Are you pregnant and considering adoption? We are here to guide you through the process, from beginning to end and after placement. Our counselors are always available to you.
At Connecticut Adoption Services we want birth parent(s) to be active participants in the decision-making process, if they so choose. Connecticut Adoption Services guides birth parent(s) through the process, from beginning to end and after the adoption. Since our agency is based in Connecticut, our counselors are always available to parents. Birth parent(s) are encouraged to help choose the right family for their child. Birth parent(s) can also meet the adoptive family on a first-name basis.
One of our past birth mothers Margarita shares her experience of working with Connecticut Adoption Services in this short interview. Listen Here.
The following services are offered free of charge:
- Adoption counseling to give emotional support before and after the birth;
- Support from past birth parents who can tell you what it’s like to go through the process;
- Assistance finding the right adoptive family;
- Financial assistance with medical costs, living expenses, maternity clothes, and transportation related to the adoption;
- Help completing and understanding the legal process;
- Reassurance after the adoption through ongoing letters and pictures sent by the adoptive parents;
- TALK with one of our birth parent counselors during office hours by calling Toll Free 1.866.WCSkids (1.866.927-5437) or
- CALL or TEXT anytime at 1 (860) 508-8931
- Placement Process
During your pregnancy, your social worker will meet with you in person on a regular basis, and you may choose the location. You will receive counseling and clinical support during the adoption process. In the beginning, counseling will focus on helping you to make the best decision for you and your child. Let us know if you would like to meet with a past birth mother.
The Birth Father
If at all possible, the birth father should also receive counseling. Such counseling may be done as a couple or separately. Birth fathers have the same legal rights as birth mothers in Connecticut, and every attempt to contact him and involve him must be made by the agency. If you are uncomfortable contacting him for whatever reason, your counselor can provide this service.
Picking Adoptive Parents
Once you decide that adoption is the best option for you and your baby, your social worker will assist you with picking the right adoptive parents. Based upon their biographical albums, your social worker will answer any of your questions about each family's ability to provide a good home.
You may ask to meet the adoptive parents and/or request pictures and written updates be sent to you after adoption. Another option is for you to ask that Connecticut Adoption Services keep the pictures and the letters at the agency until you decide that you are ready to see them. When you are ready, you can contact our office and request that they be forwarded to you. To help birth parents form a picture of who our adoptive families are, Connecticut Adoption Services has established guidelines for families seeking to adopt an infant.
Connecticut Adoption Services Adoptive Family Guidelines:
- Married couples or singles are eligible.
- Couples should be married for one or more years.
- Parents should be at least 25 years old.
- Applicants may reside anywhere in the United States, although almost all of our families live in CT.
- Applicants may be of any race or religion.
- Applicants can be renters or owners of their homes.
After the Baby is Born
It is your choice whether or not you wish to see your child. We will respect your decision. We do, however, encourage you to see and spend some time with your child, as we believe that it will help your healing process after the adoption.
While in the hospital, you can inform the hospital staff if you want a picture of the baby or any mementos, such as the crib card. You can name the baby or ask the adoptive parents choose a name. After the adoption is completed, the baby's name may be changed to a name chosen by the adoptive parents. Some birth parents and adoptive parents pick out names together. Sometimes the adoptive parents keep the child’s birth name or use it as a middle name.
Just like you can ask for ongoing pictures of the baby, you can also give the adoptive parents pictures of you, or a letter from you. We encourage you to do this, so that the baby can grow up knowing what you look like and understand more about you through your letter.
Another decision you will be making is whether the baby will be placed with the adoptive parents upon discharge from the hospital or after a brief period of foster care. In our experience, one to two weeks of foster care can be very beneficial for all involved. It allows birth parents a chance to recuperate from the delivery before they have to sign the adoption papers. Often, birth parents feel like they need just a little extra time after the birth without any pressure to be sure of their adoption plan. Connecticut Adoption Services has foster parents that provide care just for infants awaiting adoption. They all have gone through the same home study process as described above and have experience caring for newborns. Both birth parents and adoptive parents may visit and/or call the foster parents.
After You Leave the Hospital
When you and the baby are ready to leave the hospital, your social worker will ask you to sign the necessary paperwork giving the hospital permission to discharge the baby to Connecticut Adoption Services. Your social worker will bring the baby to a temporary foster family or to the adoptive parents (see "After the Baby is Born" above).
Sometime within the following two weeks, you will be asked to sign your application for the termination of your parental rights (TPR). Your social worker will be talking with you periodically after the birth to continue your counseling and help you plan the best time to sign the TPR application. Both birth parents (if available) need to sign this application. At the same time that you sign the TPR application, you will be given the option to sign a Reunion Registry Form. If you fill out and turn in this form, you are signing up for the Reunion Registry. This means that you are giving your consent, in advance, to having contact with the child when she or he becomes eighteen (18) years old.
