Adoption FAQs

I’m not sure where to start. What do I do first?

You’ve already started, by researching adoption on the Internet. It’s important for you to learn about your options so that you can make the best possible decisions for you and your baby.  Cradle of Hope can provide you with pregnancy help and support, counseling and information. If you decide that adoption is the best plan for you and your baby, we can help you through each step of the process. Call us at 301-587-4400, 703-352-4806, or 202-466-0973.  Through any of these numbers, we can talk with you about adoption in Virginia, adoption in Maryland, or adoption in Washington DC, since we are a local adoption agency.

I don’t have any medical insurance. How will I pay my medical bills?

We can assist you in getting the medical coverage you need. If you don’t qualify for medical insurance and you decide that adoption is the best choice for you and your baby, the medical bills for your pregnancy and your delivery will be covered by the adopting family.

Will I get to choose the adoptive family?

Yes you can.  We believe that you should be able to select the adoptive family for your baby. You can see profiles of prospective adoptive families who have already been approved to adopt. We do not pre-select families or limit the number of family profiles that you can view.

What is open adoption?

At Cradle of Hope, you can choose the adoptive family for the baby and decide whether you would like to stay in contact with the baby and the adoptive family after the placement. Some birthmothers would like to see pictures of the baby and get letters from the adoptive family. Other women would like the chance to visit with the adoptive family and the baby from time to time. An adoptive placement where there is contact between the birthmother and the adopting family is called an open adoption.  Cradle of Hope can help you to decide what type of adoption is best for you and your child.

Will my baby go into foster care?

No. Many women prefer that their baby goes directly home with their new family. We believe that the baby should be placed directly with the adoptive parents that you have selected.

Do I have to pick the family?

No, you aren’t required to select a family for the baby. Some women ask Cradle of Hope to select a family based on what they feel is important in a family. For instance, some women would like a family with a stay at home parent or with a certain religious background. Other women may want the adoptive family to share some of their hobbies and interests. If you’re not comfortable choosing the adoptive family, we can help. It’s up to you.

Can I stay in touch?

Absolutely! You should consider what kind of contact you would like to have with the adoptive family after the baby is placed with them. You can exchange letters and photos, emails or even visit. Cradle of Hope can help you find a family that looks forward to the continued contact that you prefer.

Can I receive support with living expenses during the pregnancy?

Yes. If your doctor says you are unable to work due to your pregnancy, we can provide financial assistance for your rent, food, clothing, transportation, and cell phone. Cradle of Hope and the adoptive families we work with understand that you may need help during the adoption and that it may be difficult for you to work, live in your current environment or care for your family while you are pregnant, especially if your family, friends or community are not supportive of your pregnancy or adoption decision. State laws determine our ability to provide you with financial assistance and how much financial assistance can be made available to you.

What do I have to do?

You will need to provide information about your medical background for the baby, get prenatal care, and keep in touch with your Cradle of Hope counselor.
Everything else in the adoption plan is flexible – you can decide if you would like to select the family, if you want to meet them before the baby is born, if you want to keep in touch after the baby is placed, and many other things. That’s why it’s important to connect with one of our counselors. She will help you through each decision and will be there to support you.

What if I don’t want to meet the adoptive family?

You don’t have to. You can decide if you are comfortable meeting the adoptive family or not. For some women, meeting the adoptive family seems scary at first. Cradle of Hope will help you to decide what makes the most sense for you.

How important is it that my baby is raised in a two-parent family?

For some birthmothers, not being able to provide a stable father is one of the main reasons for placing their baby for adoption. For others, a single parent placement may be suitable if the parent can completely provide for all of the child’s needs.

Do I want my baby to be an only child or do I want him or her to have siblings?

Some birthmothers want to place their child with a family who does not have any children yet, maybe because they were the first child in their family and they want their child to be the first one too. A birthmother who had older brothers or sisters or wished for them may want her child placed with experienced parents that who already have children. You can choose a family that feels right for your child, whether or not they already have children.

Is religion a factor?

For some birthmothers religion is very important. If you were raised in the Catholic Church, it might be important to you that your baby be raised by a family that is also Catholic. You may want your child to grow up with the same customs and traditions that you had as a child. For other birthmoms, a loving home with a family of any faith is most important.

Is it important to me that my baby has a stay at home parent?

For some young mothers choosing adoption, this may be very important to them, as it is another thing they cannot provide for their unborn child. Some birthmothers may have longed for a stay at home mom growing up and may want that for their child while for others, a stay at home parent is not the most important factor.

What kind of adoption will feel comfortable to me?

Before you begin meeting with and talking to families, you should have an idea in your mind about what type of adoption you are looking for. Do you want an open adoption with the ability to visit your child? Or do you think visits might be too tough for you to handle and that pictures and updates would simply be the best plan for you? Or do you think that any contact would be difficult and that an adoption without direct contact with the adoptive family might work best you. Any of these options can be part of a successful adoption plan – it’s all up to you!

Searching for a family for your baby can be overwhelming. But when you find the right family, you’ll know in your heart that they are the ones for you and your child.

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