Can I Choose Adoption For My Unborn Baby?
Babies are cute. Babies are cuddly. Babies are what make women’s hearts melt. Having an unplanned pregnancy can be frightening, though. If you are an expectant mom in an unplanned pregnancy, you no longer choose for just one person, you must now make choices for two. One of those awesome choices is adoption. You may have heard some negative things about adoption, but adoption is always an option, and it can be a great option for you.
What is adoption?
Adoption is the transfer of legal custody of a child from one set of parents to another. From the biological mother’s (birth mom’s) perspective, it is the opportunity to choose a life plan for your baby. It is the opportunity to have input into what family your child is placed into; how your child is raised and determining the level of contact you can have with your child is also a part of adoption. From the adoptive parents’ point of view, it is choosing to be matched with a child and making that child a part of your family. It is loving that child and providing everything needed to care for that child’s well-being: physically, intellectually, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. From the child’s point of view, it is moving from a crisis situation to a stable situation. It is moving from a temporary family to a forever family and from uncertainty to permanency.
Why would an expectant mom choose adoption for her unborn baby?
Either through circumstances beyond your control or by poor choices, some women find themselves pregnant at an inopportune time. Any one of the issues below are tough, but those issues combined with an unexpected pregnancy can add unbelievable stress and anxiety. Some people wonder why a mom would ever place her child for adoption. But they have never been in these situations before.
Some women who choose adoption for their child find themselves without support. Not only do they lack monetary or physical support, but they also lack emotional support. Sadly, some women are threatened by their significant others to get rid of the baby or they will leave. The thought of raising a baby alone with no money is frightening. But the thought of raising that child with no emotional support is terrifying. When fathers are not present after a pregnancy, a woman’s worth and dignity can become diminished. They feel like they are limited in choices. Adoption can give women a new hope. Adoption gives women a new direction in life. Adoption affirms the worth of not only the woman, but the baby as well. A woman who chooses adoption for her unborn baby is empowered. They are not getting rid of a child but participating in giving that child a hope and a future.
Not the right time
Many women who choose adoption for their child do so because keeping and raising a baby would interfere with so many other things in life such as a career, schooling, or relationships. For example, raising a child while attending college, though not impossible, is challenging. Placing a child for adoption ensures that the child has an opportunity to be raised in a home without academic distractions.
A pregnant teen has the right to choose adoption for their unborn baby. The thought that many teen moms go through is, “How can I raise a baby, when I am a baby, myself?” This is a challenging thought. But, with the right support, a teenager with an unborn baby can choose adoption. With the right guidance, patience, and direction, she can make a good choice for herself and her unborn baby.
The threat of being homeless itself is bad enough. Actually, being homeless with a child is even worse. Every once in a while, a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy will find herself facing homelessness as the result of an abusive relationship. Homelessness may come simply due to poverty and a series of unfortunate circumstances. In any event, a woman can still choose adoption for her unborn child.
In most states, there are services for maternity housing. These are homes for women in crisis pregnancies who need a temporary place to live. They have only a few girls in home who all share the chores and are overseen by live-in caregivers. They assist with appointments, transportation, prenatal appointments, parenting education, and counseling. They will serve you with love, kindness, and confidentiality, with a non-judgmental attitude. This is the perfect environment to decide whether to keep the baby or choose adoption.
What qualities does it take to choose adoption for your child?
It takes a special person to choose adoption for their unborn child. If you find yourself in that situation and you are contemplating adoption for your child, that places you in a unique category that not many have chosen. It takes character. What is character? Character is simply described as doing the right thing even when no one is watching. What qualities are contained in that character? Preparedness is one. Very few people plan for their future, let alone the future of another. Making a life plan for your child shows incredible forward thinking. Selflessness is another trait of expectant mothers considering adoption. It is a misnomer that you are giving up your child for adoption. Nothing could be further from the truth. You are not giving up, you are giving. Like a Christmas present, you are giving your child to another family who may be in a better position to raise your child. That is selflessness. It is not giving up. Humility is not necessarily being soft spoken or a push over. It is simply the ability to accurately assess your own situation. It is the ability to admit your strengths and needs. It is the ability to know your limitations. It is the ability to ask for help when needed. When you choose adoption for your unborn child, you are showing humility. And that is a quality that not many people have. It takes a lot of courage to place your child with another family. You go through nine months of pregnancy. You go to the doctor for prenatal visits. You go through labor and delivery. Then you give birth. Then you make the choice of giving your child to someone else. That takes enormous courage.
Choosing a Family
When a woman with an unplanned pregnancy chooses adoption for her unborn baby, choosing a family is vital. There is a lot that goes into planning for your child. None of these things should be taken lightly. Let’s look at a few.
The simplest variable is location. Where is the family located? This is important for two reasons. If you want to get to know the adoptive family before placing your child, face-to-face meetings are preferred. Yes, in this age of technology, video chats are all the rage. But nothing can replace being in the presence of the person with whom you are entrusting with your child for the rest of his or her life. If there is going to be any level of contact (open adoption), travel must be taken into consideration. Are you, as the birth mom going to travel to visit with your child?
Another key factor is determining which family to place your child with is shared values. For example, it is a forgone conclusion that both you and the adoptive parents feel family is important. That is a good place to start. What else does the adoptive family believe in? Education? Religion? Lifestyle? Of course, no one believes exactly the same things another person does, but, at the very least, it is good to know what to expect going forward.
What type of family do you want to place your child in? Single parent? Married couple? Large family? Childless couple? Empty nesters? All of these and much more, should be taken into consideration. What is important to you? What do you think is best for your child?
This can be a touchy subject. If you are African American, you may want to place your child in a Black family. If you are Native American, you may want to place your child in a Native American family. Why? Because some minority communities want to keep their ethnic heritage intact. There are some that also believe, for example, that a Black child will have less of a burden if adopted by a Black family. That a black adoptive family can pass along the history, traditions, and legacy to a Black child, because of their own firsthand knowledge and experience.
A woman with an unplanned pregnancy can choose open adoption for their unborn baby. Open Adoption, as outlined in a document called a post-adoption communication agreement, describes the relationship between the children and their birth parents after an adoption. The post-adoption communication agreement outlines boundaries, parameters, and expectations to each party keeping in mind the best interest of the child.
An open adoption benefits birth moms because they are able to see their child grow. Open adoption benefits an adoptive mom in that they have someone to guide them in keeping their child connected to their culture. Open adoption benefits the child in that they now have two sets of parents who now love them and will support them.
The post-adoption communication outlines the who, what, when, where, and how of contact between the child and their biological family. For example, adoptive and birth parents may meet a few times a year in a public place or birth parents may have monthly phone visits with the child for 15 minutes every Sunday evening. Maybe the adoptive family will send the birth parents a photo of the child once per year on his or her birthday.
Can I Choose Adoption For My Unborn Baby?
To make a long story short, yes, you can choose adoption for your unborn baby. Whatever the circumstances of your pregnancy, whatever your age, whether you have family support or not, adoption is a great option. Think about what type of family you want to raise your child. Think about what type of contact you want to have with your child. Adoption is giving hope and a future, not only to yourself but also for your baby.