An Unselfish Act: How to Give a Child up for Adoption
Fear, anxiety, confusion—these are just a few of the emotions that a woman faced with an unplanned pregnancy may experience. After all, a positive pregnancy test means that life will never be the same. But that doesn’t have to mean that all hopes, dreams and plans for the future are over. The unselfish act of adoption can keep a birth mother’s dreams alive, and make the dreams of an infertile couple come true in the process.
If you are dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, and you’re interested in abortion alternatives, adoption is probably the best option. Here’s a look at what to expect when giving a child up for adoption.
First off, you need to realize that in choosing adoption you are not really “giving up” your baby. You are giving your baby “over” to parents who can offer him or her the love and the life that you feel you are unable to provide right now. Choosing adoption is a courageous and unselfish act that puts the needs of your baby before your own. And you are to be commended for that.
When considering infant or newborn adoption it’s important to enlist the support of friends and family members, not just through the next nine months but well beyond. The next step is to choose a reputable adoption agency—an agency that can answer all of your questions confidentially, provide support through the term of your pregnancy, and help you find the right set of parents for your child.
Prepare for an emotional journey
Going through a pregnancy and giving your baby up to adoptive parents is an emotionally complicated process. It’s important to prepare for these emotions and to recognize that they are normal. Feelings of anger, shame, fear, uncertainty, regret, remorse and grief are all to be expected. The key is to express your emotions, rather than suppressing them in the hope that they will eventually go away on their own.
Accepting your decision to give your baby up for adoption early on is an important first step that will help you to begin the grieving and healing process well before you give birth. It’s perfectly natural to bond with your baby. Coming to terms with the fact that you have chosen the best life for your child will help you to embrace these loving feelings and experience the special kind of happiness that comes with bringing a new life into the world.
Get acquainted with the adoption process
Before you got pregnant, the idea of giving up a child for adoption was probably the furthest thing from your mind. But in the wake of a positive pregnancy test, that choice for your baby has taken on a whole new meaning. As a birth mother it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of adoption. But those fears and concerns will be greatly alleviated as you become fully acquainted with the adoption process. Remember, adoption is a decision that only you can make. An adoption agency can help you to make an informed decision by walking you through the critical steps of the adoption process, which are as follows:
- Decide if adoption is the best choice
Whether you’re an unexpected mother or even a soon-to-be teen parent, the first part of the adoption process is deciding if adoption really is the best choice for you and your baby. A number of questions need to be asked and answered in order to make that decision. Among the main questions you may have are:
What does it cost to place my child for adoption?
Birth mothers will be relieved to know that the adoptive parents will pay all or nearly all of the expenses they may incur, including counseling, medical and legal fees.
Who gets to choose the adoptive family?
You as the birth mother have the right to select the right family for your child. The adoption agency will assist you by properly screening and vetting all potential parental candidates. Working closely with an adoption specialist, you’ll be able to conduct a parental search based on your criteria regarding age, race, religion, location, current family size, and the degree of contact they will allow you to have with your child. During your search you’ll be provided with printed and video profiles of prospective parents to help you narrow down your choices.
How much interaction can I have with my child?
In today’s modern and connected world, open adoptions allow birth mothers to have more contact with adopted children and their families than they did in the past. Before the adoption you can have the opportunity to get to know the adoptive parents better. This communication is important, as it helps to make the new parents a part of your support team.
After the adoption you can request to keep in contact with your child and the family in various ways. Basic communication can occur through letters and emails. More involvement with your child can come through properly regulated social media interaction, supervised phone calls and Skype or Facetime sessions. If you want a more personal relationship with your child, you’ll find that many families are open to personal visits. The important thing for you to know is that you do have rights, both before and after the adoption.
Where does the birth father fit in?
Obviously your baby has a biological father. That being said, birth fathers tend to fall into the following categories: involved and supportive, unsupportive, unknown, and/or uninvolved. Depending on the state you live in the father has certain rights that may affect the adoption. Adoption agencies have specialists who can determine the birth father’s rights and help you to work with him accordingly to make the adoption process as smooth as possible.
What about the hospital stay?
When it comes to your hospital stay you have complete control. All aspects, including who you want in the delivery room with you, who holds your baby first, and how you spend this brief and precious time with your baby are up to you.
- Formulate an adoption plan
As the birth mother you have a say in every aspect of the adoption process.
Being in charge allows you to create an adoption plan that is right for you and your child. Remember, you get to choose the adoptive family. You get to determine the amount of contact you have with that family before your baby is born. And you get to determine the type of contact you have with your child once he or she is placed in their new home. An adoption specialist will help you to create an adoption plan that is based on these and other choices.
- Select a family
Once you have an adoption plan, the next step is finding an adoptive family that is compatible with that plan. Your adoption specialist will aid you in finding the family that fulfills all of your criteria—a family that will provide a loving and nurturing environment to give your baby the best life that you could hope for.
Allowing your baby to bless the lives of an adoptive family is a selfless sacrifice, and a wonderful gift. Hopefully the above information will help you to recognize that adoption is the best path for your pregnancy, a path that while being very difficult, leads to a new life—a life filled with options, opportunities and hope, for you and the child that you will always love.
To learn more about adoption and how A Guardian Angel can help you and your little one, please contact us at our toll-free number, 877-74-ANGEL