Q. Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?
A. American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.
You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.
Q. What if I choose a family and am not comfortable with them and change my mind about them?
A. Adoption is your choice, and we want you to be comfortable with the family that you have chosen. If you are uncomfortable, then we want to know so we can find the perfect family for you and your baby. If you have any concerns, talk with your Adoption Specialist as soon as possible, as he or she may have information to help you feel comfortable or can help you find another family.
Q. What if I do not know who the father of the baby is or there is more than one possible father?
A. You are not alone. It isnâ€™t unusual for pregnant women to not know exactly who the father of their baby (or birth father) is or how to locate him â€“ that is OK. We will explain how to handle an unknown birth father in your specific state. The most important thing is for you to be honest and open about the birth father or potential birth father(s).
Q. What if the father of the baby does not agree with my adoption decision?
A. We work with many pregnant women with birth fathers who do not agree with the adoption plan. For me specific information related to your situation, please call an Adoption Specialist at 1-800-ADOPTION.
Q. The father of the baby is my boyfriend, fiancee, husband, etc. Is it unusual that we want to place our baby for adoption?
A. Absolutely not. Many birth parents are married or still dating and choose adoption together. Each situation is unique, and in many cases, adoption is the best choice for the baby - even if the birth parents are still in a relationship - due to factors like age, financial instability, other children already in their care or other reasons. Involvement from your boyfriend or spouse can provide extra support and guidance for you during the adoption process. We support couples who choose adoption together.
Q. Do I have to include the birth father in the adoption?
A. We encourage birth father participation in the adoption process if he is willing and supportive. Please speak with an Adoption Specialist at 1-800-ADOPTION for specific information related to your situation.
Q. How do I tell my family or friends about my adoption?
A. There are many different ways to tell your family and friends about your pregnancy and adoption plans. If you do not feel comfortable telling in person, writing a letter can be a good option. When you write a letter, you can describe your reasons for choosing adoption and share other thoughts and information you have collected about adoption. Letters can be helpful for talking about adoption face-to-face too. Writing a letter allows you to share this information that you might otherwise forget in person, and you can read a letter directly to your family members and friends.
Finding the strength to tell can be very difficult, but explaining your reasoning for adoption to your loved ones is important to consider. If you do not feel comfortable telling your family and feel it is best to keep it confidential, that is OK too. Talk with your Adoption Specialist for helpful tips and information for your situation so she can advise you.
Q. Are people right when they say that this is selfish of me? How should I respond when they say something like that?
A. Choosing adoption is a loving and unselfish decision, and adoption is positive for everyone involved. Your child will have all the opportunities and experiences that you want for him or her. You will be able to move ahead and accomplish personal goals. Due to your situation, it may be too difficult to raise a child at this point. Meanwhile, there are couples who are unable to have children who you can help to make parents. Performing this amazing act of love can give you a rewarding feeling.
It is important for you to surround yourself with people who are supportive of you and your adoption plan. Sharing why you chose adoption is one way to help others learn about adoption and how special it is for everyone involved. Adoption is your decision, and you alone can make that choice. It takes a very strong and unselfish person to recognize that adoption is the best option for a child.
Q. Can my parents stop me from choosing adoption for my baby?
A. Adoption is your choice. This is your baby, and you are the only one who knows if you can raise him or her. In most states, your parents cannot legally stop you from creating an adoption plan with American Adoptions. However, helping your parents understand why you feel adoption is the best option and including them in the process can help them to understand your decision, even if they do not agree. Ultimately, you are the only one who can make this decision because it will directly affect you and your child for life. If you feel that it is best to not involve your family in the adoption, American Adoptions will support you. Your Adoption Specialist will counsel you to make sure that you have made the right choice and that you have support elsewhere.
Q. How will my other children react to adoption? How can I tell my children about my decision?
A. You can teach your children about adoption in many ways. Reading books about adoption, telling bedtime stories that involve adoption, and even involving your children in the adoption process or contact after placement can be helpful in explaining your situation. Children can write letters or draw pictures for their new baby brother or sister. Often this makes them feel as if the child is still a part of their life even when he or she is not living with you. It also allows children to express their feelings and share information that they may not share verbally.
Children need to understand why adoption was a positive choice for you. On an age-appropriate level, explain that you want to "share" this baby with another family who cannot have babies of their own. Remind your children that this baby will always be a part of their lives but lives with another family now. Ask your Adoption Specialist for further ideas for sharing adoption with your other children.
