Unexpected pregnancy is hard. We get it. It feels unfair that you didn’t plan this, but now you have to make a plan for both you and your pregnancy. You have three choices: parenting, adoption, or abortion. Each decision is difficult in its own way, and each woman has to choose for herself. No matter what you decide, it’s important that you make a well-informed choice.
There are many reasons why someone might choose adoption as the best option for their unplanned pregnancy. Many do not have the financial means to provide for themselves and a child. Some might want their child to grow up in a family, which they are unable to offer in their current season of life. Many do not feel as if they can finish school or pursue their career while raising a child. Some might not feel as if they are emotionally or mentally equipped to parent.
Whatever your reason, the Cline Center can help you navigate the process in a way that meets your needs.
Here is everything you need to know.
There are three types of adoption…
A confidential adoption is one where the adoption agency or lawyer will choose the adoptive family. A confidential adoption allows for no identifying information or contact to be shared between the birth family and adoptive family. The adoptive family will receive non-identifying information (medical information) about the child and birth family before the adoption is final. After the adoption is finalized, the records will be sealed. Depending on local law and what paperwork is signed and filed when the adoption was finalized, these records may or may not be available to the adopted child when they turn 18.
A partially open adoption is one where you will be able to choose the family your child is placed with. A partially open adoptions means that you may be able to learn some details about how your child is doing throughout their life through pictures, letters, and communication via the adoption agency or lawyer.
An open adoption is one where you will be able to choose the family your child is placed with. An open adoption also allows for communication between the birth family and the adoptive family. This can include picture and letter sharing, phone and video calls, or even open contact among the parties.
Choosing an open, partially open, or confidential adoption is completely up to the birth parent/s. You get to be in control of your adoption plan. You will be able to choose how much communication you would like to have with your child throughout their life.
Finding the Right Support
Adoption, like all of your choices, can be difficult – but it may not be as impossible as you might believe. It is still a viable, often good, decision. To have a positive adoption experience, you need legal expertise and personal support.
Working with a licensed adoption agency is the safest course of action for any birth mother. A licensed agency will help you find a lawyer (at no cost to you) and make sure that your adoption happens just the way you want it to.
Consistent with state laws, you can also receive help with basic expenses and prenatal care.
Even with the support of a licensed adoption agency and help with basic expenses, it will still important for you to honor your feelings as you have them, even the negative ones. Talking with a therapist, surrounding yourself with a supportive group of friends and family, and taking time to process your emotions are all vital steps to a successful adoption experience.
There are many options for personalized support, like counseling and support groups, for birth mothers.
Throughout the adoption process, you should never feel pressured, coerced, or forced.
An adoption agency or adoption attorney should be committed to respecting your needs and wants, your confidentiality, and answering all of your questions with honesty and integrity.
Remember, you can change your mind at any point before the placement of your baby is legally complete, after you have given birth.
Each step of the adoption journey is important. This includes your birth plan, which will outline all your preferences regarding your hospital stay when your due date arrives, such as:
- The hospital where you want to deliver your baby
- Who you want in the delivery room with you
- If you want to spend time with the baby, or not
- If you would like to give a letter or gift to the baby
- If you would like hospital personal to give the baby to the adoptive family
- Who you want to hold your baby first
- The types of medical procedures you would like to be performed, or not performed.
Giving birth under any circumstances can be painful, difficult, overwhelming — yet also beautiful, life-giving and joyous. Add in the unique elements of adoption, and it becomes truly unlike anything else – you are acting selflessly and bravely to give the gift of life to your child and the adoptive family.
What about Dad?
We know that in the real-world complications and disagreements with the father of your baby can easily arise, regardless of the choice you make.
The father of your child will typically have legal rights related to adoption. These rights change from state to state. This is why it is so important for you to have a licensed adoption agency and an adoption attorney throughout the process. They will be up to date on all the laws for each parent and be able to help you navigate it smoothly.
Where to Start?
The Cline Center is a safe place for women who are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy to get resources if they are considering adoption. We would love to walk you through the process, referring you to reputable adoption agencies and offering personalized support, all at no cost to you.
You are not alone, and you never will be. The Cline Center is your best first step.
Call 601-487-1064, today, or schedule a consult.