Pact will be there for you at every step of the journey.

An expectant parent and her baby The consultation process begins when you contact Pact, continues through your decision whether or not to make an adoption plan, and — if you chose adoption — lasts through and beyond the placement of your child.

We are here to help. If you have questions, or just want to talk to someone about your situation, please feel free to call (800) 750-7590 or text us at (510) 301-5584 or email

We will work to meet your individual needs. You can count on us to help you understand things as they come up: how to make a decision you can live with, how to plan a smooth adoption process if that is your choice, how to meet the legal requirements, and how to anticipate the emotional passages most people experience along this journey. You can also count on Pact to be acutely aware of the unique challenges that people of color face in this country, and to work with you to find an adoptive family that can truly nurture your child and support their racial identity.

As we get to know each other

We will explain who we are, what we believe, and how we work. You can expect us to treat you as we would wish to be treated — with respect and honesty. In return, we will expect you to be genuinely honest with yourself about the changes that adoption will cause in your life and family.

Once we have introduced ourselves, we will want to hear your story. Why are you thinking about adoption? Could your baby stay with you? How does your family feel? What does the baby's father want? What experience do you have with adoption? What are your goals?

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As you create your adoption plan

What really happens in an adoption, step by step? Together, we will explore what you will be comfortable with. What kind of contact will you want after placement? Will you need financial help during pregnancy?

Introductions to adoptive parents are based on the similarity of their needs and hopes to yours. During the placement process, we will offer you full information about waiting parents we think might interest you. Together we evaluate the family you are interested in. Did you find what you were looking for? What worries you? What feels good? What do you still want to know? What can you do to get ready for your first telephone conversation? How can you be sure who is the right family for your baby? Do you still think adoption is the right choice? What if you change your mind?

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As you interact with adoptive parents

Adoptions work best when everyone puts the baby's needs first and is willing to value the perspective of the other parents, remembering that children cannot be loved by too many people. Things are not always what they seem. Why are the adoptive parent(s) doing what they are doing? What is reasonable? Can you imagine yourself raising a child you didn't give birth to? Can you imagine how you would be feeling at this time if you were the one adopting a child? We will also be working with the pre-adoptive parents to help them understand your perspective and needs.

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As you complete your plan

We will work to clarify the issues of your adoption as they come to the surface. You will need to decide about all aspects of the legal and logistical process. Referrals for any related and necessary adoption services will be provided. Most adoptions include the signing by birth parents and adoptive parents of two documents: an intent to adopt agreement (not legally binding) and a memo of understanding regarding ongoing contact (only legal in certain states). Both acknowledge the solemn covenant you are all making - your pact.

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After placement

Continuing support and education for the lifelong issues of adoption will be made available to you on an individualized basis. Our bi-annual newsletter, Pact's Point of View, features articles written by adoptive parents, adopted people, and birth parents, as well as adoption professionals. Workshops and other educational events will be made available to you whenever possible. Pact also invites first/birth parents to attend our annual Family Camp in California, on their own or with the children they placed.

Continue to Placement »

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