When looking at different options for your child during your pregnancy, “adoption for my child” may be one of the first things you come across and consider. Because there are a million different avenues you could seek to find out information about adoption, it can seem rather daunting to try and sort through the different choices. Here, we’ll go through some different reasons why choosing adoption is a good choice for yourself and your child. Also, we’ll explore some challenges you might experience when deciding if adoption is right for you, and tips to keep you grounded throughout the entire process.
Choosing Adoption and All that Comes with It
Adoption affects all members of the adoption triad, which includes the adoptee (child), birth parents, and adoptive parents. As an expectant parent, it is important to know that the decision you make can have a positive outcome for all involved–especially if it is done in a manner that reflects a positive future. The key to achieving a positive experience during the adoption process is to reflect on your motivation or reason for wanting to choose adoption in the first place. Some reasons that expectant mothers often ending up choosing adoption are:
-Family opposition to keeping the child
-Age (young or older age)
-Lack of support or supplies needed to raise a child
If you are considering adoption for any of the above reasons, or virtually any other reason, do not get consumed with the stereotypes that come with placing a child with adoption. None of these reasons make you any less of a mother or a parent.
Choosing adoption allows you–if you are in a situation where you feel that you cannot raise your child–to have peace of mind by knowing that your child will be raised in a home that can provide him with all the opportunities possible in life. Your child will be loved as he grows in your womb and then loved just as much by the family that will adopt him. You may have heard the saying “Love is not enough” in regards to adoption. However, love is always enough when it comes from the heart.
Adoption also strongly affects adoptive families. People adopt children for a variety of reasons, such as infertility or age. Most families looking to adopt have an altruistic motivation for doing so; couples simply want to provide for a child who is in need of a home. For some, being able to become a parent is a lifelong goal that simply wasn’t possible. By choosing adoption for your child, you are giving your child the opportunity to have two families that love her.
A relationship can also be developed between both sets of parents if both couples remain in contact with one another either through open adoption or another form of communication. Open adoption is a healthy way to stay connected with your child’s post-adoption. This is where the birth family and the adoptive family stay in contact after the child’s adoption has been finalized. It allows the birth parent to stay in communication (which can involve talking through social media, pictures, writing letters, in-person visits, and more) with the child and to have a presence in his life. These types of adoptions are more common now than ever, as it is becoming more acceptable for birth parents to be involved post-adoption. It also creates a healthy family dynamic for the adoptee, reassuring them that both sets of parents love him and want the best for him. Growing up, I would have given anything to have a phone call or a letter from my birth family. Although, as mentioned earlier, the situation behind my adoption is very complicated, I know that I was loved by every member of my birth family.
As a whole, I can truly say that, as an adoptee, adoption saved my life. There’s no telling where I would be or what my life would be like if I hadn’t been adopted as a newborn. I was given a chance to have a “normal” life. I grew up with two parents who did the best both could raise a transracial adoptee with an outspoken personality. Although looking back, there were things I wish that we had done differently. I wouldn’t change being adopted for the world. I have had the opportunity to do so many things in life with my adoptive family and my birth family. It’s been a lot to coordinate and handle, but so very rewarding at the same time.
Although I was not placed for adoption for a selfless reason, there are many children who are. Expectant mothers who are in stressful or unfortunate situations that believe she cannot adequately provide for her child the way she wants to, in a way, are doing a selfless act. I fully recognize the connotation of selfless in this case ignores the challenges some expectant parents face when deciding to choose adoption. Rather than selfless, let’s think of it as the hardest decision that a parent can make, but one that is made out of love and wantedness for a child to have a better life.
Adoption is one of the most beautiful, traumatic, confusing, and rewarding experiences for everyone involved. There are sad moments, such as when the birth parent hands the child over to the adoptive family, but there are also happy moments. Think about the first time you will get to communicate with your child, watch her grow, or hopefully when you get to be with her as she achieves milestones in life. As an expectant parent, it is important to seek counseling as well.
Educating About Adoption
Although there are many people who have either been affected by adoption, are adopted, or know someone who has placed a child for adoption, there are still many stigmas and myths about it that the general public perpetuates. If you decide to choose adoption, this can be a great way to help educate your family and friends about how the adoption process really works. This article provides a comprehensive overview of what adoption is.
One of the most unfortunate stereotypes often placed upon birth parents is that the birth mother, for instance, “doesn’t want” the child she placed for adoption. This is absolutely not the truth, as for most birth mothers, choosing adoption is the hardest choice she will ever make. Unbelievably, this is more common than one would think. As a birth parent, you can help to advocate for better perceptions of expectant mothers and fathers.
