Am I Really Giving Up My Baby?
Giving a baby up for adoption – it’s a term used flippantly to describe the act of a woman choosing adoption for her child. However, the amount of thought that goes into this decision, the selfless sacrifice a woman makes to provide her baby with an ideal life, the dedication required by the woman and her adoption social worker to make the adoption as perfect as possible, is anything but “giving up.”
Instead, you are choosing to give the gift of life, not only to your child, but also to an adoptive family who will never experience parenthood without women like you.
Why should I choose adoption for my baby?
Over the years, adoption has changed dramatically for the better, and you may find it is the best option for you and your child for the following reasons:
- You are giving a gift – When you choose adoption, you are giving your child a life that you may not be able to provide, and you are giving adoptive parents the gift of a child to welcome into their family.
- You are in control – From the family that will raise your child to the amount of contact you want to share with them and your child after the adoption, you get to choose the adoption situation that matches your wishes.
- There is a family for every situation – Some women fear an adoptive family may not want to work with them, due to certain things in their background. Remember that there is always the perfect adoptive family out there hoping to be selected by a woman just like you.
- It’s never too late in your pregnancy to decide – Whether you are in your first trimester or in the delivery room, you can always make the decision to pursue adoption.
- You will be supported throughout the process – Adoption agencies exist to help you make this emotional decision and navigate you through the process of giving a baby up for adoption. Whatever your situation, you will not be alone.
How much does adoption cost?
Women without knowledge of how adoption works may incorrectly believe that adoption will be too expensive to pursue.
However, placing a child for adoption actually will not cost you any money. In fact, the adoptive family you work with will likely cover most or all of adoption’s expenses, including medical, legal, counseling, and more. And finally, depending on the state in which you live, you may also receive money for living expenses, which could help cover items such as:
- Maternity clothes
- Cell phone
- And more
Is This Decision Permanent?
Once you give birth to your baby and legally consent to the adoption by terminating your parental rights, your decision is permanent. For this reason, it is imperative that you do plenty of research, spend lots of time thinking about this decision, talk to friends and family members, and ensure you understand that this is the right path for you and your child.
Who will be involved in the adoption?
Is the birth father involved in your decision? Are you parents or grandparents supporting you? Do you have friends to talk to?
It is important to know that you are not alone during this time. You want to surround yourself with loved ones who will play a positive role in your journey, and then you should ensure that the right experts are involved in your plan. If you choose to pursue adoption, the main pillars of your “adoption team” will be:
- Friends and Family – your primary support system, this should include the closest people in your life who want to help you and make you feel good about your decision.
- Adoption Specialists – adoption agencies are staffed with people who can provide you with guidance and emotional support. They are trained to know how to help you and ensure your adoption goals are safely, legally and ethically achieved.
- Legal Experts – the legal procedures surrounding adoption can get complicated, especially if the adoption occurs across state borders. Whether you are pursuing an agency adoption or independent adoption, an adoption attorney is always required to legally complete the adoption.
- Father of the Baby – Whether the birth father is supportive or unsupportive of your decision, wants to be involved in the adoption, or even if he is unknown, his rights must always be terminated for the adoption to move forward. Regardless of his level of involvement, you may always contact an adoption professional or an attorney who will attempt to help you legally proceed with your adoption with or without the birth father.
Everyone involved in your adoption should have the same goal: doing what is best for you and your child. This is why it’s important to have the support of your loved ones, and especially if you don’t have a lot of support at home, to find an adoption professional who will be that much-needed friend during this process.
How do I know I’ll find the right family?
Do you want the baby to grow up in the country? In a family of a certain cultural background? With other siblings? And finally, how will you be sure that a home is truly right – and more importantly, safe – for your child?
You can rest assured knowing that adoptive families must be approved by several entities:
- The state – Any family that wants to adopt must first complete a home study. This extensive process usually involves an inspection of the house, an interview of the family, and a series of background checks.
- The adoption agency – Agencies have their own standards for adoptive families to follow; it’s their job to help you find a safe and perfect family for your baby.
- You – You are always in control; if you work with an adoption agency, you will be able to study adoptive family profiles until you find just the right fit for your child.
How much will I get to see my baby?
Every adoption relationship looks a little different, and you will want to discuss your desires with your adoption professional as well as the family you’ve chosen. If you are interested in continuing a relationship with your child, it is entirely possible in today’s adoptions.
You may decide to pursue one of the following types of adoptions with an adoptive family:
- Open Adoption – In an open adoption, information is shared freely between the involved parties, and you may even have visits with the family and your child, often centered around holidays or special events.
- Closed Adoption – Closed adoptions have no involvement from the birth mother; she does not receive any updates or have any contact with her child or the adoptive family.
- Semi-Open Adoption – Semi-open adoptions, or mediated adoptions, fall in between fully open and fully closed adoptions, and only some identifying information is shared. Contact often includes picture and letter updates a few times per year, and may also include email exchange and perhaps even a periodic phone call.
The vast majority of adoptions are semi-open, because women in your situation desire at least some type of updates on their child. If you want a more open adoption, be sure you find a family that is comfortable with that type of relationship.
As you can see, this process isn’t as simple as just giving a baby up for adoption – it involves a lot of effort from you and all of the people required to successfully complete your adoption plan. Multiple steps are taken to ensure this is the path you want to take, and multiple people will be there for you throughout your journey to ensure all of your needs are being met.
Whatever decision you make, the most important thing is that it’s the right decision for you and your child. If you do choose to move forward with an adoption plan, know that you are doing a wonderful thing for your child and for parents looking to build their family.