If adoption is part of your baby’s future, it helps to create an adoption plan.

Having an adoption plan doesn’t mean you have to follow it to the T. What it means is that you’ve carefully thought through your decision and have a strategy in place that could include placing your child your baby with an adoptive family.

Whether you go through with it or not is another matter. The important thing is that you’ve weighted all of your options and, for now anyway, adoption is one of the choices that you’re seriously thinking about.

In creating a plan, your first consideration should always be your baby. Some of the questions you might want to ask yourself are:

  • What kind of life do I want my baby to have?
  • What qualities and characteristics are important to me in an adoptive family?
  • How much contact do I want to have with my child as he gets older?

One way to decide what kind of life you want your child to have is to sort out your own priorities. What’s important to you? Is it religion? Education? A family that lives near you?

A lot will come down to your personal preferences. Start putting a list together and prioritize each item, from the most to the least important. Once it’s done, go through the adoptive parent profiles one by one. Each time you find something you like in a family, put a check mark beside their name.

When you’re finished going through all the profiles, add up all the check marks. The family that has the most check marks is likely the one you’re looking for.

But you still need to speak to them — and eventually, meet with them. After all, you want to make sure they’re everything you think they are. As you went through your profile, questions likely popped up. Jot them down and make sure you get all the answers you’re looking for.

If you’re satisfied they’re the right one for you, have your adoption worker create some guidelines about the kind of relationship you want to have with them after the adoption has been approved.

This will include the number and frequency of visits. Keep in mind that in most states, the terms of an agreement are non-binding. Still, it’s a good thing to have, if for no other reason than to create a framework for your future relationship together.

If, at any time, you feel that something’s not right and you no longer want to move forward with your adoption plan, don’t be afraid to put on the brakes. Try to get at the root of the problem: Is it the waiting parents or is it adoption?

You can always put off your decision until a later time. Before the birth of your baby, you can change your mind at any time. After the birth, you have the option of putting your baby in foster case while you re-consider your decision.

Just remember that adoption is permanent. Once you give your consent, it’s nearly impossible to get it reversed and get your baby back. Having a solid adoption plan in place will help you move forward and save you headaches and heartache.