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Are you matched with a birthmother? Here’s a checklist to help you during the wait

 

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Once you are matched with a birthmother, you are pretty excited, right?  There are some things you can (and should) do while you wait.  Here’s a checklist that has helped us during our adoption journey.

Adoption Attorney:  

Make sure you have an adoption attorney from your state and from the state where the birthmother lives.  You may have to give a retainer fee to one or both of the attorneys.  This means they need some money up front to start working on the legal items for your adoption.  

Your adoption agency may provide an attorney for you.  But if you need to find an adoption attorney, I highly recommend getting a good, reputable attorney that handles adoptions full-time.  

Go to the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys at www.adoptionattorneys.org to find the best attorney for you. 

Special birthmother (and birthfather) gift:  

Getting something small but meaningful to give the birthparents is a great thing to do for them.  Check out my blog post 10 Simple birthmother gift ideas.  Be sure to check with CHECK IT OUTyour attorney to make sure it is legal to give something to the birthmother.

Build a relationship with the birth family:

Learn as much as you can about the birth family.  You may not have much time to do this, but it is worth it.  Here are some tips:

  • Ask your social worker or adoption consultant about what questions to ask the birth parents – find out what questions that may not be appropriate.
  • Try to have a face-to-face meeting with them.  Be sure to listen.  Ask them what they are hoping for in terms of communication. Be ready for them to be unsure about what they want.
  • Be genuine.  Don’t try to guess what the birth family wants to hear.  Be yourself.  Be honest. 
  • If possible, give your relationship some time to grow before bringing up some of the deeper discussions such as naming the baby, the frequency and type of contact after placement, etc. 
  • Do not make any promises that you are not willing to keep.  For example, you may eager to promise to visit the birth family multiple times per year, but in reality it may be very difficult for you follow through on your promise. 
  • Click here to read my post on how to talk with a birthmother.

Homestudy check:  

Be sure to check with your home study provider to make sure your home study is up to date.  Also, check the expiration date so you can start on the update if you need to prior to placement.  Adoption home studies need to be updated every 12 months until placement.  

Airline travel release for the baby:  

If you will be traveling by airplane with a baby that is less than 2 weeks old, be sure that you get a signed doctor’s release or the airline may keep you from boarding.  

Health Insurance for the baby:

Start checking with your employer (or your health insurance provider) on what you need to do to get your baby added to your health insurance plan as soon as they are placed with you.  In my experience, health insurance companies will add your baby to your insurance plan the same day they are placed with you.

Prepare to travel:

You’ll need to travel to where the baby will be born.  If you need to fly, check with the airline representatives (or travel agent) about discounts – be sure to mention that you are adopting.  When dealing with hotels, I have had much more success getting discounts by talking with the sales managers that work at the local hotel where you want to stay.  

Be sure to explain that you will be staying there for several nights, you are adopting and would like to know what kind of price break you can get.  I’ve had sales managers give us discounts up to 25% per night for our hotel stays.  Click here to read my post 10 domestic adoption travel tips.

What do you think?  Do you have any thing to add to this checklist?  Post your comment below and let us know.  

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HOW TO SAVE TIME AND MONEY ON YOUR ADOPTION JOURNEY

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