The TPR application is then sent in to the Probate Court and a hearing is scheduled. If you have signed your consent on the application, then you are not required to appear in court, although you may choose to do so. A representative from Connecticut Adoption Services will attend the hearing. If all goes smoothly, both parents’ rights are terminated at this hearing, making the baby legally ready to be adopted.
After the Adoptive Placement
Once the baby is placed with the adoptive parents,
Connecticut Adoption Services is responsible for making sure all goes well. An agency social worker will make periodic home visits to the family and keep in touch by phone. The baby must be with the adoptive family for at least six months before the adoption may be finalized. If the social worker believes that the adoption is going smoothly and the termination of parental rights has been completed, then the adoptive parents may apply to have the adoption finalized by the Probate Court. Another hearing is scheduled for this purpose; the adoptive parents, child and social worker attend this hearing. The finalization is the last step in the adoption process. At the hearing, the baby is legally adopted by the adoptive parents.
You will continue to see your Connecticut Adoption Services Social Worker as needed. You may also be connected to a local counselor if you decide that you need extra support after the adoption.
Once your child turns 18, you may be contacted by Connecticut Adoption Services to ask if you wish to have contact with him/her. This would happen if your adult child called the agency and requested that we “search” for you. In CT, both you and your adult child have to agree to contact before we can share any identifying information with either party. Connecticut Adoption Services will provide as much support as you need should you decide to reunite.
• CONTACT US TOLL FREE at 1-866-WCSkids
- Waiting Parents
Most of the adoptive parents who apply to adopt through Connecticut Adoption Services live in Connecticut, although we sometimes have adoptive parents who live in other states. The families are of all races, ethnic backgrounds and religions. Most of the adoptive parents are married couples who have been unable to have their own children. Connecticut Adoption Services also helps single parents and alternative families adopt children. When adoptive parents apply to adopt a child, they must first have a "home study." The home study is a thorough three-month evaluation of the family and an assessment of their suitability for adoption. A social worker meets with them at the office and at their home several times. Information is collected about each member of the household. This includes family history, police and child abuse checks (to see if there are any criminal records), and reference letters. Every member of the family must have a physical exam and the home must be inspected for safety. The social worker also spends time educating parents about adoption and parenting adopted children. Please find some of our actual families who are waiting to adopt a child in the separate section “Our Waiting Adoptive Parents". Each family has been thoroughly screened by the home study process. There are more families that can be seen by contacting the CAS staff. When you are ready to learn more about these families, our staff will show you albums that each family has created. Once you select an adoptive family for your child, you are welcome to meet them in person. If you have any questions about any of the families, please do not hesitate to call or email our staff.”
- Types Of Adoptions
- Semi-Open Adoption
- Open Adoption
- Identified Adoption (birth parents pick an adoptive family before contacting the agency)
- Closed Adoption
There are various types of adoption plans available to birth parents in Connecticut. Today, most birth parents who choose adoption decide on semi-open adoption. Birth parents who choose semi-open, open, or identified adoption can participate in choosing the adoptive parents for their baby. Our counselors can work directly with any birth parents living in Connecticut. Semi-Open Adoption If the birth parent chooses semi-open adoption, she can start by looking at albums prospective adoptive parents have made. We ask all of our adoptive parents to put together albums containing photographs of themselves, their families, their home, and activities they enjoy. They also write letters to birth parents for these albums. Once you choose an adoptive family, this album is yours to keep. You may ask to meet the adoptive parents at any point along the way. The meetings are done on a first name basis with your social worker, so that confidentiality is maintained. After the adoption takes place, adoptive parents can be asked to send pictures and written updates of the child to you through the agency. In some cases, email correspondence is used, too. In a semi-open adoption, the birth parent may decide how much or how little information she wants to know about the adoptive family. Open Adoption Some adoptive families are interested in having an open adoption. This means that they are willing to share their full names and addresses with birth parents, plus have ongoing visits with them after the adoption. In other situations, after several meetings, the birth and adoptive parents may mutually decide to share their full names, addresses and phone numbers. They can then communicate with each other directly and as often as possible. These adoptive families may have ongoing visits with the birth parent(s) as well. Closed Adoption Some birth parents, however, do not want to become personally involved with the adoptive parents. Your social worker will listen to how you would like the adoption to be arranged. If you wish, Connecticut Adoption Services will choose the adoptive family according to whatever specifications you have. Identified Adoption On some occasions, a birth parent knows a family that wants to adopt a child. This type of adoption is called identified adoption. It is called "identified" because the birth parents identify an adoptive family on their own. There are specific regulations that govern such adoptions. If you already have a family picked out, let your social worker know so he/she can review these regulations with you and the adoptive parents. These adoptive parents, like all others, must have a complete home study/evaluation done before they can begin caring for the child. Adoptions through an Attorney An adoption done only by an attorney is the one type of adoption that is not legal in Connecticut. In Connecticut, an adoption agency such as Connecticut Adoption Services must facilitate (arrange and complete) an adoption. An attorney may assist with the process if need be, but he or she must work with a licensed child-placing agency such as Connecticut Adoption Services. If a birth parent is under the age of 18, an attorney might be needed to assist the birth parent. The attorney is then appointed by the court to act as guardian-ad-litem for the minor birth parent. • CONTACT US TOLL FREE at 1-866-WCSkids
- Post Adoption
Your Connecticut Adoption Services social worker will be available to you for counseling for up to six months after the baby is placed for adoption. If you need further counseling after that, we will help you find an appropriate therapist in your community. After the adoption is finalized (about eight months after placement), a Connecticut Adoption Services social worker will assist the adoptive family as needed. Connecticut Adoption Services will continue to facilitate any picture or letter exchanges that the birth and adoptive parents have agreed upon. In addition, if the biological parent(s) have any recent medical information to be shared, the agency will contact the adoptive parents.
