Unplanned pregnancies are a common occurrence in society. As a birthmother, you can raise a child yourself or place it up for adoption. All of the misconceptions from mental handicaps to evil parents have plagued the industry, but the truth of the matter is children that need a loving family receive a loving family through adoption. During the home study step, we do an intense evaluation of the prospective adoptive families. If you do choose to go on the adoption path, there are a lot of things you need to know, which we cover in-depth when you talk to your adoption counselor.
When you are in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy, the first stage is to give us a call. The call is likely the hardest thing to do, so you may want to come in and sit down with us to talk about it. During our initial conversation, we’ll discuss your options. We will talk about:
- Financial Considerations
- Support from Family and Friends
- Support Groups
- Future Plans
Many adoption agencies push adoption onto all pregnant mothers, but it’s simply not for everyone. However, if you decide to move forward with the adoption, then we can talk about the steps we’ll take. Keep in mind that you have plenty of time to change your mind if you wish to down the road.
Your Adoption Profile
First, we need to create an adoption profile for you. The adoption profile is a part of the adoption plan. In fact, it’s one of the most important parts of the adoption plan. This profile is essentially what we use during our matchmaking. We do not choose the family for you, but we use our best judgment to see which families we think would best match your preferences, which you’ll designate in the profile. From these matches, you may choose one of the families. If you don’t like any of them, that’s OK too. Some of the specifics we’ll cover in your profile include:
- Do you want your child to be raised by a single man/woman, married couple, or do you have no preference?
- Do you want an open or closed adoption?
- Would you want your child to be an only child or have siblings?
- Do you have a preference on the family’s religion?
- What other characteristics do you see in your child’s future?
We’ll go over this profile with you and help you create it.
Some other important things to keep in mind when designing your adoption profile:
- Be honest with yourself and with us.
- Think about what future you want for your child.
- Be specific. The more specific you are, the better your chances of finding the perfect family for your child!
As the birthmother, you don’t need to do anything yourself for this stage, but the home study is something you should be aware of. At the very end of the process, when the child is placed in the family you can rest assured every precaution has been taken during the home study. During the home study, we:
- Perform background checks.
- Interview the families to get specifics about them and their lifestyle.
- Physically evaluate every area of their home. The home must be child-friendly and safe.
- Do not provide “free passes” for any families.
- Check their financial standings and credit ratings.
Many families do not pass the home study phase, but those that do are ideal families for adoption. You can take comfort in knowing that your child will be placed in a loving environment surrounded by a supportive family.
You have the power to say “yes” or “no” to any and all families. Our goal is provide the support and the structure you need to find the best family. Even after you choose a family, you can still back out. There is legal paperwork at the end of the process that designates the parenting rights of your child is now that of the adoptive family. That is the point at which you must finalize your decision, but that is over 6 months from now.
Choosing the adoptive family is a beautiful process. If you choose to, you can meet the adoptive family and perform your own interview and ensure that they are the best match for you and are exactly what you were looking for. You can take as much charge in this as you wish. For example, you can have the adoption counselor come in with you, stay outside, or even perform the interview for you. This is the future of your child’s life and the family is the core designator of how he/she grows up. If you wish to remain anonymous and would prefer a closed adoption, you do not need to meet the adoptive parents at any point.
During the birth, we will fully support your decisions. During delivery, you can choose to have any or none of the following people in the hospital or even the delivery room:
- Family and Friends
- Your Adoption Counselor
- Adoptive Family
After the delivery of the baby, this is the most emotional time for all of our birthmothers. We recommend you have some form of support with you once the baby is born, if not during the birth. You can hold the baby for as long as you wish, or you can hand the baby to the adoptive family yourself. One important thing to consider is when you wish to leave the hospital; before, after, or at the same time of the adoptive family. Many birthmothers don’t think of this and have a hard time leaving the hospital without the child. At this stage, a lot of legal paperwork must be filed that we will contact you to finish up.
There will also be a court date to decide whether or not the adoptive family is indeed a suitable family. Once the court declares the adoptive family the parents of the child, you have 30 days to decide whether you wish to raise the child yourself instead.
Remember, Adoption Makes Family is here for you every step of the way. The most important thing to remember is that you have support here if you need it! If you have any questions or concerns about your adoption, let your counselor know or contact Dr. Kirschner. Keep in mind that stress, anxiety, depression, and feelings of loss, grief, and regret are all completely natural during the process.