Are You Thinking of Placing Your Child for Adoption?
In cases where pregnancy is unplanned and the timing is not right, there are a lot of choices you could be considering. Adoption is a wonderful option that you might explore while weighing out your next steps moving forward. Adoption simply means that you are entrusting another person or family to take on the rights and responsibilities of being parents. Choosing to place a child for adoption can be a wonderful way to enable a child to have the best life possible.
Before making the decision to adopt, you will want to explore your options. You should speak to the father of the baby, your family, and/or his if possible about these options. If you establish and believe that abortion is not the right option for you, have decided that a temporary placement in a foster home or with a family member is not what you want, and if you believe the best choice for you and the baby is to find a family who will raise and love your child as their own, then adoption is the route you would go.
It is also important to know that it is okay if you are unsure about adoption or if you are just not ready to talk to anyone about it yet. There are resources available to you when you are ready. If you are just looking for information, know that you can reach out to an adoption agency or professional and they will answer all of your questions and keep your information 100% confidential. You can contact us directly here to ask any questions and one of our Birth Mother Specialists would love to help assist you whenever you are ready.
What type of Adoption Is Available?
If you are a Birth Parent considering adoption, speaking with someone from an adoption entity is the place to start. This could be a local adoption agency or a nationwide law firm. Their role is to advise and assist Birth Mothers by helping you to create an adoption plan and offering support throughout your pregnancy, birth, placement, and beyond. The adoption entity will work closely and sympathetically with you to ensure that you feel safe and comfortable with your adoption plan.
- Adoption Agency or Professional - Adoption agencies and professionals are experienced in assisting women who are facing unplanned pregnancies and considering adoption. Find a reputable agency or professional and talk to them about what you are going through and ask questions. If you do decide that adoption is the best option for you and your baby or child, your adoption agency or professional will be the one you rely on to guide you through the process.
- Local Community Center or Safe Haven - You can always talk to a counselor at Planned Parenthood, Safe Haven or a local community center. Safe Haven is a national program that provides you with counseling or allows you to place a newborn in good physical health with a "safe haven" professional at a "Safe Haven" location, such as a fire house, police station or local hospital. You do not have to give your name or sign any papers. Unless you return asking for custody of your infant (within a specified period of time) the local court will terminate your parental rights and begin plans for the baby to be adopted through a local child welfare agency. You can see specific state Safe Haven regulations or contact www.amtchildrenofhope.com for referral for local counseling or adoption services.
- Foster Care and Adoption - National Foster Care and Adoption Directory You can talk to your local foster care agency to help you make an adoption plan. There should be a series of meetings where they explain the adoption process, provide counseling in making the decision and offer you several foster care options. In traditional foster care you will relinquish your parental rights to the foster care agency and they will find a home for your baby. Temporary foster care provides time for you to continue exploring your options and adoption choice. Your child will be placed into a foster care home and you will be able to visit with your baby. You will continue to work with a social worker and plan to get needed services so your can parent or move toward an adoption placement. Kinship care allows for one of your family members to care for the baby. They may be eligible to receive a monthly stipend to help care for the baby.
- Adoption Attorney - You can reach out to an adoption attorney near where you live or one throughout the U.S. Initial meetings should include information on the adoption process, your rights, and who you will work with throughout the adoption process. Depending on your state regulations, an attorney may be able to help you find an adoptive family, or they may provide you with resources, such as Internet sites to review and select adoptive family profiles. It is important to work with an attorney who is knowledgeable in adoption.
- Support System - Reach out to your immediate support system. This might be the father of your baby or child, your family or your friends. If you have people around you that are willing to listen and encourage you, it will help to talk to them about your pregnancy and the options you are considering. In some situations, you may find that the people in your life are not supportive of your decision. If you ultimately make the decision that adoption is the right choice for you, learning how to deal with unsupportive family members and friends might help to reinforce your decision.
- Birth Mothers - Birth Mothers who have already walked in your shoes are often able to provide support to you like no one else. While each woman's adoption journey is unique, they will understand your fears and concerns and they will be able to share with you what their adoption experiences were like. Other Birth Mothers can also provide insight into what the post adoption journey looks like by sharing what their struggles have been, what their relationships with their Adoptive Parents, if any, looks like and talking to you about the healing process. Most adoption entities, like Adoption Network Law Center, offer to connect you with Birth Mothers who have worked with them previously for them to offer you insight and help lead you through the process and decision to place a child for adoption. Feel free to reach out to a Birth Mother Specialist to get connected.
Steps Once You’ve Chosen Your Route of Adoption
After considering your options, if you have decided to create a private adoption plan for your baby, it’s important to get connected with an adoption entity of your choosing and follow their steps for an adoption plan. With an organization like Adoption Network Law Center, we will help you accomplish the following for your adoption plan.
Get proper healthcare
It’s important for you as a prospective Birth Mother to seek medical assistance and look after yourself during and after your pregnancy. This will ensure the best possible scenario for you and your baby. It’s also in everyone’s best interest for you to disclose details of your medical and family history, past and present substance use, their social history, as well as information about the Birth Father. This will ensure that the family you choose is aware of the baby’s medical history.
Choose Adoptive Parents
Birth Mothers choose the Adoptive Family they want to raise their baby. First you decide what kind of family you hope will adopt your baby (where you might want them to live, their religion, ethnicity, lifestyle, etc.), and then you will be shown profiles of families that can offer what you’re looking for.
Adoptive families have to undergo rigorous screening processes in order to be eligible to adopt, so you can feel comfortable knowing that each family shown to you is a loving family that is emotionally and financially able to give their child a great life.
It is important that everyone is entirely happy with the choice. Often Birth Mothers talk or even meet with possible families before coming to a decision. Most adoptions these days are open, which means that children grow up knowing who their Birth Parents are and can maintain some level or connection with them.
You may be able to receive assistance for medical and living expenses during your pregnancy (as allowed by your state), such as rent, transportation to and from the doctor and maternity clothes. Some adoption entities will assist in finding housing, if necessary, for Birth Mothers during their pregnancy.
The adoption entity will ensure that all of the legal issues involved in adoption are taken care of. After the birth of the child, each state has a specific time defined when the Birth Mother is to sign the relinquishment papers. At that time the adoptive family becomes the legal parents of the baby.
After the birth, you may choose to accept professional counseling to help you mourn and cope with this process and life decision. If open adoption arrangements have been agreed upon, the Adoptive Family will send you regular photos, emails, letters or whatever level was agreed upon.
Adoption represents a chance to make an unplanned pregnancy into a very special decision that unites the Birth Mother, the child and the adoptive family.
It is important for you to take the time you need to make an informed decision. While you can make an adoption plan during your pregnancy or after the baby’s birth, the sooner you do so, the more time you have to learn about the process and to make important decisions about selecting a family and/or maintaining contact after your baby is living in the adoptive home.
Deciding to parent, planning an abortion, or making an adoption plan is a momentous decision. Take the time to consider your options and get counseling to be sure you are making the right choice for you. Be patient and mindful of what you need to make this decision as it will have an impact on the rest of your life and your child’s life.