"I was 17 years old when I had my son, and although I did not have any other children, I had very young siblings. My sister was 6 at the time that I placed my son for adoption. She saw my son after he was born and even held him and fed him. She knew that he was not coming home with me but also had many questions. She met the adoptive family and really liked them. She is now 13 and understands why I chose adoption. She still has pictures of my son with her all the time. She has asked me many questions and has included him in her life. She knows how happy my son is and really believes that adoption was the best choice for me in the situation that I was in. She supports me, and I continue to teach her about adoption every day. She now tells me that I was so brave and strong, and she looks up to me for the choices that I made. I am so happy that I included her in my experience and allowed her to be a part of the adoption process." - Birth Mother Michelle, age 23
Q. Will my child understand my decision?
A. American Adoptions provides several ways to share why you chose adoption for your child. You can speak with the adoptive family and ask them how they plan to tell your child about you and adoption. You can also complete our "Gift of Love" workbook and share hobbies, interests, pictures of you and your family, and any other details about your life that you want your child to know. We encourage you to write a letter for the adoptive family to give to your child someday so that you can explain why you chose adoption. It is normal for birth mothers to have fears about the future of their children. However, expressing your feelings through writing, drawing or other talents will show your child that you made this decision because you loved and wanted the best for him or her.
Q. Will I always wonder how my child is doing now?
A. Receiving pictures and letters can help you stay informed and updated on your child. These things can reassure you that your child is happy and that you made the best decision for you and your child. You may feel some relief and comfort knowing that your child has what you wanted for them: a loving home full of opportunities.
"I receive pictures and letters two times a year, and my son is almost 6 years old now. I patiently wait every few months to receive the next set of pictures and a letter. I love to see how much Ryan has grown, read about how he is doing in school and learn about all the new experiences that he has the opportunity to be a part of. I have learned that he is in the gifted program in school, plays on a basketball, soccer, baseball, and wrestling team. He is going to Florida in February for a family vacation, and he loves to play with his cousin Zack. I am very thankful to receive these pictures and letters because it constantly reassures me that he is happy and that I made the best decision for him. I love him more than anything in the world and to see him this happy makes me happy. It is very rewarding to know that I made such a strong decision for my son, and he has brought so much joy to all the people who are in his life, including my own. He is always in my heart, and his pictures are memories that are forever with me." - Birth Mother Michelle, age 23
Q. Will I regret my decision?
A. There are many emotions in adoption. However, choosing a family that you are comfortable with and creating an adoption plan that meets your needs will help you feel confident and avoid regret about your adoption. Adoption is a very difficult decision, and it is normal to question your thoughts and feelings throughout the process. When you think about the reasons that you considered and chose adoption, you will likely find that it was the best decision for you and everyone involved. Knowing that you made a positive decision out of love, and in the best interest of your child, will help you cope with any feelings or thoughts of regret.
"I was scared that I might regret my decision later on when my daughter became older and when I was more financially stable and could have been able to raise her. However, seeing how happy she is with her adoptive family makes me feel good about my decision, and I would never want to take all the wonderful experiences that she has had away from her. I could not give her everything that she deserved and everything that I had always dreamed for my children to have. Now she has all of that, and I know that it is because of my brave decision that those opportunities are possible for her." - Birth Mother Autumn, age 22
Q. Will I be able to see my baby after the birth?
A. Your hospital experience should happen according to your wishes. If youâ€™d like to see your baby after he or she is born, you can do that. You can choose to hold, feed your baby and change your baby as well. You may also choose to have the adoptive family share in these experiences, so they can begin bonding with the baby. Interacting with your baby at the hospital and forming memories to cherish may help you find closure. You may choose to not have any contact with the baby if that feels right for you. The baby can stay with the adoptive parents in the hospital or in the nursery if that is your preference as well. Each individual woman has to decide what she is comfortable with and what is best for her.
"I chose to see my son after he was born. I held him, fed him, changed him, rocked him, comforted him, talked to him, and even explained my reasons for choosing adoption to him. It was something that I felt I needed to do for myself to help with closure. I knew adoption was right for my situation, although I also knew it would be the most difficult decision that I ever have had to make. I said my goodbyes to my son, and that is a moment that I will treasure until the day that we hopefully meet again." - Birth Mother Sarah, age 33
Q. Will I meet and/or talk to the adoptive family before the adoption?
A. Initially, you will have an opportunity to talk with the adoptive family through a conference call. Your Adoption Specialist will start by introducing you to each other and will stay on the phone to help you feel comfortable and to answer questions. You may also meet the family before the baby is born through a pre-placement visit. If you have specific wishes, discuss them with your Adoption Specialist. If you would like the adoptive family to come to the hospital when you deliver, they will do their best to arrive quickly and spend time with you there. They may even be able to arrive prior to the baby's birth, depending on your delivery. However, if you do not want to meet the adoptive family, be sure to share this with your Adoption Specialist. She will do her best to make arrangements for the adoption according to your wishes.
Q. When I find the family that I like, how do I get in touch with them to let them know I have selected them?
A. Contact your Adoption Specialist, and he or she will contact the family for you. You can also write them a letter explaining why you would like them to be your childâ€™s parents. With the help of your Adoption Specialist, you will create a personalized adoption plan so you can get to know the adoptive family.
