choosing \ not giving up
At Greater Hopes making an Adoption Plan is about choosing a different life for your child not “giving up” your child. We think it is important that you always have an important role in your child’s life.
about our child placing agency
Located in the Grand Rapids area, we are local and right here to help. Whether you want to explore if adoption is right for you, or if you already know you want to make an adoption plan, we are ready to help and to walk beside you.
Our Moms' Support Team
We are always just a text message or phone call away.
Cathy is experienced in working with Birth Fathers along with Birth Mothers to achieve the best possible outcome.
Emily is trained in Infant Mental Health and has tons of experience working with mothers and their children.
Mya brings a fresh approach to working with mothers who may be considering adoption as an option.
Marina has a unique perspective as an adoptee who has close relatives who placed infants for adoption.
Some of the things we do
TRANSPORTATION & HOUSING
About Open Adoption
What does “open adoption” mean and why is it important when exploring adoption for your child?
At Greater Hopes openness starts from the very beginning. It begins with you selecting a family based on what’s important to you; meeting them in what’s called a match meeting; and, coming up with a plan to stay in contact with your chosen adoptive family. Your adoption counselor will help guide and support you throughout this process.
Some moms may not feel ready for contact with adopting parents or an open adoption. We will inform you about how that works, and provide you the facts about open adoption. But it’s your choice.
All of our adopting parents are ready for contact from birth parents. So even if you opt for a closed adoption, without any contact, you can revisit this decision if later you decide you’d like to contact the family. We can help you connect.
At Greater Hopes, we would like you to develop a family-like relationship with your chosen adoptive family. We will help you do that, helping to arrange visits and activities. Or you may want to choose to stay in touch after placement through emails, texts or phone calls, it’s your choice. And like any relationship, connections between birth and adoptive families change over time.
Some Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption
Can I get help even if I haven’t decided on adoption?
Yes. We believe you know what’s best for you and your pregnancy. Our workers will spend as much time as you need to review all of your pregnancy options, so you can make the choice that’s right for you. Whether you decide on adoption or parenting, we are here to help you.
Are Greater Hopes services free of charge for me?
Yes. All services are provided at no charge to you.
Can I get help if I do not live in Michigan?
Greater Hopes can help with any adoption as long as either the parents
placing the child or the parents adopting the child live in Michigan.
If you live in another state and would like to choose one of our available adoptive families, we would love to work with you on that.
How much control do I have in this whole process?
We recognize that you are the parent and that you have choices to make.
We are here to support and guide you along your path.
- If you plan an adoption, you choose the family to raise your child.
- You decide if, when and how to meet the family.
- You determine who will attend the birth, who will spend time with the baby at the hospital, and when your child will be placed.
- You will learn the options you have under state and federal adoption laws so you can make the right choices for how you want to handle turning over your parental rights to the adoptive parents.
- Once the child is formally placed for adoption, the adoptive parents
have full responsibility for decision making moving forward. We all hope you will stay engaged with the family and with Greater Hopes. We all want to support your on-going relationship.
Can I get help if my child is older and not a baby?
Yes. We can help you address parenting issues or to make an adoption plan
for older children. We have families that are approved and want to adopt an older child.
What do I do next?
Reach out to our workers anytime, day or night. You can call or text us
at (616) 451-0245, or use one of our inquiry forms.
You can also email us here to ask more questions or to arrange a time to talk. We will always be discreet when we call.
You can also join us at our Mom’s Meetings on Thursday nights. If transportation is a problem, we’ll come to you.
CHOOSING A FAMILY
Yes. We have many amazing prospective adoptive families who have been Home Studied and approved by us. You might also want to choose a friend or someone who has been recommended to you. We can help them get approved to adopt your child. Whatever you choose, Greater Hopes is here to support and help you every step of the way.
You and your personal worker will talk about what is important to you in selecting the family that will raise your child. You may choose from our diverse pool of prospective adoptive families, if you do not already have a family in mind.
To help you make this decision we will provide you with:
- Complete online profiles of the families you want to learn more about.
- A detailed family book written by the prospective adoptive parents that gives you a glimpse into their lives. This autobiographical photo book covers topics such as their childhoods and what they learned from them, family traditions, hobbies and interests, and hopes and dreams for their open adoption relationship.
- Short videos of our families in which they talk about what they appreciate about each other, and why they want an open adoption.
