An unplanned pregnancy can be a stressful time, especially if you are not in a place in life where raising a child is part of your future plans. You undoubtedly have a million thoughts running through your mind. Am I in a place in my life where I can parent a child? Should I create an Adoption Plan? What are my options?
“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.
Eventually, you may be in a place where you feel comfortable to start researching your options, including parenting the child, placing the child in a family member’s care (kinship caregiver or kinship adoption), terminating the pregnancy, or creating an adoption plan. Talk with the birth father, 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.
“Being informed is the only healthy way of acting once women find out about their unplanned pregnancy,” says Elizabeth Danish, HealthGuidance.
Adoption Makes Family is here to listen. Our counselors are available 24/7 to take your call and help walk you through your options. And Adoption Makes Family will be there with you every step of the way, providing support, guidance, and counseling as needed.
Call Us Now at (410) 683-2100
“Talking to an adoption counselor does not necessarily mean you are completing an adoption,” explains Dean Kirschner, Ph.D., LCSW-C, adoption counselor and Executive Director of Adoption Makes Family in Maryland.
Exploring an Adoption Plan
“An adoption plan is a general statement for all types of questions and situations that surround adoption,” explains Dr. Kirschner. It is an ever-evolving process that will grow throughout your pregnancy, and you are 100 percent in control of your plan.
It all starts with a questionnaire. A packet will be sent to you containing a questionnaire that helps us get to know you and your situation. You may complete the questionnaire on your own or we can help you complete it during our initial meeting with Dr. Kirschner. During that meeting, we will talk in-depth about your questions about pursuing an adoption plan, giving you every opportunity to talk about your options in a non-judgmental, supportive atmosphere.
“Support is an important component of taking care of yourself throughout this process,” says Curcuru. If you do not have strong support from friends and family, “you can see that through an adoption agency worker/counselor,” adds Dr. Kirschner.
Your adoption plan will include information regarding…
- Your Medical Background: In domestic adoptions “birth parents are required to fill out medical background forms that are often available to the adoptive family,” says Kathryn Patricelli, MA. This will give adoptive parents at least some understanding as to whether their child may be susceptible to various genetic, medical, or psychological conditions.
- Your Relationship with the Birth Father: Maryland law stipulates that the birth father must be notified and both parents must consent before an adoption can occur. “A birth father has a Constitutional right to be notified that he might be the father of a child who is being put up for adoption,” says Kourosh Akhbari, LegalMatch Legal Writer.
- Your Ideal Adoptive Family: Your adoption plan can include desired traits for potential adoptive families. What type of family are you envisioning for your child?
- Your Desired Level of Openness: “Perhaps the most important thing to consider when envisioning your child’s life is where you fit,” says Haley Kirkpatrick, an adoption professional. There are two primary forms of adoption, Open Adoption and Closed Adoption.
- In an Open Adoption, birth and adoptive parents may meet in person. Identifying information is also shared. This relationship can extend beyond birth, however, the degree of openness depends on the birth and adoptive parents’ wishes.
- In a Closed Adoption, 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.
- Your Need for Resources: Chuck Johnson and Kris Faasse describe counseling as “a necessary component of infant adoption, not just prior to placement but, in many cases, after placement as well,” explain.
- 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 Dr. 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.
The adoption plan is an evolving process that will grow over the years. You are encouraged to stay as close with Adoption Makes Family as you feel comfortable. The support is here for you, and we will adapt to your needs.
Are You Ready to Create an Adoption Plan?
Adoption Makes Family is a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland, founded to meet the needs of birth parents and adoptive parents in a manner that is sensitive, compassionate, and personal. If you are ready to take the next step and potential create an adoption plan, please reach out to us at 410-683-2100.
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form.
Still have questions? You can view and download our Birth Parent’s Resource guide.
- “How to Put a Baby Up for Adoption.” Jennifer Fairfax, www.jenniferfairfax.com/how-to-put-baby-up-for-adoption.