Perhaps you’ve just taken a pregnancy test that’s reading positive and you have no idea how you could raise a child at this time. Or you planned to get pregnant, but a life circumstance has occurred that is causing you to question if you are able to parent now. There are too many scenarios to name, but with each scenario comes the million dollar question: should I give my child up for adoption?
Let’s first address the wording of that question. There are some phrases used in reference to adoption that can be troubling when you break it down to its core level. For instance, people commonly use the phrases “give up a child” or “keep a child.” Both are possessive in nature and take away the importance of the thing you are considering: whether or not to place a human child for adoption. Language is important in many facets of our world, and I think it is even more important when it comes to adoption. Some alternative phrases that respect adoption and the people apart of it are phrases such as “creating an adoption plan,” “placing for adoption,” and, in the instance that someone does not go through with an adoption plan, “chose to parent.”
Now that we’ve taken a look at language, let’s focus on whether you should consider making an adoption plan. The first thing you should do is to truly think about why you are considering placing your child. If it is because someone is telling you or pushing you to, remember that they are not the person who is going to parent your child. You are the parent. If it is because of a lack of resources, look into whether there are local agencies in your community that help with those resources or ask around to friends and family. You may be surprised at the amount of options and agencies you never knew existed. Additionally, are you considering adoption because you are worried about a lack of a father figure or the stability of a two-parent household? Find a single mother or parent to talk with and learn about their situation. See if it is something that you could make work. If you are considering adoption because of finances, figure out if there is something you can do during your pregnancy to change that. Can you save up some money, can you enroll in a government program, or can you find a new job? Figure out if this is a temporary phenomenon of not being financially secure or if this is something that is more permanent and that you do not see an end to.
There are many reasons to consider making an adoption plan. No one should make you feel obligated to make one or not. It is a very personal, emotional experience that involves soul-searching to find your limitations and understand whether or not you are in the best position to parent. If you are considering placing, and the reasons for doing so are not temporary situations, then it is up to you to decide if making an adoption plan for your child is the right thing for you. For both avenues, there is support to be found and a community to be a part of. No matter what, you are not alone.
Written by Samantha Alkire