From the very moment you find out about your baby, you feel closer to her more than anyone else in the world. And why wouldn't you? After all, it is a part of who you are. Bearing a child can be a source of overwhelming joy, love and strength. But it also brings along a rush of other emotions such as anxiety, worry and responsibility because as a mother you realize that the well-being of your child is now your duty.
Such mixed feelings are associated with all pregnancies, but it gets particularly tricky in case of an unplanned pregnancy where you love your child but know that you may not be able to financially support her.
In a situation like this, it is important to give yourself the time to analyze all options available to you. Also, as you are in the decision-making process, make sure to eat healthy, visit your doctor regularly and take care of yourself. Your welfare and that of your child’s should be your number one priority in these initial stages of your pregnancy.
All expecting mothers have three options available to them; this includes keeping the baby, placing her in the care of an adoptive family or having an abortion. Carefully analyze the long-tern implications of all three of these to identify one that is in the best interests of you and your child.
Raising a child requires financial stability, emotional maturity, time commitment as well as a strong support system comprising family and friends. Abortion is legal in the US, however, it can have a huge emotional impact on the mother and therefore should only be considered if you are absolutely certain that it is what you want.
If you feel that you do not have the financial strength, support system or resources to give your baby the life she deserves, it may be in your baby's best interest to place her with an adoptive family.
According to statistics, nearly 45% of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned and therefore you'll find that there is a huge array of adoption options that you can explore to find one that suits you best. These options range from open adoptions where you can remain a huge part of your child's life after the adoption to closed adoptions whereby you choose to never meet the adoptive parents or the child.
Know your options
You can utilize online resources or identify a licensed adoption counsellor to find out more about the types of adoption available to you. They mostly vary in the level of interaction you choose to maintain with your child and the adoptive family after the process is complete. Here are the three common types of adoptions;
- Open adoptions:
An open adoption means that you can remain in constant contact with your child even after the process is complete. You can decide the exact extent and the frequency of interaction you wish to have with your child.
In such cases, the final decision about the level of contact between the two parties will depend on the adoptive parents. This type of adoption is becoming increasingly popular as it allows birthparents to be a big part of their children's life.
- Semi-open adoptions:
A semi-open adoption means that you will have non-identifying contact with the adoptive parents. You will correspond with the adoptive parents through a third party such as an adoption agency or an attorney.
The predominant modes of interaction in such cases are emails or letters. Additionally, to ensure that the adoptive family is providing your child with a loving home and a nurturing environment, you can have an adoption professional visit them for assessment. You can also receive updates about your child from the adoptive parents via letters and pictures.
- Closed adoptions:
A closed adoption means that the birthparents never meet the adoptive parents and that the information related to both parties is kept confidential.
Placing your child for adoption is an act of love and sacrifice and is by no means easy. Therefore, these options enable you to identify a course of action that you are most comfortable with.
How to go about the adoption process:
Here is a step-by-step account of how you can go about an adoption process:
- Channels of adoption:
Adoption can be arranged via;
An adoption agency:
There are several licensed adoption agencies that will provide you with a number of adoptive parent profiles to help you pick the best home for your baby. Once you find an agency you trust, discuss your case thoroughly with them and have them explain the intricacies of the various adoption types in order to help you decide on a suitable one.
Adoption can be an extremely stressful time and so it is crucial that you find an agency that makes the journey easier for you.
You can reconsider or revoke your decision anytime during the adoption process. Various states have different laws. Some even entitle you to revoke your decision even after the adoption is complete, however, this time is usually quite brief and varies from state to state.
If you wish to go for an independent adoption, you will able select the adoptive parents on your own. Such adoptions are usually arranged via physicians or lawyers and tend to be either open or semi-open in nature.
Adoption by relatives:
Adoption by relatives enables you to place your child in the care of relatives until such a time that you gather enough resources to resume your parental responsibilities. Such adoptions allow you to remain in contact with your child and is a popular option among expecting mothers who feel that they can provide for their baby but need a little time to get on their feet.
- Develop an adoption plan:
Whether you go through an agency, a physician or an attorney, you should decide on a number of factors when considering adoptive parent profiles, such as the religion and/or belief systems financial stability, and the nature and extent of your interaction with your baby post adoption. You can also explore the financial support options offered by your state for medical expenses during pregnancy and delivery.
- Choose an adoptive family:
This is where you can ensure that your baby receives a nurturing family that will take care of her like their own. For many birthmothers, this is an opportunity to give their baby a life that they never had, or that matches their expectations and hopes.
Profiles of adoptive parents will give you a glimpse into their lives, their interests, lifestyles, hobbies, and social lives among other essential details so you can make an informed decision. If you choose open adoption, you can also familiarize with the adoptive parents before the process begins.
- Consent for adoption:
You will not be asked to give your consent for adoption prior to the birth of your baby. You are by law entitled to wait up to 15 days after the birth to give your consent. While the typical waiting period is 24-48 hours, you should ensure that you have completely recovered from the influence of delivery medication before you sign the consent papers. As stated above, you will also have the right to revoke your decision within this period of time.
Coping with adoption:
So you've done what was best for your baby, but all birthmothers go through a challenging emotional process after the adoption process is complete. Most adoption agencies offer counselling services to help birthmothers cope with emotions like guilt and loss. Adoptions are followed by a period of grief but knowing that your child is healthy and happy, and with people who love and adore him, will put your heart at ease.
We at Heartfelt Adoptions and Surrogacy Services understand that this adoption is one of the bravest decisions of your life. We are here to guide and support you through the all the stages of the process.