Being Realistic and Keeping an Open Mind
When making your decision, talking to birth parents who have chosen adoption can help you to gain a realistic perspective on what the adoption journey is like. Having meaningful, honest conversations with parents can also acclimate you to a support system that you will most likely be thankful to have later on down the road if you choose adoption for your child. Forums are one of the best places to learn about a variety of topics such as financial obligations for birth parents, connecting with other birth parents, stress and grief, and other forms of general support. There are also specific forums for birth mothers and fathers, allowing for a more nuanced conversation between those who have had similar experiences.
When exploring different options for your child and yourself, keeping an open mind is the most important thing you can do. People most always have a mission, which could persuade you to do something that you are not comfortable doing. Find a select number of trusted individuals or professionals and allow those professionals to help you, whether that be your OBGYN, primary care doctor, family member, best friend, or staff at a pregnancy center. The options you have for a confidant are endless; however, ensuring that people are willing to support you no matter what choice you make is critical.
Set boundaries that reflect what you are and are not comfortable with doing during the adoption process. Make a list of “must-haves” for your adoption. Perhaps you are going into this journey with an idea of the type of family you want your child to be raised by, or whether you’d like to have an open or closed adoption. Keeping either a journal or list of aspects of your child’s adoption that you have thought through and researched will help in the long run, avoiding the possibility of forgetting important details. Using an adoption agency that works with boundaries you set for yourself during the adoption process is crucial to ensuring that things go smoothly. On the rare occasion that you encounter pushback or coercive tactics during the adoption process, you need to know that it is absolutely okay to stand up for yourself.
When it comes to adoption, there are some things that are difficult to talk about or things that you’d just rather not discuss at all. An often forgotten part of the adoption process is how taxing it can be on the psychological well-being of everyone involved, especially birth parents. As a birth mother, there are many options that you can take for receiving adequate support and mental health care for yourself. Adoption.com has a free e-book that describes the experiences of many different birth mothers who ended up choosing adoption. Reading someone’s perspective who has been through nearly exactly what you are going through can often help alleviate anxiety and worry about choosing to place your child for adoption or not. This article also covers some of the same topics in this article but provides a good general overview of choosing adoption.
Dealing with your mental health post-adoption is just as important as handling it while exploring your options. There are therapists that are trained to work with the nuanced emotions that come with the adoption journey for all members of the adoption triad. As a birth parent, this can be a healthy way of handling issues that others may not be able to help with. This also benefits those who do not have the support of family or friends or who may not have access to talk to other birth mothers.
If you talk to an adoptee, you may hear the trauma that he has experienced from being adopted or how hard it was from dealing with the complexities of the adoption system. As an adoptee, I can say that the trauma is real and is invasive in our minds. My adoption was not a pretty one; my backstory and family history are what some might call atrocious, and it’s been hard dealing with it. I can only imagine what stress it puts on both birth and adoptive families as well. Going to therapy was the best decision I ever made in coming to terms with many things in my life that I didn’t have the coping skills to handle or wasn’t able to process.
One hard thing to talk about is the adoption vs. abortion debate. When an expectant parent tells anyone she is considering adoption, this is a topic that almost always comes up. If you are ever put into a situation like this, please do not feel pressured to think one way or another about it. This is an unfair statement to expectant parents and is not relevant to your decision to choose or not to choose adoption for your child. To be honest, it’s best to avoid discussing the topic with anyone outside of a trusted individual, if need be. Politicizing what is for some the hardest decision she will ever make only complicates the thought process that comes with choosing adoption for your child.
If you choose to place your child for adoption, it should be because you truly believe this is the best option for your child’s life. After all, choosing adoption is hard. Dealing with the aftermath of it is even harder. Even though adoption is always pictured as something out of a Hallmark movie, it doesn’t always go that way. But, at the end of the day, as long as those involved ensure that the child is taken care of in the best way possible and that birth parents receive adequate counseling and support, you can rest knowing that you did your best. As a birth parent, you have the power to make adoption a beautiful experience that will have lasting positive effects on your child’s life.
This article is in no way meant to pressure expectant mothers to choose adoption. It is not meant to be coercive in any form of fashion. It is only meant to provide expectant parents with adequate information on choosing adoption for their child.
My name is Morgan Bailee Boggess, and I am originally from Owensboro, KY, (where I was raised) and was adopted from Henderson, KY. I currently live in Lexington, KY, with my fiance, our Yorkie (Heidi), turtle (Sheldon), and a variety of saltwater fish. Beginning in 2016, I sought out and met most of my biological family. At the end of my searching, I discovered that I have, in total, 8 brothers and sisters, 20 nieces and nephews, and one godson. I graduated from Georgetown College in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and am currently working towards getting my master’s in Social Work (MSW) with plans to get my Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology a few years after that. I am a psychometrist and clinical research assistant at Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky. My research focus is looking at how forms of complex trauma (particularly intergenerational) affects the cognition in older adults. In my spare time, I write and read spoken word poetry at events to help benefit local nonprofits. I am also involved with several national diversity organizations and serve on the Board of Directors for Adoptees Connect, Inc.