and Adoption STAR is ready to assist you. Our acronym STAR stands for Support, Training, Advocacy and Resources because these are the most important ingredients when considering adoption. Adoption STAR counselors are available 24 hours, 7 days per week to assist you. Your contact with Adoption STAR will remain private and confidential.
Initial Appointment (If Desired)
We are able to set up an appointment with you at your convenience either in your home, in our office or another location. If you are not ready to meet in person, we will respect that and will be able to speak to you by telephone or correspond by text, e-mail and regular mail.
Informational Packet And Application
We will provide you information on Adoption STAR, the adoption process and an application. This can be sent to you electronically, mailed to you or given to you at the first appointment. By completing and returning the application form you are not making a legal commitment to place your baby for adoption, rather you are agreeing to learn more about the process and may withdraw from the process at any time. All services come at no cost to you.
Explore All Your Options
You will be connected with an Adoption STAR worker, who you can meet in person or by phone. Their role is to learn more about your values, wishes, and situation. Together, they will explore your feelings about this pregnancy, identify and grow your support network, and discuss all your options without judgment. All expectant parents are able to receive accurate and unbiased information about adoption, foster care, kinship care, parenting, and abortion from us. Your counselor will be available to you at anytime day and night to support you.
Explore Adoption With An Adoption STAR Counselor
Your counselor will explain the adoption process to you and will be available to answer your questions. You will learn how the modern and ethical adoption process works. You will quickly learn that by selecting adoption as your plan you now have many decisions to make. There are so many options within an adoption plan and your counselor will tell you about them.
Prior to making an adoption plan, your counselor will provide you with additional paperwork to begin building your file. All information remains confidential. This paperwork includes a packet known as the Birth Parent Background Packet asking questions related to the parents of the baby. The packet asks general questions about yourself, your hobbies and interests, your medical history, etc. This information will be used confidentially and is an important packet as you begin to consider selecting an adoptive family. You may complete the packet on your own or you may ask your counselor to fill it out with you.
If you have any questions regarding the background packet and any other forms provided to you, your adoption counselor will be available to assist you. Again, by completing the paperwork you are not committing yourself to choose adoption, you are simply telling us you are ready to begin exploring and creating an adoption plan. You will not sign any legal adoption paperwork until after the birth of your baby.
Finally, your counselor will be available to you throughout your pregnancy and to assist you in not only preparing an adoption plan but a birth plan for the hospital. They will be able to provide counseling and support after the birth and adoption as well.
Creating an Adoption plan
If you believe adoption is the best option for you and your baby, your counselor will work with you to help you develop an adoption plan that is tailor made for you. They will work with you to learn your preferences for an adoptive family and should you desire, they will also identify profiles of prospective adoptive parents for you so you may get to know them and select your baby’s parents. If you choose to meet the adoptive parents, your counselor will be available to arrange contact and be present with you if you wish.
Once you are ready to create your adoption plan there is no right or wrong way to put it together. The most important thing is to know that Adoption STAR is here to support you and provide you with options within your plan.
You can be as involved in the adoption as you want. Here are just a few examples of the choices you have within an adoption plan:
- You can view profiles and select the adoptive family, or you can ask the agency to do so on your behalf.
- You can choose to have communication with the adoptive family even before you give birth via telephone, e-mail, or in person.
- You can select an open adoption where a continued relationship is developed between you and the adoptive family or you can select a semi open adoption or even a closed adoption should you feel that would suit you better.
- You can receive letters and pictures of the baby as well as have ongoing visits if you desire with an open adoption plan.
- You can receive letters and pictures of the baby even if you choose a less open adoption.
- You can waive your right to receiving letters and pictures.
The choices are yours.
Making a decision about the adoptive parents is extremely personal and we encourage you to control the process. We will also respect your right to have the agency make a match on your behalf if you wish. If you and the adoptive parents choose to move forward, you will be able to choose whether and how you communicate until you give birth.
No matter what type of adoption you select you will always be able to receive:
- Free counseling before and after birth.
- Help with medical bills and other pregnancy related expenses.
- The ability to speak with other birth parents and/or adoptees to learn about their personal experiences.
