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Birth Parents: What to Know if You’re Considering Adoption

Birth Parents Adoption“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. So, it’s important to work your way through the process so you can make the best decision for you and your baby.

Give Yourself Time to Cope

The first thing you should do is take a deep breath and relax. “It isn’t something you wrap your head around overnight,” says Ann Douglas, author of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. You are going to go through “a rollercoaster of emotions and it is both okay and healthy for you to go through these emotions,” adds Felicia Curcuru, Huffington Post.

“There are a lot of different feelings that go along with becoming a birth parent. Remember that it is okay to feel sadness, anger, happiness, loss, and love.”

Do Your Research

Once you are in the right state of mind, do your research.

“First and foremost, it’s important to research all of your options to understand what may be the best option for you,” says Curcuru. “If you are interested in adoption, start doing some research into both the good and the bad.”

Talk with your doctor, talk with an adoption counselor (more on this below), talk with family and friends, and do your own online research to determine what makes the most sense for you and your child both in the immediate and distant future.

“Being informed is the only healthy way of acting once women find out about their pregnancy,” says Elizabeth Danish, HealthGuidance.

Create a Support System

“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.”

It is important to establish your own support system – friends and family members that can provide both guidance and emotional support.

“Support is an important component of taking care of yourself throughout this process,” says Curcuru. “If you feel like it’s hard to find support within your family or circle of friends, try finding support from other places.”

Everyone’s support system looks different. The important thing is that you have a group of people to support you emotionally throughout this journey with everyone working toward the same goal — a happy, healthy mom and baby.

If you do not have strong support from friends and family, “you can see that through an adoption agency worker/counselor,” says Dean Kirschner, Ph.D., LCSW-C.

What Does Adoption Look Like to You?

“Perhaps the most important thing to consider when envisioning your child’s life is where you fit,” says Haley Kirkpatrick, Adoption.com contributor. If you decide that adoption is the right choice, where do you fit in? Kirkpatrick suggests asking yourself the following questions: “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?”

When you have decided to choose adoption for your child, you will have the option between open or closed adoptions.

  • Open Adoption: In an open adoption, there is some degree of contact between birth parents and adoptive parents. 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: In a closed adoption, birth parents and adoptive parents do not meet. They may not know anything about one another. There is no contact at all.

If you do not know which type of adoption makes the most sense for you, that is okay. The staff at Adoption Makes Family can walk you through every step of the adoption process, helping you make the best decisions for both you and your baby.

Take Advantage of Counseling

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. However, it is important to work through these feelings to ensure the best future for you and your child.

Far too often, counseling is seen as a negative. On the contrary, counseling is a great proactive option for birth parents looking to explore their options and their feelings in a safe and secure environment.

“Counseling is a necessary component of infant adoption, not just prior to placement but, in many cases, after placement as well,” write Chuck Johnson, president and CEO of the National Council For Adoption, and Kris Faasse, LMSW, ACSW, Director of Adoption Services for Bethany Christian Services.

 

  • Pre-Placement Counseling: “Adoption is not just scary, counseling is provided because birth mothers can feel overwhelmed with the choices and decisions associated with adoption,” says Kirschner. “Counseling may help a birth mother/birth father understand the various options associated with choices of parenting or creating an adoption plan.”
  • Post-Placement Counseling: Counseling is an important part of the grieving process. “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,” say Johnson and Faasse.

 

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 and your child.

Call Us Now at (410) 683-2100

If you determine that adoption is the right choice for you and you baby, Adoption Makes Family will provide you with counseling throughout the adoption process. And this relationship does not end on the day of discharge from the hospital. There is post-placement adoption counseling available as well. You are welcome to meet with your adoption counselor or we will help you to find a counselor in an area close to you.

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. “5 Things to Keep In Mind When Considering Adoption | Adoption Choices.” Adoption Choices of Nevada, 12 Jan. 2018, www.adoptionchoicesofnevada.org/five-things-keep-mind-considering-adoption/.
  2. Curcuru, Felicia. “6 Candid Tips from Birth Mothers to Help Expectant Parents Considering Adoption.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 7 Dec. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/felicia-curcuru/6-candid-tips-from-birth-_b_8815560.html.
  3. “What to Know If You Are a Birth Mother Considering Adoption.” Legacy Adoption Services, 25 Jan. 2017, legacyas.com/know-birth-mother-considering-adoption/.
  4. “What You Should Know If You’re Considering Adoption for Your Baby.” Www.cubirthparents.org, Concerned United Birthparents, Inc.
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