- After you choose a family, you may read their Home Study, which includes several background checks, health reports, financial status, as well as detailed information about their motivation to adopt; home and neighborhood; careers; relationship with each other, family and friends; parenting philosophies and values.
You’ll review family profiles, which include detailed written information and photos describing the prospective adopting family’s home, careers, relationship, families, financial stability, parenting philosophies and values. You can always ask us any questions you may have about the prospective adopting families.(See the above question for more detail.)
You will then meet the family in person, and begin building a relationship with them. You will learn much more about the adopting parents as you get to know one another.
After your first meeting with the adoptive parents, each of you will decide if you want to proceed in making an adoption plan together. If you do, as you and the adoptive parents get to know one another, you decide what you want your adoption relationship to look like.
Every adoptive family we work with is committed to learning everything they can about how a successful open adoption can work. With your personal worker guidance, you will also develop a Hospital Plan by deciding the following:
- Will the adoptive family be with you during the birth?
- Will the baby stay in your room during your time at the hospital?
- What do you want your hospital time to look like?
Yes. If you as the birth mother would like a family who lives in another state to adopt your child, Greater Hopes will work with you to make that happen.
You do not have to choose a family through Greater Hopes. We will work with you and the family you select.
Even if you know the family you’ve chosen, it helps to have your own support and your own personal worker to facilitate the discussion of issues, such as your hospital experience and your post-adoption contact.
Our workers can help with these issues and provide you with guidance as you and your adoptive family develop an ongoing relationship.
The family you choose also needs a Home Study written in order to be qualified to adopt your baby. We can help the family you choose to complete that process.
Contact us! We have good working relationships with many adoption agencies and attorneys.
We will help you process all your thoughts and feelings about your decision. You should also know that who you decide to work with is completely your decision to make at any point along the process.
The families who chose to partner with Greater Hopes are committed to developing a long-term relationship with the child’s birth family. They have passed background checks, had a thorough home-study completed and worked with us to prepare for their open adoption relationship.
Your personal worker will help you realize your adoption vision, and provide you and the adoptive parents with the tools you’ll both need to create a strong and healthy foundation for your relationship.
We empower everyone to build a foundation of respect, honesty and openness with one another. During this process you will become part of the Greater Hopes Community. You will have access to ongoing support groups, counseling, and social activities at no cost to you.
AT THE HOSPITAL AND AFTER
Yes, you may name the baby. The name you choose will be on the original birth certificate. The adoptive family will also name the baby, and they will receive another birth certificate, which is created once the adoption is finalized.
Sometimes birth parents and adoptive parents incorporate the names they like onto both the original and adoptive birth certificates. Choosing a name that all of you like can be part of the discussion during the adoption planning process.
Yes, we will work with you to make a well thought-out Hospital Plan. You will have the opportunity to decide ahead of time about the amount of time you would like with your baby.You can spend as much time as you would like. You will choose who else sees the baby. You’re in control of what you want your hospital experience to be like. Your personal worker will help you make all these arrangements.
This will depend on your choice. Many birth mothers want their baby placed with the family by the time they leave the hospital.
You cannot sign anything until after the baby is born. After the birth, you will decide the time that is best for you to sign documents for TEMPORARY PLACEMENT. Many birth mothers want to sign these documents the day they leave the hospital, so the baby can go home with the adopting family but you are in control and decide when that is most comfortable for you.
YOU WILL NOT SIGN THE PERMANENT PLACEMENT DOCUMENTS UNTIL THE BABY IS AT LEAST 72 HOURS OLD BUT YOU CAN TAKE MORE TIME THAN THAT IF YOU NEED IT.
Many of our birth moms continue to see their child throughout the child’s life. With the help of Greater Hopes you and the adoptive parents will work out what your ongoing relationship will look like together.
Greater Hopes can help you develop an extended family relationship with the adoptive family that feels comfortable and natural to all of you.
We strongly encourage you to stay in touch and become part of our community. We are always here for you for post-placement and open adoption counseling and support. You are welcome and encouraged to join in our community events, including our summer picnic and our holiday party. We also have special social events and groups just for you!
An open adoption allows you to express your love for your child, in an atmosphere of honesty and openness. Openness is especially beneficial for the child. Research shows that adolescents who have ongoing contact with their birth parents are happier. Openness allows them to better understand the reasons for their adoption and promotes more positive feelings toward their Birth Mother.
What Other Moms Say About Us
and important truths about adoption
THIS. I NEED TO DO THE RESPONSIBLE THING AND KEEP MY CHILD.