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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Haley's Adoption Scholarship Story

As I type this, it has been eight months, to the day, since I sat in my living room and signed a stack of papers that terminated my rights to my son. As I signed them, I never thought of changing my mind. I knew from the very beginning that adoption was the right decision. I am not saying, however, that it was ever an easy or pleasant decision. Many nights I cried about it or dreamed of ways to make it possible for me to keep my baby. However, I have never doubted that I did what was best for everyone involved.

I was able to choose a wonderful couple to raise Slade. They have continued to keep in touch and have sent many pictures. Before I go to sleep every night I stare at just one of the adorable pictures I have framed of Slade and say a prayer for him and his family. His parents are truly wonderful and will support him and love him his entire life. However, although he does not know me, I feel that he was just as lucky to have me, as he is to have them. Adoption is about the birth mother who knows that she does not have the resources or ability to care for her child. It is her act that makes the whole process work. There are millions of couples who long to adopt a child, and yet there are even more women out there that selfishly abort their children or raise them on their own when they are not capable of such a responsibility. I could have kept Slade and sometimes wish I had, but when I truly think about it, I know that his life, and mine, would have been so much different. He has been blessed with a wonderful family, and I too have been blessed with a world of opportunity. Both of our futures were tremendously broadened by my decision, and I am thankful that I had the strength and guidance to follow through.

During my pregnancy, and now, eight months after, I have talked to many girls about adoption. I am not ashamed of my decision but rather talk about it openly. Some people question my actions, but I defend myself eloquently and share details about Slade and his adoptive parents. I also show them a picture of him that I have on my keychain. All we can see through the pictures is how very happy he is and that speaks volumes. I will continue to support adoption and especially to encourage pregnant teenagers to research American Adoptions and other sources in order to get more information before they make their final decision. Thank you once again for you consideration for this scholarship, but more importantly, I want to thank the entire American Adoption organization for helping me find the most wonderful couple I could have dreamed of to adopt my child.

Haley

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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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