Many women facing an unplanned pregnancy often ask or wonder how to “give up their baby for adoption.”
Before starting the adoption process, it is important for these women to understand that adoption doesn’t mean they are giving up anything – the only thing they are giving is life to their child.
If you are considering adoption, it is important for you to understand this about adoption before you pursue it. Only then will you be ready to start the adoption process, beginning with the first question:
1. What Will You Choose? Parenting? Abortion? Or Adoption?
Every woman facing an unplanned pregnancy has three choices: parenting, abortion or adoption.
Parenting is always the ideal situation, but it is a big responsibility and one that you simply may not be ready to take on at this point in your life. Perhaps you have goals of finishing school, starting a career or getting married before you become a mother. Or perhaps you feel that you simply can’t find room in your budget for another mouth to feed and the other expenses that come with raising a child.
Whatever the reason, you need to take a realistic look at your situation and decide how parenting will affect the rest of your life and how it will affect your child’s life. If you come to the decision that perhaps your child would have better opportunities with another family, adoption is an excellent, and responsible, decision. And remember, modern day adoptions allow for you to have as much of a relationship with your child as you desire – just select a family interested in sharing the same amount of contact as you.
As for abortion, we believe every child should have a chance at life, and every couple should have an opportunity at becoming parents. Furthermore, abortion isn’t always the quick fix that some women believe it is, as problems may continue to linger on throughout these women’s lives through Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS).
Because of all of its various benefits, adoption really is a win-win-win for all three parties, and a decision we hope you consider during this challenging time in your life.
2. Will You Work with an Adoption Agency?
If and when you decide to pursue an adoption, you will then decide if you are going to work with an adoption agency or independently to complete the adoption.
An agency adoption is a good choice for women who want to be walked through the adoption process, from selecting the ideal adoptive family, receiving financial support, to legally terminating parental rights. If you choose an agency adoption, you will likely have your own adoption specialist whom you will work with throughout the adoption process.
If you decide on the independent adoption route, you will be in charge of locating an adoptive family on your own. You may ask in confidence family members, friends, co-workers, members of your church or anyone else if they know of anyone wanting to adopt a baby. Or, you may team up with an adoption attorney whom could help you find an adoptive family as well.
The only downside of an independent adoption is that much of the adoption process relies on you figuring things out yourself. You will have to seek your own support and counseling, you will have to communicate with the family without a mediator, and more.
3. What Will the Adoption Look Like?
In modern day adoptions, expecting mothers really are in charge of how the adoption works. Referred to as the “adoption plan,” expecting mothers choose everything about the upcoming events of the adoption, including:
- the adoptive parents.
- the amount of contact with the adoptive parents.
- the hospital proceedings.
- and much more.
If you decide to work with an adoption agency, your social worker will work with you from day one to figure out your ideal adoption and will help you make it a reality.
4. What Adoptive Parents Will You Choose?
Perhaps the biggest part of the adoption process is selecting the best adoptive parents for your situation. Your social worker will talk to you to determine the ideal parent(s) of raising your child. She will talk to you about things like where the adoptive family lives, how big their family is, how much contact you want to have with them, what their hobbies are, why they are excited to become parents, and much more.
Once she learns your preferences and the ideal environment in which you want your child to grow up, she will provide you some adoption family profiles and perhaps even videos of the family candidates.
You may browse as many of the profiles as you like until you find the best family for your child. Once you select one, the social worker will contact the adoptive family and inform them of the “match.”
5. Will You Get to Know the Adoptive Parents?
Many women in your shoes are only comfortable proceeding with the adoption process if they have a chance to speak with the adoptive family.
If you chose to use an adoption agency, your social worker will serve as a mediator during this time. She will set up a time in which you and the adoptive family can speak either over the phone in a mediated conference call or in person at the adoption agency.
You may also choose to exchange email addresses, which is also becoming a very popular and non-intrusive way of getting to know the adoptive couple.
Finally, if you haven’t yet met them in person, you may request they come visit you in a pre-placement meeting.
All of these types of contact will help you determine whether they truly are the family you were attracted to based on their profile. It is highly important you select the right family, and pre-placement contact helps you make that determination.
6. How Do You Envision Your Hospital Stay?
Without proper coordination and planning, the hospital experience can be a frantic time. This is why adoption professionals encourage expecting mothers to really think about how they envision their ideal hospital experience.
The adoption hospital plan will help answer questions such as:
- Who will hold the baby first?
- Will the adoptive parents be in the delivery room?
- Do you want to interact with the adoptive parents at all?
- Do you want to take pictures with your baby?
- Do you want to be dismissed from the hospital with the adoptive family?
Answering these questions, and many more, will allow the adoptive parents and hospital workers to all be on the same page with you. Once your due date arrives, everyone can focus on making sure you have a healthy delivery.
You will likely be able to legally consent to the adoption 24-72 hours after you give birth. The following gives a state-by-state breakdown of when you may consent to the adoption.
7. What Happens After the Adoption?
Once you’ve consented to the adoption and placement has occurred, what’s next?
Well, it depends entirely on you and what you agreed on with the adoptive family, which may include picture and letter updates, email updates, phone calls or even visits.
Thus, the adoption process really does extend as long as you want it to. Remember, the end of the adoption process is only the beginning of the rest of your life.