It is not uncommon for a woman to experience an unplanned pregnancy and wonder if she can give the child to a family member for adoption.
This is known as a “kinship adoption,” and yes, it is possible and more and more families are finding benefits of it. Whatever stage of your pregnancy you are in, this is always an option for you. You can let a family member adopt your baby after delivery or even later on if you believe it’s the best choice for you and your child.
Five Questions to Help You Decide if Kinship Adoption is Right for You
Kinship adoption is a viable option for many women, but there are five important questions you should ask yourself to determine if it’s the best option for you:
Do I Want to Know My Child’s Parents?
All adoptive families go through an extensive screening process to ensure that they are ready to adopt a child. Regardless, you may not be comfortable placing your child with parents you know little about. A kinship adoption allows you to place your child with people you intimately know and trust, but of course this too comes with inherent challenges.
How Much Do I Want to See My Baby?
One of the greatest advantages to a kinship adoption is that you can have an especially close relationship with your baby, possibly even seeing him or her every day. How often you see your baby will be up to you and the adoptive family.
On the other hand, it can be difficult for some women to place their child with a family member they will see frequently. If you feel that you may need distance from the baby and the adoptive parents in order to heal, kinship adoption may not be the best option for you.
Have We Talked about Parental Roles and Boundaries?
Like any other relationship, adoption relationships require communication and effort from everyone involved. They also have the potential to change over time. Especially if you are planning on maintaining regular levels of contact, it is important to discuss the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved.
In addition, having such a close relationship with your child’s parents may sometimes create a confusion of boundaries. Take the time to talk about how you expect your relationship to look in the future, as well as what you are and aren’t comfortable with.
How Will I Talk to My Child about My Decision?
As with all adoptions, it is recommended that you be open and honest with your child about your adoption decision. You and your child’s parents should discuss how to talk about your child’s adoption and what it means.
Additionally, if you have other children in the future, they may have questions about why their sibling lives in a different house. They may also need to be reassured as they grow and understand the situation.
Do I Want to Parent My Child Later?
In some cases, you may be able to grant temporary guardianship to a family member until you are ready to parent your child. In these cases, no legal action may be necessary. On the other hand, if you want to place your child with the new family permanently, you will need to terminate your parental rights – a decision which can only be reversed in extenuating circumstances.
Whether or not you want to raise your child later, you should communicate with your relatives openly and honestly from the beginning. Being on the same page is crucial to preventing the confusion of parental roles.
As you consider adoption for your baby, you will undoubtedly give thought to what kind of life you want for your baby. Only you can decide on the right parents for your baby, and many birth mothers have found the perfect family among their own relatives. Whether the family for your baby is halfway across the country or under your own roof, you will be able to give your child the best life you can imagine.