Many people have a misleading idea of adoption. They have heard harsh stories about how newborn babies are pulled from their mother's arms and placed with strangers. Some think, "How could you go through your life never knowing what happened to your child?" Adoption is very different today from even twenty years ago. You have the right to select your baby's parents, meet them and even keep in touch over the years. These changes have made the adoption option much easier to consider.
There are many reasons to consider adoption. Maybe you know in your heart that you can't take care of your baby. There's not enough time, money, or help. Maybe you already have children and one more baby would be too much stress on you. Perhaps you are just afraid and want to know more about this choice.
The good news about your situation is that there are many loving couples that would love to have a baby of their own, but can't due to infertility. They are waiting for a person like you - a person that wants to give a baby life, and share that baby with them. They want to love you and your baby and provide a strong and stable environment where you child can flourish.
You are doing the right thing by researching all of your options. Adoption is a choice that you need to think about carefully, but if you can't parent, no matter what the reason, adoption may be the right choice for you. Our center would be glad to connect you with a referral to several adoption agencies in our area. You don't have to commit to adoption before you meet with them. You can just collect information to help make a more informed decision.
Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption:
How can I be helped financially?
There is no cost to you for adoption. This center can provide you with a referral to several agencies that will help you free of charge. Many agencies will work with the adoptive parents to pay for all your pregnancy-related expenses as well.
Can I choose a family for my baby?
Yes. Most agencies have many different families you can choose from. These families have been screened and approved. There are additional options, you may also be able to do a private adoption and choose a friend or family member or someone who has been recommended to you.
How often will I get to see my baby after birth and after adoption?
You may have as much contact with your baby at the hospital as you desire. When planning your child's adoption, you can choose an open adoption plan that allows ongoing visits with your child, or you can choose semi-open adoption that keeps you informed about your child's progress through letters and pictures. If you prefer not to have any contact with your child or the adoptive family, confidential plans are also possible.
Tell me more about open adoption:
With an open adoption plan you may be able to:
What's a "semi-open" adoption plan?
- Meet potential adoptive families before making a decision.
- Exchange contact information with the adoptive family at the appropriate time
- There may be ongoing contact in the form of: attending the birth of the child, attending physician visits together, visiting the home, and gathering as extended family members during special occasions, etc.
- Have direct correspondence between you and the family.
- Contact each other directly by phone.
In a semi-open plan you choose a family from written non-identifying material provided by the agency.
How soon after birth can my baby go to the parents I choose?
- An agency or third party mediates the contact between you and the adoptive family before and after the birth.
- You will know the adoptive family by their first names only.
- Adoptive parents may be present at the birth and may meet you before the birth.
- All correspondence is sent through the agency or third party.
- Post-placement meetings are arranged and supervised by the mediator.
- Adoptive parents often share the child's pictures and letters with you, but may also include gifts, videotapes, etc.
The timing of your child's placement depends on three factors:
Many women want their baby placed with the adoptive family directly from the hospital, but you may prefer to place your baby in temporary care while you consider adoption.
- What you prefer to be the time of placement
- Legal aspects of adoption, which may vary from state to state
- The cooperation of the birthfather
How much will my child know about me?
That depends on what type of adoption you choose - open, semi-open, or confidential. Also, your agency will encourage you to provide your complete medical and social history to your child, no matter what type of adoption you choose (in some states this is required). In most cases, the adoption agency will share as much or as little as you want them to.
Does the birthfather have any rights?
Both you and the birthfather have rights. If you disagree about adoption or you no longer have a relationship with him, your agency will work with the birthfather and/or the courts to determine if his rights can be terminated.
Can my child find me if he/she wants to search someday?
Laws in your state determine when your child may have access to information in the adoption file.