Step 1: Choosing a good counselor Contact a crisis pregnancy centre to find a good adoption counselor. See a list of pregnancy centers or call 1-800-395-4357 to speak to someone in your area. Meet with the adoption counselor to begin exploring your options. You will need to decide if you want to go through a private or a government (public) agency. Step 2: Finding the right agency You may want to meet with the adoption agency and the licensee who will be working with you on the legal aspects of the adoption. See a list of adoption agencies near you. Step 3: Choosing your adoptive parents Once you have determined that you want to move forward with an adoption plan you can begin searching for your adoptive parents. The adoption agency that you choose will have a listing (usually on-line) of couples waiting to adopt. With the help and guidance of your counselor you can begin to make contact with potential birthparents. You may want to first speak with some couples over the phone and then begin to arrange meetings with those whom you are most compatible. You may want to consider whether you will pursue an open adoption or a closed one. If you want to have an open adoption, you will need to think about the kind of contact you will want to have with your child. Your counselor will help you to think through these options. Step 4: Choosing your health and pre-natal care. You may need to preregister at the hospital where your baby will be delivered. You may want to begin prenatal care, which will include regular doctor's visits, ultrasounds of your growing baby and dietary assistance. You may want to attend birthing classes, which your counselor can assist you with. Step 5: Finalizing your adoption Once you have decided upon the couple that you want to have raise your baby, you can work out the details of contact, whether you want to have a closed or open adoption. You may find that you spend time with your adoptive parents over the ensuing months of pregnancy. A relationship between you and the prospective parents will help to alleviate any doubts or fears that might be nagging at you. Within 48 to 72 hours of giving birth to your baby, you will sign relinquishment documents. You can choose to do this in an informal way or through an entrustment service that can be attended by members of both families. Step 6: Following your adoption Signing the relinquishment papers is not the end of the story. You may want on-going counseling and support. Your counselor can provide you with one-on-one support or refer you to local groups where birth mothers meet on a regular basis.
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