You have three options to consider regarding your pregnancy. One of those options you may not have thought about before is adoption. Like all of your options, it can be challenging to choose, but we want you to have as much information about the adoption process as possible.
Understanding the Adoption Option
There are many different ways to parent or be a mother. Adoption is one way. Suppose you like the idea of being a Mom but are not capable of handling the day-to-day responsibilities. In that case, this process may be the best choice for you.
Adoption has been an available option for an unplanned pregnancy for a very long time. However, in years past, pregnancy for an unwed mother was not acceptable. Out of embarrassment, her parents would “send her away” to quietly have her baby and then return home as if nothing had happened. The birth mom had no choice in who adopted her child or where they went. Thank goodness, all that has now changed!
Adoptions in the 21st Century
Today, when a woman becomes unexpectedly pregnant and chooses adoption for her child, she controls the entire process. With others’ assistance, a birth mom (and birth father, if he is available) makes all the decisions. She chooses who the adoptive parents will be, what type of adoption she is comfortable with, and even the environment she wants her child to grow up in.
No decisions are made without a birth mom’s knowledge and consent. The birth mom pays none of the costs of the adoption. The adopting family pays all legal fees and medical bills required.
There are three basic adoption plans. Each plan can be tailored to suit your requests. No one plan is better than the others. You choose which plan is right for you.
As a birth parent, you are in the driver’s seat. You choose how involved you want to be in your child’s future beforehand. Open adoption plans mean you and the adoptive family share identifying information such as full names, phone numbers, emails, and addresses. You will have access to one another directly through face-to-face meetings, phone calls, texts, and letters.
As you finalize your adoption plan, you and the adoptive family decide what contact you wish to have and what is best for everyone. Some families have very close relationships with their child’s birth mother and possibly the father. The birth family becomes another extension of the adoptive family, visiting their child regularly.
In closed adoptions, you remain entirely anonymous. Some women who choose adoption prefer to have no communication with the adoptive family or their child. They feel this is the best choice to move on with their lives. As the birth mother, you still choose the adoptive family, but you do not interact with them before or after the child is placed. You have total anonymity.
Semi-open adoptions mean the communication you do have will be through a third-party adoption professional. You choose how much information and contact you would like to share and receive. Usually, the adoptive family and birth family share first names only.
The terms can be negotiated and set by you and the adoptive family. This option allows you to have a carefully defined relationship with your child and the family without the ongoing connection of open adoption.
Myths About Adoptions
“You are giving your baby up to strangers!”
First of all, no loving mother “gives up” her child. By making an adoption plan, you are choosing the best for your child. Secondly, the family you choose will not be strangers.
When handled through an agency or attorney, potential adopting families go through a rigorous screening process that includes background checks, home studies, and interviews. Through certain agencies, you can meet the family beforehand and establish a relationship before the child is born.
“The child will hate me.”
Children who know their birth parents and understand the consequences surrounding their adoption have confidence that the decision to make an adoption plan was out of love for them. Together, the adoptive family and birth family make a larger extended family for the child.
“It would be too painful to make an adoption plan.”
None of your choices for your unplanned pregnancy are easy. All of them require lots of consideration. However, knowing your child is in the loving home of the family you selected can bring comfort.
Is Adoption Right For You?
Mendo Lakes Women’s Clinic can help answer your adoption questions. We can talk about the pros and cons, provide referrals to adoption agencies, and give you all the information you need to make the best choice.
Every woman comes to the decision to make an adoption plan differently. Some women deeply struggle. Others know with certainty that adoption is what’s best for both themselves and their child. Either way, you don’t have to make this decision on your own. We’re ready to take this life journey with you.
Contact us today.