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What You Need to Know About Adoption Counseling [4 FAQs]

An unplanned pregnancy can be understandably overwhelming. You are likely experiencing complicated emotions, such as:

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Uncertainty

But, you are not alone.

This could be a difficult time in your life. Thankfully, there is always help available to you, and it’s tailored specifically to meet your needs. Adoption counseling services could be the lifeline you need as you process your emotions and make the choices that are best for you and your child.

Below, we’ll go over four FAQs that should give you an idea of what adoption counseling is and why many people experiencing an unplanned pregnancy find it helpful.

1. What Is Adoption Counseling?

Adoption counseling, sometimes called unplanned pregnancy counseling, is designed to help expectant mothers and educate them about their options. More specifically, your counselor will explain the adoption process to you so that you can determine if it’s the right path for you or not.

Also, these services are completely free to all prospective birth mothers. There are many other benefits of speaking with an adoption counselor, too. From start to finish, you’ll receive all the support and guidance you need. Lindsey, a birth mother who worked with American Adoptions, felt this connection with her social worker.

“She was there for me when I didn’t have anybody, and she always knew just what to say,” she remembers. “I did have a lot of concerns and fears, and she knew how to talk me through them. She’s someone that’s – even now, three months after I’ve had my baby – probably going to check in on me from time to time. She was just amazing, and I’m so glad that she’s in my life.”

2. What Does An Adoption Counselor Do?

Facing an unplanned pregnancy is a challenging experience, and you may be stressed out as you decide what you want to do. You may be unsure of what the right choice is for you, and you could need some guidance to help you figure out what your unplanned pregnancy options are. Or, you might feel confident in your adoption decision and feel ready to move forward in your journey.

No matter what you’re feeling, adoption counseling services are highly recommended. Whether you feel confident or uncertain about adoption, speaking with an adoption counselor has significant practical and emotional benefits. If you’re wondering what an adoption counselor does, then here are some details that can give you a clearer picture:

  • Your adoption counselor will educate you about all your unplanned pregnancy options. If you would like to explore potential paths besides adoption, then that is entirely possible even though you’ll be speaking with an adoption counselor. This is because adoption counselors don’t want to match expectant mothers with hopeful adoptive families if they’re unsure that the adoption will be successful. In other words, your counselor will help you determine if adoption is the best choice for you based on your needs.
  • Your adoption counselor will guide you through each step of your adoption journey. If you decide that adoption is the right path for you, then your counselor or adoption social worker can coordinate the services you need. They will be with you every step of the way, and you’ll never have to undergo adoption on your own.
  • Your adoption counselor will help you find the perfect family for your baby. Whether you’re looking for open adoption, semi-open adoption or closed adoption, your counselor and adoption specialist can help you find the right adoptive family for your child. They can also help you get to know each other! Through open adoption, you can build a lifelong bond with your child and their adoptive parents.
  • Your adoption counselor will help you process any complicated feelings. Experiencing grief, depression and doubt is completely normal, and it’s something nearly every prospective birth mother goes through. Your counselor can help you understand these complex feelings and provide advice on how to cope with them.
  • Your adoption counselor can address any other concerns. There are many reasons that people choose adoption. You could be considering adoption because of financial concerns, housing instability, substance abuse or something else entirely. No matter what reasons you have, your counselor and adoption case worker can help you find resources to address some of these problems.

3. Where Can I Find Adoption Counseling?

You may feel ready to reach out to an adoption counselor, but you may not know where to find one. An adoption counselor can be a social worker for adoption agencies, a licensed counselor, a psychologist or a family therapist who also specializes in adoption.

But, the best places to find experienced adoption counselors are typically at adoption agencies. Agencies hire trusted social workers who have years of experience working with prospective birth parents. They’re also knowledgeable when it comes to each step of the adoption process.

Most agencies don’t charge money for counseling and other support services. But, make sure you choose an adoption agency that offers the support services that work best for your needs. When you’re researching various agencies, make note of the ones that offer free adoption counseling and 24/7 access to a licensed social worker.

Sara, a birth mother, remembers how beautiful her adoption journey was because she had the right support.

“I also had the opportunity to visit American Adoptions’ headquarters in Kansas and meet my social worker Erin, who helped me navigate this journey and was supportive through it all,” she said. “We met a lot of people that day at the agency. I believe the unity between the adoptive family and my family sparked a lot of interest in our story.”

4. Why Should I Seek Counseling for “Giving a Baby Up” for Adoption?

Although you may feel that you don’t need adoption counseling right now, you could need it before you realize that you do. That’s why it’s highly recommended that you work with a professional who provides counseling for parents considering adoption. Emotions are unpredictable, and you could experience unforeseen challenges later in your adoption journey. You are always entitled to adoption counseling, and, even if you never decide to use it, it’s still beneficial to have support services at your disposal.

When researching adoption counseling services, keep an eye out for an adoption counselor who:

  • Offers 24/7 support, so you can always reach them no matter when you need them
  • Has personal adoption experience, so they understand the psychological impact of adoption on birth parents
  • Is certified and has received adoption and birth parent training
  • Has experience working with prospective birth parents
  • Has access to other adoption resources, such as adoption attorneys and home study providers

Most importantly, find a counselor who makes you feel supported and comfortable. The right adoption counselor can provide all the support, education and services that you need to feel confident about your adoption. If you have any more questions about adoption counseling, then get free information now and contact us today!