As an expectant mother facing an unplanned pregnancy, you have a number of options available to you. Of course, you have a say in what happens with your body and your baby, but sometimes you don’t know which way to turn. If you are feeling you won’t be able to care for a child in the way it needs or deserves, adoption may be the best option for you. However, even if you have decided on placing your child for adoption, you may be seeing a number of other road blocks ahead of you – the biggest being how you will find adoptive parents you trust. Fortunately, there are ways to find great adoptive parents that you feel comfortable placing your child with. Through a number of different resources, you can learn about adoptive parents, get to know some, and gather all necessary information to make your final decision.
Knowing Your Rights
As the birth mother, you hold parental rights to your child and therefore have full authority over where your child goes once he or she is born. In addition, you still retain your parental rights for a few days or weeks even after the adoption is finalized on paper. With this in mind, you should have some peace about making your decision and, if you feel it is necessary, changing your mind. Of course, adoption disruption can be very devastating for you and the adoptive parents involved, but as a mother who is doing what’s best for her child, adoption disruption may be necessary. Knowing that you have the freedom to make a decision and change your mind may help you as you move forward, however, it is important that you do not use this knowledge as a safety net if you are not completely decided on placing your child for adoption.
Finding the Right Parents for Your Baby
There are a few options when looking for adoptive parents for your baby. Many expectant mothers first contact an adoption agency, but there are also adoption facilitators, lawyers, and other professionals. The main avenues are as follows:
- Adoption Agency: This choice is usually more attractive because an agency acts as a sort of middleman between the birth mother and the adoptive parents. If you feel wary of meeting strangers, are unsure of how to go about it, or simply feel overwhelmed at the idea, an agency will do the hard part of tracking down potential parents through their often stringent screening process. Once parents have been screened, the agency will send the birth mother some adoption profiles to peruse. If the birth mother finds a family, individual, or couple that feels like a good fit, she will let the agency know and further steps will be taken. Of course, as helpful as this option is, it is also less hands on than others. You will certainly have an opportunity to meet the adoptive parents at some point, but all in all, the agency will handle most communications and interactions between both parties. If you want to be more involved with the parent-picking process, this may not be the choice for you.
- Adoption Facilitator: An adoption facilitator is the perfect example of an extremely scaled back adoption professional. With this option, the birth mother or adoptive parents have usually already found one another, leaving the facilitator in charge of helping both parties with the legal and technical aspects of the adoption journey. Hopeful adoptive parents will often advertise themselves and their profiles with the help of an adoption facilitator in the hopes of reaching an expectant mother. In this case, the adoptive parents are picking you as much as you are picking them. You may find adoptive parent advertisements through adoption classified ads or even social media if you are not already working with an agency.
- Family or Friend: Perhaps you have a family member or close friend who you know will be willing to take and raise your child. In this case, you have already found and chosen your adoptive parent(s) and are now looking for an adoption professional such as a social worker or adoption lawyer to help.
Some expectant mothers also turn to their primary physician to get them in touch with adoption professionals. If you are unsure of which path to take, talk to you doctor about your options, your concerns, and what you want for your child. They should be able to point you in the right direction. Again, even after adoption finalization, you will retain your parental rights for a set amount of time. The time varies from state to state, so it is best to check your state’s policy and adoption laws before moving forward.
Placing your child for adoption is never easy, but if you feel it is the right thing to do, it is best to move forward with your decision. Adoption professionals are waiting to help you and your child, ensuring that they are placed in a good home with great parents.