“Is adoption right for me?” If you are considering your pregnancy options, you are probably hoping that someone can answer that question for you. The truth is that only you know whether adoption is the right decision for you and your baby. However, we would like to provide you with clear, accurate information that will help you in your decision-making process. Let’s explore the option together!
First Things First
Adoption is not for everyone. A decision of this magnitude must involve a great deal of thought and careful consideration. It is wise to look at all of your options fully in order to make the best decision. Get introspective and ask yourself some questions. How do you usually make decisions? Impulsively? Deliberately? Gathering opinions from others? Prayerfully? Think about what is involved in making a good decision. Remember that you are making this decision, not just for yourself, but with the best interests of your unborn child in mind. You may find it helpful to listen to other women who have been in a similar situation.
Basic Facts about Adoption
What about adoptive families?
Did you know that you are in charge of choosing the family your child is placed with? You can look at profile books (think of this as a “snapshot” of adoptive families), select the family, meet them, and even have ongoing contact with them throughout your child’s life.
All couples must be thoroughly checked out before being approved to adopt a child. They must pass background checks, CPS background checks, health check-ups, individual and joint interviews, home inspections, reference checks, insurance checks, financial and employment verification, etc.
Open vs. Closed Adoption
It’s best to think of adoption as being on a spectrum, ranging from closed to open.
Closed: Not meeting the adoptive couple or receiving post adoption contact – allowing the agency to solely determine where the child is placed.
Semi-closed: Less contact, may or may not meet the couple, pictures and letters with a less frequent schedule.
Semi-open: More structured openness including a schedule for receiving pictures/letters, email contact, a visit at 6mos – 1year, open with boundaries.
Open: Includes little agency facilitation, direct contact with adoptive couples, visits, few boundaries, freedom to call and stop-by, etc.
Studies over the last ~40 years have shown that at least some level of openness in adoption is healthy for all parts of the adoption triad – the birth parents, adoptive parents, and child. Adoption agencies help birth parents and adoptive parents discover the level of openness that works best for them.
Birth parents do not sign any irrevocable paperwork (in Texas) until at least 48 hours after the baby is born, 72 hours in the case of a cesarian birth. Many women feel that even talking with an agency representative commits them to an adoption plan; however, it is important to understand that women can talk with, and receive counseling, from an adoption agency without the pressure of placing for adoption.
What about the father of my baby?
If you choose to move forward with adoption, your adoption agency will handle birth father issues – through counseling, talking about adoption, and regarding his legal part in the adoption process. Even if the birth father opposes the adoption initially, you can still talk with an agency representative and even likely move forward with making an adoption plan. The agency will advise you on how to handle the issues with the birth father and the legal aspects of adoption.
Housing and Financial Assistance
All adoption services are free of charge for birth parents. In addition, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services permits adoption agencies to provide for certain expenses related to a birth mother’s pregnancy, such as adequate shelter and nutritious food. Many agencies also partner with housing resources, such as maternity homes, to meet the needs specific to each birth mother.
You are not alone! Women making an adoption plan receive counseling throughout the adoption process and will have adequate time to prepare for the season of grief and loss that usually accompanies adoption. Adoption agencies employ trained professionals to advocate for you and your needs, while walking with you through each step of the adoption process. Birth mothers also receive post-adoption support and counseling, all free of charge.
Can I get more information?
If you feel like adoption might be a good option for you, give us a call or make an appointment online to talk further. We would love to visit with you and connect you with a state-licensed, fully vetted, local adoption agency. Remember that talking to someone doesn’t mean you are choosing adoption, but only that you are attempting to make an educated decision and to gather information.