Q. How much and what type of financial assistance can I receive?
A. Each adoption situation is truly unique, and each state has specific laws regarding financial assistance. In most cases, your medical bills will be covered by the adoptive family. If you have insurance or Medicaid, the family will pay for anything that is not covered. In some states, funds can be provided for your pregnancy-related living expenses like housing, groceries or cell phone service. Since living expenses are regulated through the court system and laws, American Adoptions can provide you with just as much financial assistance during adoption as any other adoption professional. To find out what assistance can be provided in your state, contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION today.
Q. How involved can I be in the entire adoption process?
A. This is your adoption plan! You call the shots. Your Adoption Specialist will discuss your options with you and provide guidance when needed, but the final decisions are yours. You get to decide how much contact you want to have with the adoptive family and whether or not you would like to see the baby in the hospital. You'll decide if you'd like to receive letters and pictures as the child grows up, and if you're unsure or unready, you can have American Adoptions hold those items until a later date.
Q. How can I be sure that the families that American Adoptions works with are the best possible choices for my baby?
A. American Adoptions accepts only the best adoptive family candidates in the United States. We receive hundreds of adoptive family inquiries each month, but only a handful is accepted in to our adoption programs. American Adoptions conducts extensive evaluations and interviews in order to provide the best families.
Our list contains waiting families with a variety of careers, backgrounds and interests throughout the United States. With American Adoptions, you can choose from the widest selection of adoptive families available.
Weâ€™ll find a family to suit your preferences. For example, if religious beliefs are important to you, we will find families that fit your religious preferences. If you want the adoptive parents to be young and outgoing, we will find you families who are young and outgoing. American Adoptions can find the perfect family for you and your baby.
Q. How much information about me is shared with the adoptive family?
A. You can share as much or as little personal information as you feel comfortable. The adoptive family will know your first name, your last name (after the placement), your medical history and the state that you live in. Your social history will also be provided to the family. Please be as thorough as you can so your child can learn about you and your family if he/she has questions someday. If you want minimal information shared with your child, let your Adoption Specialist know, and they can pass this along to the family.
Q. How much information about the family will be shared with me?
A. You will receive print and video profiles of waiting adoptive families who fit your circumstances and wishes. Print profiles contain photos of the family and descriptions of their lifestyle and interests, their relationship with each other, their home and their extended family. Each profile will also include a letter to you, which tells you why they are adopting and what they would provide for your baby. Profiles show a familyâ€™s personality and voice, and you can start to learn about their values and dreams for their family and future. Video profiles show a family in action, and youâ€™ll get to see how a couple interacts and know why they want to adopt. This information will help you choose which family you would like to raise your baby. You may have a couple favorites, and your Adoption Specialist can help to make sure you select the perfect match.
Q. How much contact can I have with my baby and the adoptive family after the adoption?
A. Post-adoption contact is completely up to you and what makes you comfortable. If you desire, you can receive letters and pictures from the adoptive family after the adoption. You can also send pictures, letters and gifts to the adoptive family and baby through American Adoptions. We will work with you to determine how much or how little contact you desire and will accommodate you accordingly. Your Adoption Specialist will provide more details.
Q. Once I sign the adoption papers, can I change my mind?
A. Laws vary state to state. In most states, once you sign adoption papers after the child is born, the adoption is irrevocable. However, your involvement in an adoption plan before you sign the adoption paperwork does not obligate you to go through with the adoption. Your Adoption Specialist will go over the laws and procedures in your particular state.
Q. How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?
A. Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.
You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.
The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your familyâ€™s love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.
Q. What can I expect to feel after I say goodbye?
A. Many emotions accompany the birth of a child. Grief, loss, guilt, loneliness, sadness, relief, joy and happiness, sense of fatigue, confusion and doubt are a few of the most common. You may not experience all of these emotions, and you may experience others as well. Adoption is an overwhelming decision, and it may take time to sort through all of your feelings. These emotions are completely normal and should be expected. They are part of the healing process.
One woman may deal with her adoption decision very differently from another woman. Some women feel only happiness about their decision and consistently say that they have no regret. They know that they gave a family the greatest gift, a child. Some women go through grief and loss after their adoption. This may be confusing because although they feel sad and lost, they know in their heart they made the right decision and are happy about that. It is important for you to understand and verbalize all these emotions to your loved ones and your Adoption Specialist, so we can help you with counseling and other resources.
Q. What is the next step, and how do I start the adoption process?
A. To learn more about the adoption process or receive an information packet, call us at 1-800-ADOPTION, fill out the Free Adoption Information form, or email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org. An Adoption Specialist will contact you to answer any questions you may have.
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