The Adoption Process
STEP 1: ADOPTION CONFERENCE
The adoptions facilitated by The Law Offices of D. Durand Cook are of an “open format.” Our prospective parents attend an “Adoption Conference” which is a one-on-one 4 to 6 hour meeting with members of our staff and is designed to be a “how to adopt” conference to prepare you to meet a birth mother or birth parents. It also includes as much follow-up contact with our staff as desired.
Prior to the Adoption Conference, you will receive our adoption packet which includes a video for viewing in the privacy of your home. This video is testimonial in content, but will be helpful by allowing you to hear about the experiences of others who have already adopted.
The conference will cover the following topics, as well as any others you wish to discuss, concerning adoption:
- your interests, concerns, and goals;
- the legal ramifications of independent, “open format” adoption, including your rights and responsibilities in accordance with California law; if you are not a resident of California, we will discuss any concerns you have with your home state’s requirements to determine if we can assist you in building your family based on your home state guidelines;
- identifying the risks and rewards of the adoption process for both you and the birth parent(s);
- examining the financial and emotional stresses which may accompany your adoption;
- explaining the process we use in locating and preparing a birth parent for you, including a review of materials given to birth parents;
- coaching you in communicating openly and effectively during your initial meeting with the birth parent(s).
STEP 2: MEETING YOUR BIRTH PARENTS
When we have assured ourselves of a birth parent’s sincerity and clarity in her desire to purse an adoption plan, we then explore the medical and financial implications associated with her specific situation and begin a process of educating and offering psychological counseling aimed at supporting the choice of adoption and preparing the birth parents for life after the birth of the baby. Even though the counseling and preparation we do with a birth parent is thorough, a birth parent still has the right to a change of mind, over which decision we have no control.
We assist the birth parents in clarifying what qualities are important to them and coach them on how to interact with you to ascertain whether you are the appropriate adoptive parents for the unborn infant. We then arrange a “Match Meeting” at our office, during which you will have the opportunity to bond and get-to-know your birth parents.
This meeting typically takes 5 to 6 hours, and includes separate preparatory sessions, lunch and a face-to-face meeting. The bond you form is powerful and important to the completion of your adoption. If you select the birth parent you meet, only then will the cost of the birth parent’s lodging, transportation, counseling and other incidental needs be passed on to you.
Family is not defined by our genes, it is built and maintained through loveAmalia G., Independent Adoption Center