Facing an unplanned pregnancy is frightening, and deciding how it’ll affect your future is likely the biggest decision you’ve ever had to make. Regardless of where you live, there are three options for an unplanned pregnancy:
Nobody can tell you which option is the right one for you; that decision needs to be made by you and you alone. But it’s also up to you to educate yourself about all of your choices before making your decision, so that you fully understand the options available to you. This is a critical first step in making an informed decision that’s right for you.
You can learn more about general unplanned pregnancy help here.
To help you understand the adoption process, here are the basics of placing a baby for adoption in your state:
First of all, while many people refer to placing a baby for adoption as “putting a baby up for adoption” or “giving a baby up for adoption,” this language tends to suggest that women who choose adoption for their children are abandoning them or “giving a baby away.” That isn’t the case at all.
Giving up a baby for adoption is never a decision that’s made lightly. Giving your baby up for adoption is something that’s done out of love for your child and because you want to give them the best life possible, even if you’re not in a position to raise them yourself. Adoption is a selfless act.
Many pregnant women who are considering adoption have the same questions, such as:
“Can I stay in touch and have a relationship with my child and their adoptive family?”
“Does the baby’s father need to be involved in the adoption process?”
“Is adoption free?”
To start answering those questions, you can read more about getting paid for adoption-related expenses and birth father rights in your state, or talk with an adoption specialist for free at 1-800-ADOPTION.
The most important thing to understand is that you are 100 percent in charge of your adoption plan when you’re giving your infant up for adoption. That means that you’re in control of every aspect of your adoption, including:
You choose your child’s family, you choose who is in the hospital to support you and you can decide how you envision your adoption. We’re here to help you make it happen.
Many pregnant women considering adoption worry that choosing an adoptive family to raise their child will be difficult, but most actually find it to be a very reassuring process. Part of that reassurance is because when you’re putting a child up for adoption, you may be surprised to find that you’ll simply know the right family when you see their profile.
You also have peace of mind know that every family who works with American Adoptions is:
Fully committed to adoption and is excited to raise and love an adopted child
Excited to get to know you and create a relationship with you through phone calls, email and more both before the adoption is finalized and after to whatever extent you’re comfortable with
Your American Adoptions specialist will work with you one-on-one to learn about the kind of family you picture your child growing up with; where they’d live, if they’d have siblings or pets, where they’d travel, what they’d learn and be raised to value, what their parents would be like and interested in and more. Your adoption specialist will show you profiles of potential adoptive families who match what you’re looking for and will then arrange conference call conversations with families that you like until you find the family that you feel excited about.
You’ll be able to ask potential parents questions, get to know them and talk about your shared dreams for your baby. Once you’ve chosen an adoptive family for giving a newborn up for adoption in your state, you’ll be able to continue communicating with them until the baby is born, and if you place your baby, you’ll have the opportunity to keep in touch with them throughout your baby’s life. Many women who have put a baby up for adoption feel that they gain extended family members through their child’s family! It can be a lifelong bond built through love and adoption.
Learn more about how to find an adoptive family here.
Having a clear plan for your time in the hospital leading up to the delivery when you’re considering adoption can help you feel more calm and prepared. Your adoption specialist will work with you to create a birth plan that fits best for you. You’ll decide:
Who holds your baby first, and when
Who you’d like with you in the hospital room and/or delivery room
How much time you’d like to spend with your baby
How much you’d like the adoptive family to be involved in welcoming the baby
If you’d like your baby to have a little gift from you, such as a letter, group photo, or a special leaving-the-hospital outfit
Once the baby is born, you’ll likely be required to wait for a certain amount of time before you can sign adoption consent forms according to your state’s adoption law. This waiting period gives you some additional time to be very sure that you’re ready to put your baby up for adoption and lets any medications from the labor leave your system before you offer consent.
Your adoption specialist will talk you through the adoption consent papers so you fully understand this final legal step of the process to give a child up for adoption and offer counseling, if you need it. Signing adoption consent papers means that you’re voluntarily terminating your legal parental rights, and that you’re placing your child with their adoptive parents.
After the adoption has been finalized, you’re officially a “birth parent!” Birth parents play a special and unique role in their child’s life.
While choosing adoption is an option that can benefit everyone involved, putting an infant up for adoption is still emotionally difficult. While some birth parents heal quickly after giving up a baby for adoption, for others it requires additional post-adoption counseling to work through conflicted emotions. Remember that American Adoptions is always available for free, 24/7 counseling, both for those who are still considering adoption or completing the process, and for those who are healing post-adoption.
The amount of ongoing contact you have with the adoptive family after the adoption is decided by you. Contact can occur through:
Or in whatever way you all feel comfortable with
If you aren’t comfortable maintaining communication with your child’s family directly, you can always keep in touch through American Adoptions. Some birth parents have a very informal, open relationship with their child and their child’s family. Others only exchange occasional contact, or prefer to have a more closed adoption. This is entirely up to you, and adoption triad relationships often grow and evolve naturally over time.
Giving your baby up for adoption doesn’t mean saying “goodbye” forever. You can learn more about the adoption process in your state and the ways in which you can create an adoption plan that’s tailored to your adoption vision by calling 1-800-ADOPTION now for obligation-free information.
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