When you get pregnant before you feel ready, life can feel overwhelming. Maybe the father of the child is no longer present. Maybe neither of you feel like you can adequately support a child financially, physically, or emotionally. It can cause a lot of tension and strain in many of your relationships, and can feel very isolating.
But we’ve helped many women and couples dealing with unplanned pregnancy to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. Sometimes, that means considering whether or not to place your child for adoption.
Should You Consider Adoption?
Of all the questions about adoption TheHopeLine team is asked, perhaps the most common is, “Should I do it?” As with most big, life-altering questions, the answer varies from family to family, depending on the circumstances of the pregnancy, the stability of the family, and whether or not the relationship between the child’s parents is a healthy one.
In the end, the decision to place a child in an adopted family is one only you (and your co-parent, if possible) can make. But you’’ll want to get plenty of input (from a social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, physician, pastor, etc.) along the way.
In general, you may want to consider placing a child for adoption if:
- You believe you could not support a child or meet their basic needs.
- You are in an unsafe, toxic relationship or living situation.
- Your pregnancy was caused or accompanied by sexual assault, abuse, or other trauma, and you feel unable to care for your child as a result.
- You feel unprepared for parenthood.
- You are too young to raise a child yourself.
- You or someone you live with have untreated substance abuse issues.
- You want your baby to be raised in a two-parent home, but do not want them placed in a foster home.
- There are people in your life who you do not want knowing about your pregnancy.
- You and your co-parent believe adoption is the right choice.
Adoption is a Loving Choice
Adoption does not mean you’re a bad person, bad parent, lazy, or giving up. It does not mean you won’t have any say in where the baby is placed. And most importantly, it does not mean that you don’t care about your child.
Adoption is a loving, selfless choice to do what you believe is best for your baby, even when it is painful or difficult for you.
“In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will . . . ” Ephesians 1:5
God loves and honors the adoption process: adoption is even one of the ways He views His relationship with you. If you decide it’s best to place your child with an adoptive family, you don’t have to be ashamed.
Support Throughout the Adoption Process
Whether considering or undergoing the adoption process, you are not alone. There are a number of ways to find adoption help and pregnancy support during an unplanned pregnancy.
- Crisis Pregnancy Centers: Many places specialize in assisting with the unique support single parents need after learning they are pregnant. Their services are discreet and confidential, so you can feel confident you and your baby will be safe.
- Adoption Support Groups: This is a great way to talk to both parents who have placed children for adoption and families who are looking to adopt a baby. It may help you feel more comfortable meeting potential adoptive parents, since you would be able to choose where your child was placed (and work with them to determine how much contact you and your baby will have).
- Churches and Faith Communities: Sometimes you just need a sanctuary to think things through and pray about your adoption decision. Prayer and faith are powerful ways to find true peace in otherwise trying and difficult seasons of life.
Getting advice about the adoption process is only one piece of the puzzle. Talking about how considering adoption affects your emotions and mental health is also critical to making a plan that works for your family, and following through. TheHopeLine can help without judgement, and with utmost respect for you and your baby.