An unplanned pregnancy can bring up a lot of questions, and as an expectant mother, you may be considering adoption. Adoption can be a difficult decision to make with a lot of legal, social, and emotional aspects involved, so you want to be well informed about the adoption process before making a decision.
Reasons Why You Might Consider Adoption
Every birth mother’s situation is different. There are a number of reasons as to why a birth mother might be considering adoption for her child, all of which come down to the birth mother believing it is in the baby’s best interest to be raised by adoptive parents that are ready to raise a child. Some reasons you might consider adoption include:
- financial situation
- personal life goals
- personal beliefs
- not feeling ready to raise a child
No matter what it is important for you to remember that you are in charge of your choice, and only you can decide what is best for you.
Gathering Information for an Informed Decision
Some of the ways you can educate yourself more on adoption include:
- Internet and Books: You can find trustworthy websites and credible books to help you begin your search. You might look at blogs and discussion forums too that have first-person accounts of their personal experiences. Try to look for stuff with different perspectives (e.g. birth parents, adoptive parents, adoptees).You can also use the Internet to help you find an adoption agency to contact.
- Trusted Friends and Family Members: Find someone who will listen to you and won’t pressure you into making a specific decision.
- Counselors: You can find a counselor specializing in working with pregnant women considering adoption, who can help you understand your options and explore your feelings about each option. Contact public departments of social services, local health or mental health centers and hospitals, and adoption agencies, for recommendations.
- Adoption Agencies and Adoption Lawyers: Talking to adoption agencies and lawyers can help you learn more about the adoption process, and does not mean you are committing to adoption yet. Adoption agencies can also help you create an adoption plan, including helping you to find the perfect adoptive family for your baby.
Preparing Yourself for the Adoption Process
Remember that adoption is not just a one-time legal event, but rather a lifelong process with long-term impact on everyone involved. Once the adoption is legally finalized it is permanent, and you may experience feelings of loss, grief, and guilt. These feelings may persist for a while, and it is important that you prepare yourself for it.
With that said, in most states you have all the way up until right after the baby is born to make your decision. This means that while you may make a decision while pregnant, you have a chance to change that decision at any time, but must make a final decision after the baby is born.
Remember, that while the adoption process is difficult for birth mothers, you may still have an opportunity to have future contact with your child. Today, many adoptions are open and birth parents may have a relationship even with the adoptive parents. This may be something you want to consider when selecting adoptive parents.