Thus far, we have looked at the options of abortion and parenting. This week, we will take a look at the final option; the adoption option. As with parenting, adoption requires carrying the pregnancy to term and delivering the baby. To lovingly choose adoption can be a very mature choice. A woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy may be apt to understand that she cannot, at this time in her life, offer her child the stable environment that her child deserves. She desires for her child to have a loving, stable family who will love and support her child from birth through adulthood.
When many think of the word adoption, they think of many words:
The number of women choosing adoption for their child has dropped drastically over the years. Often, women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy feel like they will be bad parents if they choose adoption for their child. Sometimes, her choice of adoption will be hard to keep secret unless she goes on an extended “vacation” during the latter part of her pregnancy. She will face the reactions of the people in her life as they realize she is pregnant & then there is no baby to “show off” at the time of delivery.
True Care Women’s Resources can help a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy take a deeper look at the adoption option. Our long term prenatal education program offers the exploration of the adoption option if she chooses. Also, we can refer her to several local licensed adoption agencies servicing Wyoming to make a more concrete plan.
There are advantages and disadvantages in any adoption. Some of the benefits for a woman who makes an adoption plan for her baby are that she can know she has made the best choice for her and her baby. Another advantage is that she can return to her current lifestyle when the baby is born. She will not have to figure out how to raise a child when she is not prepared. Often, her pregnancy expenses can be paid for by the adoptive family. A disadvantage for the birthmother is the emotional bond she has developed for this little one as pregnancy progresses. Adoption is an emotional choice for all those involved.
One of the greatest fears of young women who are considering adoption placement for their baby is that they will never know what happened to their children or know if they are happy or loved. Adoptions used to be “closed”, but they don’t have to be. Today, many birth mothers choose “open” or “semi-open” adoptions.
Consider your options carefully and choose the one that best meets your needs.
Closed Adoptions are when the birth parents and the adoptive family have no contact. They do not meet, exchange information, or contact one another. For some, this can be a devastating option, as their giving birth may be the last time they will see their child. Others, however, appreciate this option as seeing pictures and having those once a year contacts serve as painful reminders of their placing that child up for adoption.
Semi-open Adoptions allow birthparents to pick the adoptive parents from a profile and are able to receive updates via pictures and other information through their connection with an adoptive agency. Many birthparents prefer this option because it allows them to feel in control of her pregnancy and that they have made the best decision. This option encourages them to see their child grow happy and healthy and provides some closure to an unplanned pregnancy.
Open Adoptions allow the birthparents and the adoptive parents to meet before the baby is born. The meeting together gives time to get to know one another and to exchange their contact information throughout the adopted child’s life. In this environment, it is possible for the two (birthparents and the adoptive parents) to visit one another as the child grows. Open adoption allows for the birthparents to have interaction with their child frequently as this child grows & to be a part of their growing process. Many times, this option is chosen as the birthparents can act together with the adoptive parents to maintain a healthy relationship with their child.
Another option a woman must choose is who will help her in the adoption procedures.
First, there are licensed adoption agencies. State-licensed and regulated agencies work to provide the best possible services for their clients. They are required to have licensed social workers providing direct care, counseling, and adoption procedures. As a result, they can handle absolutely every aspect of the adoption process, from emergency relocation to post-placement grief and loss counseling and financial assistance. For those in Wyoming, Wyoming Children’s Society, Catholic Charities of Wyoming, and Bethany Christian Services of Wyoming are wonderful agencies for women to consider.
Secondly, a birth mother may choose to find adoption attorneys. Typically they do not provide social work support and will team up with a licensed adoption agency that they have hired. NOTE: A birthmother is wise to be very thorough in her research of adoption attorneys. If she is not careful she may get lost between the cracks working with someone who can’t offer all of the services needed.
A third alternative is an adoption facilitator. This type of business is an unregulated commercial entity. They are not required to have any formal adoption-related education or experience, nor do they have any set guidelines or rules as to the quality or type of service they should offer. They are basically consultants, who only have to answer to a financial bottom line.
Lastly, many states differ in the legal waiting period between birth of the baby and the signing of the adoption papers. Also, there may be laws concerning the father’s relinquishments. Birth mothers need to be certain that whomever they opt to work with will be able to know the laws and know what they are doing.
In conclusion, Adoption is a very selfless, loving and positive response to an unplanned pregnancy. A woman who chooses adoption for her baby, feels that the baby within her, deserves to live, grow and have a family that will love and support her baby. She may feel the choice is better than the life she has the ability at this time to provide for her child. The birth mother is allowing her child resources such as financial security, psychologically, emotionally and often times spiritually mature parenting, and also a two-parent stable family environment. When such a loving decision is made, the birth mother sacrifices her own desires for the welfare of her child, a once thought unplanned pregnancy can have a happy ending.
(Note: for those interested in adopting…..United States Child Welfare offers many adoption options information & how to get your process started.)