Texas is known for being family-centered. So, what happens when the fate of a family takes an unexpected turn? An unplanned pregnancy can cause expectant mothers to feel lonely, unprepared, and unequipped for the road ahead of them. But, for those considering placing their child for adoption from Texas, there is no need for these feelings. There are countless agencies, resources, and individuals ready to help any mother who is considering the path of adoption for her and her child.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and thinking about playing your child for adoption from Texas, start here. Consider your options, learn what is available to you in terms of support, find an agency, explore the options of a forever family for your future child, and build a support system that can help you through the process.

Understand Your Options

One of the best resources for understanding your options as an expectant mother is an options counselor. Many adoption agencies in Texas offer this service for free and confidentially. Whether you meet with a counselor face-to-face, call, chat online, or even text, learning more about what you can expect when you unexpectedly become pregnant can take a load off your shoulders. Never let the fear of judgment stop you from opening your mouth and ears to those who have either been in your shoes or know the ropes of the life you face. Be confident in your vulnerability as you move forward to open your heart and eyes to what lies ahead.

Considering whether adoption, abortion, or parenting is right for you will depend on your circumstances and values. When making this decision, you will find yourself answering questions such as, “What kind of life do I want my child to have?” and “Do I have the resources to offer the type of life I picture for my child?” You’ll begin to question your mental, emotional, and physical circumstances and whether or not they are sufficient for an expectant mother and a newborn. Don’t let the answers to these questions weigh you down just yet though. Understand that with each of these answers, there is an opportunity for change. When you consider life as you know it and your options, also consider life as it could be and your ability to reach new goals.

When you first discovered you were pregnant, you probably didn’t have a burning desire to start sharing it with other people. But now is the time. Don’t be afraid to open your mouth. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, counselor, or even a stranger who has been in your shoes. You face a new life of parenthood where your decisions have inherited a great significance since they affect you and your child. Don’t enter this phase alone when you do not have to.

Find Help

If you choose to take the adoption route, one of the first stops on your journey will be choosing an adoption agency. Unless you already have connections to an adoption attorney or already have a family in mind to adopt your child, an adoption agency may offer more to you as an expectant mother. No matter where you live in Texas, you can find an adoption agency near you. The following are just a few agencies from every major city of Texas. Each city is home to various secular, Christian, and state agencies that are backed by years of experience, accreditation, and resources. Learn what each can offer you as an expectant and birth mother. (This is not a complete list.)

Houston

San Antonio

Dallas

Austin

Fort Worth

El Paso

Lubbock

Amarillo

Learn What Is Available to You

As an expectant mother, you are probably experiencing a flood of emotions. As an expectant mother who is considering adoption from Texas, that flood becomes a tsunami with very little warning. And that is normal. You are completely justified in feeling depressed, anxious, confused, and angry. Rather than taking it solely upon yourself to emotionally trudge through the next nine months and beyond, learn what resources are available to you as an expectant mother considering adoption.

In terms of emotional support, one of your best resources will be an adoption agency that offers free counseling to expectant and birth mothers. If you anticipate this being a need in your pregnancy and life after pregnancy, be sure to pick an agency that will not only take into account the health and well-being of your child, but also the health and well-being of yourself.

Adoption agencies are often able to provide potential birth mothers with financial assistance. As you start accumulating more and more bills for doctor’s appointments, maternity clothes, pregnancy-friendly groceries, and basic living expenses, you may feel overwhelmed. At moments like these, your adoption agency may have the resources to help you with these expenses. Some agencies can even help expectant and birth mothers find employment, affordable housing, and other budget-friendly options to fulfill their basic needs.

At the end of the day, it will be better to have looked for and used your resources, rather than have suffered in silence. If there is help being offered, take it. There are people who have dedicated their lives to helping those in your position. If there is a hand outstretched, hold onto it.  You’ll be glad you did.

