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Birth Mothers: How Do You Know if Adoption is the Right Choice?

Creating an Adoption Plan

Creating an adoption plan gives you the opportunity to pursue your future goals and, perhaps most importantly, it provides your child with a family.

An unplanned pregnancy can be a very overwhelming experience, and it is natural to feel nervous, scared, or even angry at the situation. “It doesn’t make you a bad mother to have conflicted feelings,” says psychologist Lara Honos-Webb, Ph.D., A.D.H.D. It makes you human.

“It’s normal and healthy to allow yourself to feel this,” says clinical psychologist Shoshana Bennett, PhD. “Anger and shock could be something you’re feeling, and that’s perfectly fine to feel that way.” However, it is important to work through these feelings to ensure the best future for you and your child.

Dealing with Doubt: How Do You Know if Adoption is the Right Choice?

An unplanned pregnancy is not the end of the world. “Take the time to consider what changes you can make [in your life],” says Lisa Cooper of Babble, “while still aiming for other life goals.” Consider all of your options and how each of those choices will affect your life both now and in the future.

Educate Yourself

“There are countless reasons why a woman would decide to [create an adoption plan], and none of them are easy or obvious,” says Lane Moore, Cosmopolitan.  What makes sense for you both emotionally and physically now and in the future?

“Being informed is the only healthy way of acting once women find out about their pregnancy,” says Elizabeth Danish, HealthGuidance. Talk with your family doctor, talk with an adoption counselor, talk with family and friends, and do your own online research to truly evaluate every option.

“It isn’t something you wrap your head around overnight,” says Ann Douglas, author of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. “You need to actively work through what you’re feeling.”

Surround Yourself

“I think one of the biggest reasons people fear unplanned pregnancy is that so often, it is associated with mothers who don’t have a lot of support, whether that be financial or in the form of a supportive partner,” says Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN.

It is important to establish your own support system – friends and family members that can provide both guidance and emotional support. “Unexpected pregnancies are not events that should be dealt with alone,” says Danish. “Women should share their thoughts on this experience and surround themselves with a supportive group of people.”

Everyone’s support system looks different. The important thing is to surround yourself with positive people who will actively help you throughout your journey – whatever that may look like.

“If you do not have a positive support system, you can see that through an adoption agency worker/counselor,” says Dean Kirschner, Ph.D., LCSW-C.

Visualize Your Future

“Perhaps the most important thing to consider when envisioning your child’s life is where you fit,” says birth mother and Adoption.com contributor Haley Kirkpatrick. And if you are strongly considering adoption, “Do you see yourself directly involved in his or her life? Do you speak on the phone regularly? Do you only communicate through letters? Do you even communicate at all?”

  • Open Adoption: Open adoption means that information may be shared between birth and adoptive parents. The degree of openness depends on the birth and adoptive parents’ wishes. In an open adoption, adoptive families send letters and pictures to the Agency to be forwarded to the birth parents. Birth parents may also send letters and pictures to be forwarded to the adoptive family.
  • Closed Adoption: A closed adoption, on the other hand, usually means that birth parents and adoptive parents do not meet. They may not know anything about one another. The adoptive parents might not even know the name of the birth parents. They will, in general, not get any identifying information about one another and they will not be in contact in the future.

“After thinking it through and determining the pros and cons of all options, women should succeed at wrapping their minds around the subject and shape a decision that’s most convenient for them,” says Elizabeth Danish, HealthGuidance.

Adoption Counseling

An unplanned pregnancy can be scary, which is why it is important to talk to through your options. “Counseling is provided because birth mothers can feel overwhelmed with the choices and decisions associated with adoption,” says Dean Kirschner, Ph.D., LCSW-C. “Counseling may help a birth mother/birth father understand the various options associated with choices of parenting or creating an adoption plan.”

Adoption Makes Family is here to listen, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland. Our experienced professionals can help and counsel you so that you make the best decisions for your future. We simply want what is best for you and your baby, whatever outcome that may be.

Call Us Now at (410) 683-2100

Counseling is also an incredibly important part of the post-adoption experience.

“Counseling is a necessary component of infant adoption, not just prior to placement but, in many cases, after placement as well,” write explain Johnson and Faasse. “Only support and the respectful acknowledgment of their choices and their emotions can help birth parents grieve in a healthy manner and, with time, allow for their healing and reconciliation of the adoption as a part of their life story.”

Contact Adoption Makes Family to Create an Adoption Plan

“When facing an unplanned pregnancy, only you can decide which option is the best for your situation,” says Meghan Cohen, Help with Adoption. “Whichever option you choose, remember that you aren’t alone.”

The professionals at Adoption Makes Family have many years of experience in adoption services, and will walk you through every step of the adoption process, helping you make the best decisions for both you and your baby.

If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at dr.kirschner@adoptionmakesfamily.org or use our online contact form.

Sources

  1. helpwithadoption.com/adoption-help-giving-baby-adoption-family-member/.
  2. Brusie, Chaunie . “6 Ways To Cope With an Unplanned Pregnancy.” Every Day Family, www.everydayfamily.com/slideshow/6-ways-cope-unplanned-pregnancy/.
  3. Cohen, Meghan. “Adoption Help: Giving a Baby up for Adoption to a Family Member.” Help With Adoption, 20 Mar. 2018,
  4. Cooper, Lisa. “Coping With an Unplanned Pregnancy.” Babble, Babble, 23 Sept. 2014, www.babble.com/pregnancy/coping-unplanned-pregnancy/.
  5. Danish, Elizabeth. “Tips for Coping With an Unplanned Pregnancy.” HealthGuidance.org, www.healthguidance.org/entry/15029/1/Tips-for-Coping-With-an-Unplanned-Pregnancy.html
  6. Johnson, Chuck , and Kris Faasse. “Adoption Advocate.” Mar. 2012.
  7. Moore, Lane. What It’s Really Like to Place Your Baby for Adoption. Cosmopolitan, 16 Mar. 2018, www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a52816/adoption-what-its-really-like/.
  8. “The Unintended Pregnancy.” Fit Pregnancy and Baby, 3 Apr. 2017, www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/sex-relationships/unintended-pregnancy.
  9. Yang, Sarah. “How To Deal With A Surprise Pregnancy.” How to Deal With a Surprise Pregnancy, The Bump, 19 Aug. 2014, www.thebump.com/a/how-to-deal-with-surprise-pregnancy.
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