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An Uncommon Story - Why One Couple Chose Adoption for their Planned Pregnancy

Janelle’s Story

Janelle is happy to speak about her experience with other women considering adoption. To get in touch with her or another peer counselor, or to learn more about placing a baby for adoption with American Adoptions, please call 1-800-ADOPTION or request more information online.

It was Christmas Eve when Janelle and her husband got the gift they had been hoping and waiting for: a pregnancy.

The couple, who had a daughter already, had been trying to conceive for the better part of a year. They had encountered some roadblocks on the path to grow their family, so Janelle was prescribed Clomid to improve their chances. What they didn’t count on, though, was the drug also increasing their chances of having multiples.

“They kept telling us we could have twins, but honestly, I just don’t think we believed it would happen to us,” Janelle says. “But, about nine months later, I got pregnant — and it was twins.”

At first, the couple was shocked, but excited. They started gathering items for two babies, planning and preparing to bring them home.

But as the pregnancy progressed, things started to change. Janelle’s excitement and joy over her pregnancy gradually turned into stress and worry, and within a few months, she was beginning to question the couple’s ability to realistically parent the babies.

“Four months rolls around, and my husband and I were like, ‘Alright, this is real,’” she says. “We were having trouble paying our bills and our rent and affording food, and that was when we made the decision to look into adoption.”

‘There was No Question’

In addition to financial struggles, Janelle and her husband had started having marital problems. Even though this pregnancy was something the couple had originally hoped for, it became increasingly clear that parenting the twins might not be their best option.

When Janelle reached this conclusion, the path forward was clear: adoption.

“It was super tough at first, but I knew it was what needed to happen, that we weren’t in the right place and it wasn’t the right environment to bring two babies into,” she says. “[There was] no hesitation going into the adoption process... I already loved the babies, even though they weren’t born, and I knew that’s what they needed.

“For me, there was no question after I made that decision.”

Janelle was steadfast in her commitment to adoption and eager to start searching for the perfect adoptive parents for her babies. She knew she wanted a family who lived within her state, and when she found a couple of fellow Eagles fans who lived just three hours away, she knew she had to meet them. She even liked the adoptive mother’s name — it was similar to the name Janelle had given her own daughter. 

“It might sound cheesy, but I thought maybe that was some sort of sign telling me they were a good family to choose,” she says.

The adoptive couple drove to Janelle’s hometown to meet her, and she says the connection was instantaneous. They got to know each other over lunch and coffee, and before Janelle left the meeting, she says she knew they were the ones. Meeting them only reinforced her adoption decision.

“After I met [the adoptive family], I knew this was what needed to happen,” she says. “I knew it was the right decision.”

The Reassurance of Open Adoption

Janelle’s twins — both boys — were born three weeks later, on July 7, 2018. It was amazing, Janelle says, to get to hold her babies and spend time with them and the adoptive family in the hospital before being discharged.

She reached out to their adoptive mother often during those first few months after placement, checking in on the boys whenever she was feeling down. But, as time passed, Janelle began to heal, and she says as things became more stable for her, she was able to take a little more space.

“After two or three months… I realized they’re where they need to be, I was getting pictures, they were happy,” she says. “Now, it’s almost been a year, and I miss them sometimes — I miss them all the time, and sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if I had kept them — but I know it was the right choice.”

And, Janelle says, she is still able to text the adoptive family when she is having a hard day — an option she says has been important to her to have. She also gets regular picture and letter updates sent through American Adoptions, and she and her 9-year-old daughter are looking forward to their first visit with the twins around their first birthday.

Even though Janelle isn’t parenting the twins, she says they are always with her because of open adoption.

“I wake up in the morning and I think about the twins, and I go to bed and think about the twins,” Janelle says. “I have their pictures all over my apartment, so I see them all the time — not physically, but they’re still there.”

An Unselfish Decision

Today, Janelle says life is mostly back to “normal” — she is working toward a promotion and has plans to go back to school to continue her education in HR management.

Janelle is open about her adoption experience and hopes to encourage other women who are considering this option. Choosing adoption for a planned pregnancy is not a common story, and Janelle says she wants other women in similar situations to know it is still very much a possibility for them — and that, no matter what a woman’s circumstances, choosing adoption is not “giving up.”

“You’re not giving your babies up,” she says. “You’re just giving them a better life… it’s unselfish, you know? That’s their lives you’re thinking about — it’s not just your life. You’re giving them the opportunity to live the best life that they can, and the life you know that you can’t give them.”

She says she would encourage anyone in this situation to weigh all their options and to consider whether parenting is truly the best choice for them. Whether it’s because of financial strain, relationship challenges or any other reason, it is okay to make a different choice to give your child the best possible life.

For Janelle, that choice has had an incredible impact, and it’s one she’s glad she made.

“It saved my twins,” she says. “It saved my relationship. It saved their lives. If it weren’t there, I don’t know what I would have done.” 

Janelle is happy to speak about her experience with other women considering adoption. To get in touch with her or another peer counselor, or to learn more about placing a baby for adoption with American Adoptions, please call 1-800-ADOPTION or request more information online.

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Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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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

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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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