Begin Your Search

Once you have your feet on semi-solid ground with a choice to pursue adoption from Texas and an agency that is willing and able to support you through the process, the next round of decision-making hits. It is time to pick a family. Choosing a family or hopeful adoptive couple for your child is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a birth parent. A forever family is someone who will love and care for your child after you’ve brought them into the world. There are hundreds of thousands of families around the nation with their doors open and their hearts prepared to give all they have to a child in need of a forever family.

Your agency will definitely have a collection of parent profiles you can begin looking through for your child’s family. However, you can also start searching online for a match beyond the borders of your agency. Online parent profiles expand your search to those who are outside your specific adoption agency. While it is completely normal to adopt over state lines, when searching for parent profiles outside of your state, start to consider how an out-of-state adoption would work for you. If you are only interested in an open adoption with frequent contact with your child,  searching parent profiles closer to home might be something more convenient to consider.

Keep your mind open during your search for an adoptive family. Occasionally an expectant mother will have a family member, friend, or acquaintance that they know or come into contact with outside of the previously mentioned methods whom they’d like to adopt her baby. Talk with your agency about any potential adoptive parents you have found using an alternative method and be cautious with the sources you do use. Take every precaution possible, and communicate with your agency about how you came into contact with your child’s potential family to be sure that the process is completed smoothly both ethically and legally.

Use Your Resources

After you’ve established a relationship with your agency, found the immediate help you need, and potentially found a match in some hopeful adoptive parents, all there is left to do is continue using your resources throughout your pregnancy. This is a great time to find a support group either online or through your agency. Communicating with your friends and family is great, but finding others who are walking the same path as you can be even more helpful. Make friends with other expectant and birth mothers. You can support and lift one another when you hit different obstacles in the process.

There are many local support groups for birth parents who participate in an adoption from Texas, including Adoption Knowledge Affiliates, Austin; Brave Love, Fort Worth; Birthmothers: Now and Then, Houston; and Tapestry Birth Mother Support Group, Irving. These and many other local groups meet regularly for both standard support group meetings and events throughout the year.

If these or other local groups are not accessible, there are also a number of online support groups to look into such as BirthMom Buds, Concerned United Birthparents, Linked Thru Love, and On Your Feet Foundation. An online support group is more accessible on an as-needed basis. It can also open your circle up to women across the country and world, not just those in your city. You may even find someone who is more like you and can relate to your specific circumstances in an online setting rather than face-to-face.

When you do face hard times during your pregnancy, ask for help, and take it when it is offered. Communicating with your support system will be crucial at this stage. Often, family and friends want to help, but they don’t always know how. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need when you need it.

Complete the Process

The remainder of the adoption process will consist of you completing your prenatal care and attending appointments, tying any loose ends with the adoptive family you have chosen, and preparing for adoption finalization. A birth plan is often created by an expectant mother for the day of the birth. A birth plan is a basic outline of the soon-to-be birth mother’s wants and needs for the day of her child’s birth. This plan will include who will be at the hospital, when papers will be signed, and how the information will be passed among hospital staff, family members, and friends. On a day where the focus should be solely on the health and well-being of both mother and baby, these minute details need to be addressed beforehand.

Once the child is born, the birth mother will finish her portion of the adoption finalization by signing the adoption papers that terminate her parental rights. After that, the adoptive family will complete the process in court where the adoption will be finalized. Once papers are signed and the child has been placed, the family and birth mother may continue to contact one another. In cases of open or semi-open adoption, the birth mother and adoptive family will have pre-planned how the two parties will communicate as they move forward. These conversations are had well before the birth date and adoption finalization. Healthy communication between each parent is essential throughout every step of the process to ensure everyone’s respective needs are being met.

Life as a Birth Mother

No one is prepared to be a parent, and absolutely no one is prepared to be a birth mother. That is okay. After you’ve placed your child for adoption, life doesn’t snap back to pre-pregnancy normal. Your heart and your body will yearn for a child that used to sit close to your heart. You’ll experience grief in a way you never have before. But just because the life of a birth mother is hard doesn’t mean you cannot do it. Reach out to those who have built you up for the last nine months and share your story with those who are willing to listen. Every day you will become stronger.