Every adoption looks different. And if you choose adoption, you decide the type of relationship you'd like to have with your child and his or her adoptive family. Here are three examples of how your relationship can look:
In an open adoption, you and the adoptive family you choose for your child decide together what you'd like your relationship to look like. An open adoption relationship can include pre-arranged visits throughout your child's life as well as regular phone, email and social media correspondence. Your child will grow up knowing you and the important role you have in their life.
In a semi-open adoption, you will receive regular updates, through email, text or photos, throughout your child's life. You and your child's adoptive family can decide exactly what you would like this to look like, how often you would like to receive updates, and what type of information you will share in return, if any.
In a closed adoption, you have very little to no contact with your child and his or her adoptive family after placement. Some birth parents feel that this option is easier for them emotionally. But because we ask all of our adoptive families to at least be open to a semi-open adoption, you have the option of changing your mind and receiving updates in the future.
If you choose adoption, here are the series of steps you will take:
The first step is contacting our counselors at Holt International's Illinois and Wisconsin branch, who can help you decide the best option for you and your baby. Your contact with us will always remain free and confidential.
If you decide to make an adoption plan, we promise to be there for you throughout the entire process and help guide you through the following decisions and steps.
With the help of your counselor, you review profile books from our adoptive families. If you're interested in meeting one of them, we will introduce you to them at our office or at a location you are comfortable with.
You can get to know the adoptive family and decide on the type of relationship you would like to have with them and your child. We can also talk about how they can help you with pregnancy-related costs.
We can help you make a hospital plan. You decide who you would like present at the birth.
Once your baby is born, you are required by Illinois law to wait 72 hours before making the final and permanent decision to place your child with the adoptive family. If at any time before this point you change your mind and decide to parent, that is okay and we will support you in your decision.
Under Wisconsin law, the voluntary termination of parental rights takes place during a closed court — beginning about 30 days after your baby's birth. Once your parental rights are terminated in front of a judge, your decision to place your baby is final and irrevocable.
You, your child and your child's adoptive family maintain the type of relationship that you have agreed upon. We offer free post-placement counseling to you whenever you need it and will be here as a resource and listening ear for you throughout your life.
According to Illinois law, you have 72 hours after your child's birth before you can sign the official, law-binding adoption papers. The surrender is final once you have signed these papers. We do our very best to prepare all of our birth mothers so that they can thoughtfully and confidently rest upon the adoption plan they make for their child.
If you live in Wisconsin, the law states that, beginning about 30 days after your baby's birth, the voluntary termination of parental rights takes place during a closed court. Your decision to place your baby is final and irrevocable once your parental rights are terminated in front of a judge.
We do our very best to prepare every birth mother so that she can thoughtfully and confidently make the best plan for her child and feel at peace with her decision.
Every woman facing unplanned pregnancy is unique. So is her story. Visit our blog to read stories from women who have chosen to make an adoption plan through Holt International.
If you have given birth within the past 30 days and are in crisis, you can anonymously hand your unharmed baby to staff at any Illinois hospital, fire station, police station or emergency medical services provider per the Illinois Safe Haven Law. Your baby will be placed with a loving adoptive family.