A Baby Safe Haven or an. Adoption Plan?
Adoption Choices Colorado provides birth mothers with both baby safe haven and adoption plan options. Safe Haven laws allow you to surrender your newborn to the care of social services and fill out the paperwork immediately and anonymously. Your baby will then be placed on our adoption list. This option allows birth mothers to confidentially and quickly relinquish their child to an adult who will care for them and find them placement without any legal consequences.
Adoption plans, on the other hand, allow you to work closely with a caseworker to choose an adoptive family for your child, so that, by the time you give birth, you will already have the assurance of who will be providing your child with a safe and loving home. We hope to provide choices that work for every birth mother and information on important factors that are necessary to consider when deciding on whether a baby safe haven or an adoption plan is right for you.
Timing of the Process
Baby safe havens are an excellent choice if you desire to wait until after giving birth to make the decision to place your baby for adoption. Many birth mothers don’t know whether they are wanting to place their baby for adoption throughout their pregnancy or perhaps have had life changes or desires shift after the actual birth. Adoption Choices Colorado provides you with a baby safe haven so that you can walk into our agency and complete the relinquishment paperwork if you so choose. It can be relieving to know that this is an option available to you as it allows you to decide adoption is right for you after you’ve given birth, rather than needing to decide during your unplanned pregnancy. Your baby will then be immediately placed in the care of our agency, and you can still feel secure in your decision and assured that your newborn is in the care of loving adults and will be placed with one of our adoptive families soon.
In an adoption plan, you can begin completing the process as soon as you find out that you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. The adoption process can be completed throughout your pregnancy so that by the time you give birth, you will already have everything in place.
If you choose a baby safe haven, you will not get a chance to know who adopts your child. This can be excellent for you if you’re a birth mother who values complete privacy and confidentiality. This can also be really helpful if you really need to focus on your own self-care, as the anxiety of choosing who will raise your child can add to your stress levels and the difficulties of the grieving process — particularly if you choose adoption late in your pregnancy or after giving birth.
Adoption plans, however, allow you to choose whether you want a closed, semi-open or open adoption plan. You also get to work with your caseworker to choose what matters to you in your child’s adoptive parents. If you choose an open adoption, you can speak directly with potential adoptive parents throughout the process and develop a close relationship with your child’s future caregivers. Creating a formal adoption plan can provide you with the assurance that you will be able to continue to build the rapport of these relationships and stay in your child’s life long term if that is something you desire.
Relationship With Your Child
Baby safe havens do not allow you to have a relationship with your child, since you sign your child into the custody and care of the agency. It is impossible to continue to connect with your child as the agency may not be able to place them immediately and the process is totally anonymous.
In an open adoption plan, you can establish ahead of time what kind of interaction and contact you would like to have with your child. This may involve updates and letters and well as in person visits. If you prefer confidentiality, closed adoptions provide you with complete privacy. The third option available to you is a semi-open adoption place that involves contact with your child’s adoptive parents via our anonymous ChildConnect portal. This allows you to get updates without giving up your desire for confidentiality. Working with your caseworker, and your chosen adoptive parents if you desire an open adoption, to express your desires and to create an adoption plan ahead of time will give you the peace of knowing exactly what to expect after officially relinquishing your child to the care of their adoptive parents.
When considering choosing a baby safe haven, consider that it can’t be guaranteed that your child will get adopted immediately. Social services will place your child in foster care while the adoption agency looks for potential parents. Some birth mothers may be concerned about their child not being placed with their adoptive parents for unknown amount of time; if you are not comfortable with this possibility, an adoption plan might be a better fit for your needs.
Adoption plans allow you to already know who will be adopting your child before you have your baby. You can also choose to create a hospital plan with your caseworker if you would like to spend time with your baby in the hospital before relinquishing them to their adoptive parents.
Baby Safe Haven vs. Adoption Plan
It can be difficult to decide whether a baby safe haven or an adoption plan is the better route for you. Many birth mothers enjoy the convenience of a baby safe haven that allows them to make their decision after giving birth and not be responsible for choosing their child’s adoptive family. However, you may also prefer to have the reassurance and ongoing involvement that only an adoption plan offers.
Adoption Choices Colorado will work closely with you throughout your pregnancy to choose a family so that when you give birth, you’ll already know that your child will be going to a loving, caring home. We provide both services in order to best meet your adoption needs during your unplanned pregnancy, whether that’s a baby safe haven or an adoption plan.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to learn more about your adoption options, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.
Meet the Author: Kara Bringewatt is an English major and psychology minor at Queens University of Charlotte. She plans to get her masters in social work and work at a nonprofit as a case manager for at-risk youth. She loves using writing as a means of creating community and bringing attention to causes she’s passionate about.
Kara is particularly interested in educational and mental health interventions for young people in foster care. She’s worked as a tutor, professional caregiver, preschool teacher and acting instructor, and loves being able to utilize her wide range of passions to support young people and plans on being a foster and adoptive parent.