Experiencing an unexpected pregnancy can be shocking and emotional. You need to give yourself time to process the news and consider what your options are. The decisions you make in the next few weeks will have lasting effects on you and your unborn child. It’s good to find a support system with the father of the child, your friends, and your family. It’s important though that you don’t let them make the decisions for you.
In your unexpected pregnancy, You may be in a situation where you know right away that you want to place your child for adoption. If so, you can look for an adoption agency, or you can independently find parents for your child and have an attorney facilitate the adoption. If you are unsure of whether adoption is the right decision, then do some research. It may be helpful to find some birth parents and adult adoptees to discuss adoption. They can give you different perspectives on how adoption has impacted them. Also, you can choose what kind of adoption is right for you.
In a closed adoption all the records and identities are sealed in court documents. In most states, the adopted child will not have access to them, even as an adult. Years ago a closed adoption would presume anonymity for the birth parents. Today, with the strides we have made with DNA, the child will most likely have access to your identity at some point down the road.
An option that has grown exponentially in popularity is an open adoption for an unexpected pregnancy. In an open adoption, the child grows up knowing that you are his or her birth parent. There is a certain amount of communication between you and the adoptive parents. As a group, you decide what level of openness you will have with the child. For some families, it’s the exchange of letters and photos only. For others, there are periodic visits. Some choose to have a big, open blended family scenario where both sets of parents attend events and holidays together. You can discuss what feels right for you.
Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees’ rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at http://ashleysfoster.blogspot.com/.