7 Thoughts Expectant Parents Have During the Adoption Process
When a pregnant woman is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, it's common to have a mix of emotions. It’s completely normal to feel as if you are alone — and to be unsure of what to do. If you are pregnant and are considering adoption, you’ll have endless questions on or thoughts about the adoption process. It’s normal to have conflicting feelings during your pregnancy; you may be excited about adoption one day and dread it the next. What’s important is recognizing where your emotions are coming from, understanding that they are 100% normal for your situation, and learning from them. Below, find some of the most common questions and thoughts an expectant mother like you might have during adoption.
1. “Is adoption really right for me?”No one can answer this question but you. It’s normal to waver back and forth on your adoption decision, so think about the reasons why you’re considering adoption in the first place. Maybe you’re not emotionally or financially ready for a child. Maybe you don’t want to become a parent right now. Or maybe you’re already raising kids — and won’t be able to provide this child with the life you feel they deserve. Whatever your reasons, the fact that you are selfless and brave enough to consider adoption in the first place proves you are a great candidate for this path. Don’t forget that adoption can benefit you, too. Choosing adoption can allow you to further your education or career. You’ll know your children will be raised in a stable and loving home, with a family who has always dreamed of becoming parents. Changing your mind about adoption several times along the way is completely normal. This is a big step, and you should take the time to do what’s right for you. Remember, an adoption professional can be a great sounding board during this time.
2. “Can I really give up my baby to someone else?”Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that a woman who decides adoption is best for her and her child is “giving up” on her child. This is absolutely not the case. If you choose adoption, you can give your child the opportunities you want them to have. You will choose to make a brave decision — the hardest decision you will ever make — to give your child parents who are excited and prepared to give your child the best start at life. Adoption isn’t “giving away” your child and never seeing them; instead, you can remain an active part of their life through open adoption.
3. “Are these adoptive parents really ‘the ones?’”Finding the right family for your child is very important and takes time and research. It’s normal to be overwhelmed at all of the choices and be unsure if you’re choosing the “best” parents for your baby. Remember that your adoption professional will only present families who match your preferences. You can view as few or as many profiles as needed to make your decision. You can even meet the adoptive family in person to get to know them better. Most prospective birth mothers report a gut feeling when they’ve found the right parents for their baby — and maybe you will, too! Even if you don’t, remember what you want for your child’s future, and remind yourself that the parents you select can meet those goals.
4. “These adoptive parents seem too good to be true!”Your adoption professional will only match you with adoptive families that meet your preferences, so you will only see adoptive families with a high potential of meeting your adoption goals. But, when a family meets all of your preferences, you may still be uncertain — especially if you’re still on the fence about adoption. These situations can all contribute to feeling like the adoptive parents are “too good to be true.” Remember that all adoptive families are screened thoroughly before they can proceed in the adoption process. This helps confirm the authenticity of the family and adds an extra layer of safety for your child. You can be assured that there are no tricks; these families are as good as they seem, and it's an encouraging and great sign that you see them as so!
5. “I’m scared/nervous/excited to hold my baby for the first time.”Adoption is a very emotional process. There are few moments more emotional than the birth of the child. When a prospective birth mother makes her adoption plan, her adoption professional will also help her create a hospital plan. This plan will not only address the preferred medical treatments and where the hospital delivery will take place, but also include details such as how much alone time the prospective birth parent(s) would like with their baby, who they would like in the delivery room and more. If you scared to hold your child, the choice is completely up to you. You never have to do anything you don’t want to. If you are excited to hold your child, it can be an amazing experience, and you can have as much time needed with your baby before placement. Whatever you may feel at this time is 100% normal. Your emotions during this difficult time do make you a “bad” parent. Remember, you are in control of your adoption process. Your adoption professional will make all involved parties, from the staff to the adoptive family, aware of your wishes to avoid any confusion or stress during this emotional time.
6. “Will my baby hate me if I choose adoption?”One of the most common concerns we hear from prospective birth parents is the fear that their child will hate them for choosing adoption. Today, adoption is much more socially accepted than before, and open adoptions are growing more common by the day. Open adoption can keep you involved in your child’s life and, in some cases, give you the opportunity to explain to the child in your own words why you chose adoption. Your child will grow up understanding and respecting your adoption decision — and they will love you for the brave choice you made. The adoptive parents you choose will be happy to explain how you will be a part of your child’s adoption story. They’ll also work with you to create the unique post-placement relationship you want.
7. “I’m so glad I chose adoption.”While this is not the sentiment for every birth parent, it is the ultimate goal of adoption — to recognize the beauty and bravery in their adoption decision. When a prospective birth mother makes the difficult decision to place her child for adoption, she may initially have many doubts and concerns about her choice. By the end of the process, she may realize she has provided her child with the best opportunity to thrive in a loving and supportive environment. A birth mother should feel confident in knowing she made the right decision, however long it took her to get there!
---No matter the questions or thoughts you may have along the way, your adoption professional will always be there to help. Not yet working with a professional? Contact us now to be connected with a trained counselor who will explain all of your options and help you decide what is right for you.