Is Adoption the Right Choice for You?
Adoption may be an option that you are seriously considering. Or you may just be wondering what adoption is like. Or you may feel that you could never choose adoption. Whatever your thoughts, it is always good to have information about all of your choices (including Adoption, Abortion, and Parenting) before you make a final decision. Adoption might be a good choice for you and your baby. When you consider making an adoption plan for your child, that doesn't mean you don't love your baby. It also doesn't mean that you are taking the easy way out.
What it does mean is that you are thinking about how to best meet needs: yours and your baby's, today and well into the future. Adoption today may not be what you think. Openness has changed adoption.
Look at Your Options Available for Adoption
While it's true that with adoption, your parental rights and responsibilities are given to another set of parents, that doesn't end your ability to have a relationship with your child. Open adoption involves an ongoing, dynamic relationship between you, the adoptive parents, and your child.
There are different types of openness to meet different needs and levels of comfort. You owe it to yourself and your baby to at least get some information about the options available in adoption, so that whatever you choose, your decision is one that you have thought through and is based on facts. There is no easy solution to an unplanned pregnancy. Each choice is hard and has its own difficulties. You can empower yourself by getting as much information as you can get about your options. Giving yourself time to consider carefully and weigh each option will help you make the right decision for you and your baby.
10 Questions Expectant Mothers Ask About Adoption
Is adoption the right choice for you and for your child? How can you make a plan that will meet your needs and your child's needs?
We've put together some questions that can help you as you plan for your and your child's future. This isn't an exhaustive list, but it can get you started in the right direction.
How can adoption be a good choice for my baby and me?
If you're not ready to be a parent, you can still give your baby the gift of life by choosing adoption.
Can I choose the family for my baby?
Yes! Most agencies have many adoptive couples who have been studied and approved. You might also want to choose a friend or someone who has been recommended to you.
How much contact can I have with my baby after the birth and after adoption?
You can spend as much time with your baby at the hospital as you choose. When you are planning your child's adoption, you can choose an open adoption plan that allows ongoing visits, or you can choose a less open adoption that keeps you informed through letters and photos. If you prefer not to have any contact, confidential adoption is also possible.
How soon after birth can my baby go to the parents I choose?
The timing of your child's placement depends on your preference, legal aspects, and the role of the birth father. Many mothers want their baby placed with the adoptive family directly from the hospital, while other mothers choose interim care while they consider their adoption decision.
How much will my child know about me?
Regardless of the type of adoption plan, you will want to provide a thorough social and medical history for your child. If you develop an adoption plan that includes ongoing contact, your child will know about you directly.
Does the expectant father have any rights?
Both you, as the expectant mother, and the expectant father have rights. If you disagree about adoption or you no longer have a relationship with him, your agency will work with him and/or the courts to determine his rights.
Can my child find me if he or she wants to search someday?
Searching may only be necessary if there has not been ongoing contact. The law in your state determines when and how your child may access the information in the adoption file, which your caseworker can explain.
How can I be sure that my child will be well cared for?
There are standards that every prospective adoptive family must meet which are set by both the agency and the state in which they live. Families are thoroughly assessed before being approved for adoption, and a caseworker will make visits to the adoptive family after placement to ensure your child's well-being.
Do I need an attorney, or do I pay my agency to assist me with the adoption?
In many states, you will not need an attorney, and most agencies provide services to you at no cost. If you do need an attorney, usually those costs are paid by the adoptive family.
Can I get help with medical and living expenses while I'm making an adoption plan?
Assistance with medical and living expenses is available through many agencies. For details about how your agency can help you in your particular circumstances, contact your caseworker.
Used with permission of Bethany Christian Services. Since 1944, Bethany has counseled more than 65,000 expectant parents facing unplanned pregnancies.
With more than 75 locations across the country, Bethany Christian Services is the largest adoption agency in the United States.
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