Choosing to give birth and having another family parent him or her might seem like a scary choice. But it's a loving, mature, courageous decision. Perhaps you even have family members or friends who are telling you that if you got yourself pregnant you have to be responsible and raise your baby. They don't understand that finding another family to parent your child IS being loving and responsible towards your baby.
Since you’re here, you’re at least thinking about adoption as a choice. It's awesome that you are looking at all the information about your options. It's the first step in empowering yourself to make an informed and well-thought-out decision regarding your future– and the future of your unborn baby.
Why Choose Adoption?
No one can tell you why or why not adoption may be an option for you and your child. This decision is completely yours to make. Make sure you consider all of your options and the outcome that each may or may not have on you and your child.
The decision of placing your child for adoption is obviously not an easy one. But in some situations, it is what the mother sees as the best option. We are here to educate you on the option of adoption and provide you with resources, such as agencies and other referrals, that will help you make an informed decision.
Some things you may want to consider while making your decision are:
- Financial stability
- Child care
- Parental involvement
- Home environment
- Your future plans
- What you want for your child’s future
Every situation is so unique and different. We cannot make a set list of “reasons why you should place”. There are so many things that play into this difficult decision along with so many emotions. You might be thinking some of these thoughts:
"If I consider adoption, it means I don't love my baby."
Exploring your options doesn't mean you don't love your baby, it means you love your baby and want what's best for him/her. It means you are looking into everything and putting your baby first out of love for your baby.
"I could never give my baby away."
Choosing another family to parent your baby isn't giving away something you don't want. We know that you love your baby. Right now though, you might not be able to take care of all the things your baby needs. Instead, you are choosing and getting to know a family who can take care of those needs.
"My mom told me that if I find another family to raise my baby, I'm taking the easy way out."
There’s no question that adoption is a hard choice. There’s no easy answer or decision to an unplanned pregnancy. Thinking about adoption is not about whether you could raise your baby…you certainly can. Exploring adoption is about thinking about what kind of life you want for your baby and whether you’re ready to provide that life. Thinking about your options only means that you are making informed decisions. You are taking your responsibilities seriously.
"I don't have any money to get medical help during my pregnancy."
You don't have to worry about this. Your prenatal and hospital care will be taken care of. You should talk about this with your agency or adoption lawyer. There are no costs to you to find a family for your baby. There are also housing options for you as well as the possibility for you to receive some financial support throughout your pregnancy. Again, talk it over with your agency.
"I couldn’t have a baby and know it’s out there being raised by someone else."
Knowing a child was out there implies that you have no knowledge and no contact. With an open adoption, it is important for you to build a relationship with the adoptive family that you choose. The relationship is built on trust, trust that everyone keeps their promises and trust that everyone keeps in mind that you both love and want the best for the same child. When you have that kind of relationship, it’s not a matter of wondering, because you know. You can get pictures, e-mails, letters and even some visits. It's a discussion to have with the family.
This is obviously a very emotional time. You may be experiencing fear, shame, anger, sadness, confusion, and even excitement. Do not discredit any emotion you may be feeling. These are valid emotions that you will probably continue to feel on different levels throughout your pregnancy and decision-making process. It’s okay to be emotional. Seek out support from others and professionals as often as possible.
"I don't know anyone who might want to raise my baby."
You don't have to. There are so many amazing families and every agency has profiles of these families. You get to pick the family personally. Think about what qualites are important to you (race, age, other children, religion, location, etc.) and they will show you profiles of families that match what you are looking for. Think about what you want for your child's future and the kind of life you want them to have. You might feel pressure from a family member to pick someone they know (which still might be a good choice), but you don't think you are obligated to pick them. It's your choice.
"I don't know if another family would be a good fit for my baby."
Once you pick your family, they are excited to get to know you. You will stay in regular contact with them and build a relationship. You can start out with e-mails and phone calls and move forward to Skyping or meeting in person. It's your decision how slow or fast you go to connect with them. .
"I'm not sure I'd want any contact with the family who is raising my baby."
That's ok. You don't have to. There are three levels of "openness." You get to decide how much contact you have with the family.
- Closed — No contact with the family or they with you.
- Semi-open — You get pictures and updates through e-mail or letters.
- Open — Frequent pictures, updates and some visits.
"If I can’t raise the baby – I’d just abort."
Understand that there is no easy solution to an unplanned pregnancy. This is a very difficult position to be in. It’s normal to be afraid of the grief that you will feel when placing your baby with another family. Adoption, even when it is open and you have contact with your child, is still a great loss. When considering adoption, it is important to not be naive to the grief that placing your child will create. But it’s a pain much easier to endure than the grief you live with when you abort your baby…when you realize someday that you’ll never know what might have been.
If you decide that open adoption is right for you and your baby, you will have the opportunity to watch them grow and thrive in a loving home that you hand-select for them, but with that joy, there will be pain. There are amazing communities to help you through this loss. Women who have made this decision regardless of what pain it may cause them. If you do decide to place your child for adoption, seek out these communities. Allow others to help support and lift you up in the difficult moments.
Adoption today may not be what you think. You have lots of choices with adoption. Today, adoption is not about separating relationships, it’s about changing them. While it's true that with adoption, your parental rights and responsibilities are given to another set of parents, that doesn't end your ability to have a relationship with your child. Open adoption involves an ongoing, dynamic relationship between you, the adoptive parents, and your child.
There are different types of openness to meet different needs and levels of comfort. You owe it to yourself and your baby to at least get some information about the options available in adoption, so that whatever you choose, your decision is one that you have thought through and is based on facts.
You might be interested in researching the laws of Indiana regarding adoption or the state you might be considering. Laws vary state by state and can be drastically different when you cross state lines. Some of the things you might be interested in researching are your state's position on post-placement contact agreements, allowable expenses, and the use of adoption professionals.
We can help you with finding adoption agencies who will walk with you step by step. They can answer any questions you have about your rights, the laws and how the process works.
There is no easy solution to an unplanned pregnancy. Call THC for an appointment. Each choice is hard and has its own difficulties. You can empower yourself by getting as much information as you can get about your options. Giving yourself time to consider carefully and weigh each option will help you make the right decision for you and your baby. Click here to read more information about adoption.
The Hope Clinic can provide referrals to adoption agencies that can answer all your questions. Call the Hope Clinic for an appointment. Walk-in's are welcome.