There is a support group that meets in West Hartford each month that many birth parents have found helpful. It’s called “The Adoption Healing Group” and it’s for all members of the adoption triad- birth parents, adoptive parents, and adult adoptees. It meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Universalist Church in West Hartford, 433 Fern Street, second floor. If you go, you should enter through the glass doors at the side of the building. The contact person is Maureen Crowe (email@example.com) or (860) 324-4079.
Contact after Adoption
In Connecticut, adult adoptees over the age of 18 years and birth parents who have birth children over 18 years may request that the agency contact the other party. At the time of the adoption or anytime thereafter, birth parent(s) may sign-up for the "reunion registry". By signing the registry form, the birth parent(s) are consenting in advance to having contact with their birth child if s/he requests it. Often, this leads to a reunion if both parties agree to it.
If birth parent(s) do not sign up for the registry before the child turns 18, they may receive a call from the agency stating that the child has requested contact. If both parties agree to contact, Connecticut Adoption Services will help to facilitate a reunion. A social worker at Connecticut Adoption Services will provide both parties with support throughout this process.
• CONTACT US TOLL FREE at 1-866-WCSkids
- Our Commitment To You
Connecticut Adoption Services is committed to helping birth parents throughout the adoption process and beyond. During the pre-adoption and post-adoption time, birth parent(s) are encouraged to openly communicate with their Connecticut Adoption Services social worker. All questions and concerns are important to us. At Connecticut Adoption Services we want your experience with us to be a truly positive one.
Deciding if adoption is the best choice for you is a very important decision. Connecticut Adoption Services is aware of the complexity of this decision and this time in your life. Our social workers are dedicated to helping you. It is our promise that you will be treated with respect and that all our interactions with you will be sincere.
• CONTACT US TOLL FREE at 1-866-WCSkids
- A Letter for Those Considering
..........an Adoption Plan for Their Child
Hope’s Adoption Plan
No one wakes up and says, “I think I’ll carry a child for nine months and then find a different family to raise my child.” Pregnancies ending in adoption are generally unplanned. They aren’t full of great joy and baby showers. Being pregnant and making an adoption plan for your child is hard.
But here you are, reading this letter. I admire your choice to even think about adoption for your child. There are a million reasons birth mothers consider adoption. I would like to tell you the story of my child’s birth mother, or Tummy Mommy, as we call her.
Hope was seventeen when she gave birth to Joy, the daughter she placed in adoption. She had an unplanned pregnancy after visiting a friend at a concert in another state, and had no desire to have a lasting relationship with her child’s birth father. Upon learning she was pregnant, Hope went to a pregnancy crisis center where she was counseled on her three options: parent the child, abort the child, or make an adoption plan for the child. The first two options were out of the question for Hope; she did not have the resources or support to parent a child in the way she would like to have her child grow up, and she did not believe in abortion as a solution. Hope made the decision to work on finding a family that she felt could raise her little girl in the way she imagined for her.
Hope went through the process of being counseled by a Connecticut Adoption Services social worker who talked to her about the journey many birth mothers take. Her social worker let Hope know she had support for any decision she made about her child and was truthful in teaching Hope the laws regarding termination of parental rights after a child is born. Hope’s social worker helped her look through the albums of families that Connecticut Adoption Services suggested she consider and was with her when Hope chose to interview three different families to learn more about them. Hope’s social worker was also with her at the hospital after the baby was born, protecting her rights and providing counseling during a very emotional time.
A few years later, Hope became pregnant again and decided to parent her second child, Joli. Hope’s journey from being a birth mother to now being a mother to her second child was not an easy one. The sense of loss from not raising Joy will always be with her; yet, by arranging for an open adoption, Hope can remain a part of Joy’s life and be part of that new family. Hope is proud of herself for making the decision she made to find a family for Joy, and she is proud of herself for making the decision to raise Joli, who she had at age twenty-three. I am proud of Hope for so many reasons; not the least of which is her determination to follow through with her adoption plan, even when society wasn’t quite as supportive as it should have been. Hope held strong to her belief that August 2002 was not the right time for her to be a hands-on parent for her child. She chose adoption; and we are all grateful for the connections and new family ties that resulted from that decision.
Good luck with your decision. I wish you strength and support.
Joy’s Adoptive Mom