- Be invited to participate in our support groups.
Creating A Birth Plan
Typically, a birth plan is a written document prepared by you with the support of your adoption counselor. It is provided to the hospital and your obstetrician prior to your due date. Even though the adoption counselor will send the plan to the hospital it is always good to bring a copy with you. It is important to include in your plan who will be your support person for labor and delivery, as well as your plans for the baby’s care and the involvement of adoptive parents. Often times our adoption counselors are present for those in labor and delivery, so this is available to you if you desire. In addition to creating a birth plan, it is helpful to have a list of all the things that you should bring with you to the hospital. Many of these items will make your stay more comfortable.
When The Baby Is Born
When you go into labor please let us know. Your worker will be available to you and your support system, the hopeful adoptive parents, and hospital staff. We will advocate for you at all times. Adoption STAR is committed to educating hospitals on how to respect and support a woman who is making an adoption plan, but if at any time you feel uncomfortable you may immediately contact your adoption worker. If you have developed a birth plan stating your preferences for how you wish things to go at the hospital during your labor and delivery, then please bring that plan with you to the hospital.
Once the baby is born, your adoption counselor will review your adoption plan with you and make sure everything is happening in the way that you want. Your counselor will do their best to prepare you ahead of time for what to expect and our Birth Parent Services Packet is also helpful providing a guide to common emotions that occur at this time.
As long as you are still comfortable with your adoption plan it would be at this time that you would place the baby with the adoptive family. In most situations, it is the day that the baby is discharged from the hospital. The baby can be placed directly with the adoptive parents upon discharge from the hospital or discharged by a staff member of Adoption STAR and on the same day placed with the adoptive parents. You can choose to be present at the time the adoptive parents receive the child, or you can choose not to be present. During this emotional time, you may remember and review why you have selected adoption as the journey for you and your baby. Many different emotions will come up for you at this time. This is normal and expected. We will work to provide you with support and guidance and to give you as much hand holding as you desire. We will also respect your desire to have time alone with or without the baby prior to the placement.
You will never be pressured by your adoption counselor to continue with your adoption plan, your adoption counselor will only work to help you through this time and to make sure you are comfortable in your process. Depending upon the adoption plan, you may be signing the adoption surrender or consent on day of placement or before. You will be familiar with the documents you will be signing as they would have been introduced to you before. An attorney will be present to represent you (and who you will have had an opportunity to meet during your pregnancy if you desired.) This attorney will represent only you and they will spend some time with you to be sure you not only understand the process and the paperwork but to also be sure you are comfortable with your plan. Adoption laws can vary from state to state so depending upon that, the adoption counselor and your attorney will have already prepared you for the process.
Post Adoption Support
Over the next week, then months, you will feel a range of varying emotions. It is recommended that you permit your adoption counselor to stay in touch with you after placement. Staying in touch includes telephone and in person contact. It is important that you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts, feelings, and questions with your adoption counselor.
Adoption is a lifelong process. It does not end with the placement of a child. At Adoption STAR we like to say that it actually begins… meaning that you are now a birth parent. You began the process as an expectant parent and the journey led you to becoming a birth parent. It is a new identity and a process that lasts your whole life, changing through the years. We recommend that you allow your worker to stay in touch as part of your support network so they can listen to you and help you through your process and connect you to services as needed to continue being safe and healthy.
We have found that those individuals who permit themselves to “feel” and to allow themselves to receive the post adoption support necessary tend to be healthier especially when they also have a personal plan for the future. For some, a personal plan may include getting a new job, continuing education, or working toward other personal or professional goals.
Adoption STAR recommends that you receive counseling after placement. Adoption STAR provides lifelong support for birth families, adoptees, and adoptive parents. We will always be here for you and after placing, you will be welcomed into a community where you can meet other birth families, come to events and gatherings, receive support in your contact with the adoptive family, and encouragement in working toward your personal and professional goals.
Meet Our Waiting Families.
Our families are educated and pre-approved to adopt and are ready to get to know you and your hopes and wishes for your child.
Getting Started : Request a FREE Information Packet
You deserve the opportunity to talk about all of your options, and to be able to do so
without guilt, fear, or judgment.