Are You Being Pressured to Put Your Baby Up for Adoption?
Remember - This is YOUR Decision
My parents, friends, and the baby’s father all think I should choose adoption… Do I have to put my baby up for adoption?
No. Just as nobody can force you to “keep” your baby if you decide that adoption is right for you and your child, nobody should ever pressure you into choosing adoption. There is never any reason why a woman “has” to put her baby up for adoption, get an abortion, or parent her child before she is ready — no matter what her family members, friends, or even the baby’s father tell her she should do.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, it is important to understand that this is your decision and yours alone. Regardless of what others may think, you are the only person who truly knows what’s best for you and your baby.
If you feel that you are being pressured to put a baby up for adoption, terminate your pregnancy, or parent before you are ready, here are three steps to take to ensure you are making an informed decision that is right for you.
Step 1: Ask for Support, Not Opinions
You are facing a big decision, and it is important to talk to your loved ones for the emotional support you need. Just remember that there is a difference between a family member respecting and supporting your decision, and a family member swaying you to make a choice that you don’t think is right.
If you are being pressured to make a certain decision, let that person know that you appreciate their concern for you and your baby, but that this is a decision you have to make yourself. If you are concerned about your personal safety or wellbeing if you go against their wishes, contact a licensed counselor, attorney or adoption agency right away. These professionals can help you remove yourself from an abusive situation. If you’re worried that you may lose housing or financial support if you go against their wishes, these professionals may also be able to help you find the support you need while you pursue the decision that you feel is best.
Step 2: Know Your Rights
As a prospective birth mother, you are in control of the adoption process. This means that you can choose your baby’s adoptive parents, determine what kind of relationship you want to have with them and your child, and more. It also means that you can make changes to your adoption plan or even discontinue the adoption process at any point in your pregnancy if you feel like you are being pressured to put a baby up for adoption.
Because you are in charge of the adoption, you should never feel uncomfortable during the process. If you ever feel that you are making a choice that isn’t right for you, remember that you have the right to make changes. Your adoption decision does not become final until you legally consent to the adoption and your revocation period has ended after your baby’s birth.
In every state, there are consent and revocation laws in place to help protect you and ensure you are making a fully informed, voluntary adoption decision. Even after your revocation period has passed, your parental rights may be reinstated if the court finds that you were lied to, pressured or coerced.
If you ever have questions or concerns about your rights as a birth mother, consult your adoption professional. Never be afraid to ask questions or for more information! An adoption attorney can walk you through the legal processes of adoption, so you can make fully informed choices with time to be sure and feel confident about your decision.
Step 3: Contact a Professional
When you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, professionals are often the best source for the information and services you need. Ethical professionals, like the licensed counselors at American Adoptions, can provide unbiased information and help you explore all of your options — not just adoption. We genuinely care about the expectant mothers who contact our agency, and we want to help every woman make the choice that is best for her and her baby. We will never pressure you into making a decision that you are not fully comfortable with.
Remember, while it is important to speak with supportive friends, family members and professionals for the guidance and information you need, you are the only person who can choose parenting, adoption or abortion for your baby. For many women, it comes down to listening to their own gut about what they feel is right for them and their baby’s future.
You can call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time to speak with an adoption counselor to get guidance and support on your adoption journey.
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