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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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You Are in the Driver's Seat of the Adoption

This is Your Choice and Your Journey

Did you know women who are considering adoption are in control of the adoption process? If you’re wondering how the adoption process works, it can be helpful to view this process as taking a road trip, in which you are in the driver’s seat. You get to control exactly how your adoption experience goes.

Here are just a few of choices you get to make on your adoption journey:

Choosing Which Roads to Take

The adoption process is a series of winding roads and intersections, which you will navigate to arrive at your desired destination. This journey can take as much time — or as little — as you want it to. Along the way, you’ll decide whether adoption is right for you and your baby, which type of adoption professional you want to work with, what type of relationship you want to have with the adoptive family before and after the adoption, what the hospital stay might look like, and many more details that will make your adoption experience exactly what you want it to be. The steps you take to place your baby for adoption will be tailored to your exact preferences.

Choosing Who is In the Car with You

One of the best parts about the adoption journey is that you can choose who comes along with you. There are spots for three different types of people in your vehicle, should you choose to invite them:

  • Backseat – The adoptive parents you choose sit in the backseat, while you always remain behind the wheel, choosing which roads will lead you both toward your destinations. And remember, during this long trip, it is a great time for you to talk and get to know one another better. It’s likely that you both are very nervous about starting the adoption process, and it’s okay to admit that.

  • Front-Seat Passenger – Your vehicle is specially designed to have as many front-seat passengers as you want who will support you during the adoption process. These people may include your parents, grandparents, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, best friend, the father of the baby or anyone else who is supportive of you and your adoption decision. They don’t have access to the steering wheel, but they can help you successfully find your way to your destination. You can take as much or as little direction from these passengers as you wish, but always remember that it’s your responsibility alone to drive the car.

  • GPS – Your adoption specialist serves as the GPS of your vehicle. She is available to you 24/7 to help navigate you throughout your journey, or the steps for adoption. If you ever feel like you are off-course, want to slow down, or want to turn around completely, your adoption specialist is always just a phone call away.

It’s also important to note that your passengers can change if they are not being supportive of your journey. You can drop people off along the way, just as you can pick others up. You always get to choose who is in your car.

Choosing How Fast to Get There

The speed at which you arrive at each step of the adoption process is up to you. Obviously, your pregnancy is always going to last around nine months; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean the adoption process has to. You may choose to pursue adoption as soon as you find out you are pregnant, after you give birth, or any time in between. You may take weeks or even months searching for an adoptive family, or you may select one after your first day of searching.

Choosing to Get Out of the Car

Remember, this is your adoption plan, which means you can change your mind at any time. If you decide the adoptive family you’ve chosen isn’t quite whom you had hoped, you can always select another one. If you decide later that you want more or less contact with the adoptive family, you may change that as well. And if you decide you would rather parent your baby instead of going through with your original adoption plan, that’s a choice that is entirely yours to make.

Keeping You Safe

Our primary goal is to make sure you arrive at your destination safely. Our adoption attorneys, social workers and staff serve as the mechanics of your vehicle, making sure everything is running properly for each road and intersection of the adoption process.

On the long road to adoption, there are many twists and turns and many routes to choose from. With you at the wheel, only you decide where the process goes. Everyone else is just along for the ride.

To learn more about how you are in the driver’s seat, contact American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION or request free adoption information.

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

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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