Deciding whether or not adoption is right for you and your baby is daunting, especially if you’re not sure what steps you’ll need to take to get there. From making your choice to deciding what the years following adoption will look like, we’ve gathered some tips and resources to help you throughout the process.
1. Making a Decision: Parenting or Adoption
You may choose to parent your child yourself. This can be daunting to any mother, especially one faced with an unplanned pregnancy. As you consider raising your child yourself, several questions will likely come to mind, such as: Where will we live? How will I support my child financially? How will I balance my work life with my responsibilities as a parent? Will the father be involved in our lives? If so, to what degree?
You don’t have to seek answers alone. Even if you don’t intend to choose adoption, we’re still here to help; our counselors can help you plan and prepare for motherhood.
You may choose to make an adoption plan. Though it may be your intention to ultimately relinquish your parental rights, you will be totally involved in this process with your birth counselor. Reach out to a counselor at a pregnancy resource center or adoption agency who can equip you with more information to help you make your decision. If you decide to pursue the path to adoption, an adoption agency counselor can talk to you about your desires for your baby’s family. Then, you’ll have the opportunity to meet prospective families and choose the best parents for your baby.
Parenting and Adoption
Choosing between a parenting plan and an adoption plan can be difficult. Fortunately, there’s no pressure to make your decision quickly. You may choose to have both a parenting plan and an adoption plan prepared until you choose one of the two. Having two plans prepared will help ensure a smoother and more successful transition regardless of what you decide. You won’t make a legal agreement until your baby is born, so you’re free to continue processing and seeking advice over the course of your pregnancy.
During the Adoption Process
While choosing adoption is entirely up to you, the adoption process itself involves collaboration with professionals who have you and your child’s best interest in mind. After deciding on an adoption plan, you will work with a counselor who will not only help you make important decisions about your child’s future, but will also offer you support during what can be a challenging time. With the help of your counselor, you will choose the best family for your child and can meet prospective parents in person if you want to.
Now is the time to address the practical concerns of pregnancy as well. In some cases we may be able to assist expectant mothers with housing, groceries, medicaid guidance, legal assistance and counseling. You may choose to take advantage of free childbirth training through a local agency, or we can attend birthing classes at the hospital with you. Advanced preparation will not only help you the day you give birth, but can also offer you peace of mind leading up to your due date.
We often follow an Open Adoption Plan, which keeps you involved in your child’s life. But you are ultimately in control of the adoption plan that is chosen. In an Open Adoption Plan we encourage both birth parents and adoptive parents to exchange letters, pictures, videos, and gifts as your child is growing up. Some families even schedule video calls and in-person visits. You can tailor your level of involvement and adjust as the years go on.
Importantly, your relationship with Special Delivery doesn’t have to end once the adoption process is completed. You may join one of our Birth Mother Support Groups. Plus, we offer lifetime counseling free of charge. As you face changes now and in the future, we hope to provide you with ongoing support so that you are equipped with resources and connected with compassionate counselors whenever you might need them. Contact us today!