The Adoption Process

  • Make contact with a Small World counselor to discuss services. You can request services at any time during your pregnancy or afterwards! You can schedule a time to meet in person at a place convenient to you.
  • The first meeting will be between you and your Small World counselor. During this meeting you will discuss what services you need. Any referrals will be made for other services that Small World is not able to provide. The adoption process as it relates to your specific situation will be explained to you in full. Other personal information will also be obtained. Small World will not pressure you to choose adoption. You can meet with your Small World counselor one-on-one just to discuss the pros and cons of adoption vs. parenting. The decision to move forward is solely yours. If you decide to make an adoption plan, you will choose the level of openness.
  • Each state has its own laws regarding biological and legal fathers and when they can sign paperwork to surrender their parental rights. We welcome the cooperation of any biological/legal father and would like to also provide him with education and counseling through the adoption process. Your Small World counselor will work with you and provide you with information that is applicable to your situation.
  • You will select an adoptive family for your child at about 7 months into your pregnancy. This process is done by meeting with your counselor to view profiles that have been created by prospective adoptive families. You can find comfort in knowing that all Small World’s adoptive families have completed an extensive home study process. All of our families waiting to adopt can be found HERE.
  • You will work with your Small World counselor to develop your hospital plan. This plan is a detailed document that describes what you want your hospital stay to look like. You will get to decide who is with you at the hospital, if you want to spend time with the baby, and if you would like the adoptive parents present at any point.
  • You deliver the child, and your Small World counselor will visit with you in the hospital and be present to provide support, conduct counseling/education, and/or to answer any questions you might have. Once the baby is ready for discharge from the hospital, your Small World counselor will assist with this transition and provide excellent care for him/her until the child is placed with the adoptive family. According to Tennessee state law, you will wait until four days following delivery to sign the Surrender of Parental Rights. Your Small World counselor will be with you to walk you through this whole process. They will sit with you and explain the documents you will be signing and will go with you to sign the documents in front of a Judge. The Surrender documents must be signed to make the child free for adoption. After you sign the Surrender of Parental Rights, you will have a revocation period of 3 business days. On the morning of the 4th business day, the Surrender of Parental Rights will take effect.
  • Your Small World counselor will meet with you at least one time within the first month following the surrender of parental rights to help with any needed time to process emotions and/or ask questions. Small World also provides continued client initiated counseling post adoption and is available to help connect you with any needed resources.