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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Nikalit's Adoption Story

I am 22 years old and about seven months ago I was faced with what was and probably will ever be the hardest decision of my life. October 12, 2003, is the day that my life was forever changed. I was faced with an unplanned pregnancy. My boyfriend (Andy) and I had never planned on having children; all I could do was cry and Andy told me that everything would be alright. For four months we went through the motions of expectant parents, but we were not financially or emotionally prepared for a child.

When we decided on adoption we felt that we were finally making the right decision for our unborn child and ourselves. But we soon found out that our families, and different people around us felt quite differently. Instead of support and understanding we were faced with ignorance and disapproval. Too many times I was put in the position where I was defending my decision and myself when I should have been receiving support from the same people I was defending myself from. My mother, her family, and a few of Andy’s personal friends and mine were the only people who seemed to be supporting our decision. Regardless, Andy and I knew that adoption was the best choice we could make for our unborn son and ourselves.

Andy and I talk about our son on a regular basis and feel confident in knowing that he is in a home with two parents who love him and will take excellent care of him. We hope that someday he will be able to understand how much we loved him and wanted him to have everything that we couldn't give him. I believe that adoption is something very special, but is not a decision that everyone can make. I don't think that people understand how many people there are in a country and also others that want nothing more than to be parents. There is some sort of misconception about adoption, not the people adopting as much as the birth parents. I know that not everyone who is faced with an unplanned pregnancy can make the choice to give their child up for adoption, but someday I hope that it becomes more common and others can be more open minded.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

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.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

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 family'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.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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