The COVID-19 pandemic is like nothing else living generations have gone through. As much as we wish we could, we can’t predict how much the current health crisis will impact the infant adoption experience over the months and years to come.
However, we do know one thing — American Adoptions is doing and will continue to do all we can to provide as smooth an adoption process for prospective birth and adoptive parents as possible.
We’ve received a lot of questions over the last six months about COVID-19. Even with half a year of this pandemic under our belt, we still have some questions, too! In the spirit of transparency and honesty, we’ve decided to answer a few of them below.
What is American Adoptions doing for adoptive parents right now?
Many waiting families are concerned about how COVID-19 and its ramifications will affect the infant adoption process. Already, reports are detailing a drop in U.S. birth rates — a pre-pandemic trend accelerated by job losses, quarantine requirements and general uncertainty.
American Adoptions is still receiving an average number of prospective birth parent inquiries, but we know that average can always change. Our agency placement numbers have also remained consistent for a typical year — but, because none of us have faced a global pandemic of this scale, we cannot predict how these numbers will change over the next 12 months or more.
However, whatever happens in the future, American Adoptions remains committed to providing accurate, transparent wait time estimates and monitoring our placement numbers to ensure they remain consistent.
As prospective adoptive parents reach out in higher than usual numbers to consider their family-building options, American Adoptions is taking a few key steps to maintain average placement numbers in a not-so-average year:
- Increasing our digital marketing efforts: Our agency receives constant digital exposure through a network of adoption-related sites, including ConsideringAdoption.com and Adoption-for-my-Baby.com. Our media team is hard at work expanding those sites, adding hundreds of pregnancy- and adoption-related articles to educate and spread awareness about adoption and our agency services. We are also developing new YouTube campaigns to reach a larger audience (subscribe to our channel here).
- Expanding our local outreach programs: Because we’re a national agency, we have contacts throughout the U.S. — attorneys, social workers, unplanned pregnancy counselors and more. We are currently developing more direct hospital networking programs to provide adoption information for women considering their unplanned pregnancy options.
- Providing personalized support: We know COVID-19 has changed a lot of adoptive parents’ plans. Whether you’re faced with travel and quarantine restrictions, or have experienced a sudden loss of income, our specialists can help you adjust your adoption plans accordingly.
What should adoptive parents expect during this time?
The process for our agency’s adoptive parents has changed in many ways over the last six months. In just as many ways, it’s remained the same.
Our adoptive parents can still expect the same amount of quality support and case management from our experienced staff. We’ve helped many clients become parents in the last six months, and that’s not going to stop, no matter how long this pandemic lasts.
That said, for the most stress-free process as possible, we encourage all waiting adoptive families to keep a few things in mind:
- Be prepared for fluctuating exposure numbers. The number of times your profile is viewed by pregnant women will always fluctuate, even in the best of circumstances. COVID-19 circumstances can affect those fluctuations more than normal. We know it can be frightening to see your monthly exposure numbers change, but we encourage you to refrain from focusing solely on the numbers. Remember that there are many factors influencing a woman’s adoption decision, not just your family profile.
- Trust in your adoption specialist. Adoption has always required a great deal of trust and faith from waiting families. Those will come in handy as we move through this pandemic together. Remember that American Adoptions is actively focusing on marketing and outreach as a preemptive step, and trust that your specialist will do their best to be transparent about current trends and policies.
- Be open with your adoption specialist. We know COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our waiting families’ lives. Your specialist is always here to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have, especially if major life changes occur during this pandemic. We are here to make your adoption as stress-free as possible, and that includes working with your personal situation as much as we can.
How is American Adoptions supporting pregnant women right now?
As much as COVID-19 has affected waiting adoptive parents, it’s made the lives of those facing unplanned pregnancies even harder. Being pregnant through a global pandemic is frightening enough; for those who didn’t plan to be pregnant under normal circumstances, it’s overwhelming.
American Adoptions continues to provide 24/7 support to pregnant women considering adoption, as well as:
- Explaining parenting support and resources: More women than ever are facing financial difficulties. Because adoption is often a permanent solution to this temporary problem, our specialists always explain a woman’s parenting options and resources before creating her adoption plan.
- Offering financial support during pregnancy: In accordance with state laws, we continue to help pregnant women receive assistance for living expenses such as food, rent, doctor’s visits and more. We know the pandemic has affected a lot of people’s financial situations, but we will always ensure a pregnant woman feels safe and supported during her pregnancy. We also offer free counseling after placement for women who want it.
- Advocating for labor and delivery wishes: Hospital policies around guests in maternity wards are constantly changing. Our specialists work closely with a pregnant woman’s chosen provider to ensure her delivery preferences are met. When hospital policies require changes to this plan, we work closely with the pregnant woman and her provider to find compromises that ensure her physical and mental well-being.
Like everyone else, our staff is taking the COVID-19 pandemic one day at a time. We are committed to standing by our adoptive families and any prospective birth parents who choose to work with us as this situation progresses.
If you ever have any questions about your adoption journey (or simply want to learn more about our agency), don’t hesitate to contact us anytime.