San Diego, California is a major tourist site in the US. Thousands flock to San Diego’s sunny beaches and enjoy the amazing weather year-round. It is almost a paradise. Almost. When you are scared, anxious, and unsure of what to do next, San Diego does not feel like a paradise very much. If you are considering placing your child for adoption in San Diego, you may have many fears, but you also have many options!
Placing a child for adoption is not an easy decision. Right now, you are probably trying to weigh all your options and figure out the best path for you. It can sometimes feel overwhelming, confusing, and scary. Some women are doing this completely alone, while others have a team of supporters guiding them along. Whatever your situation is, adoption in San Diego doesn’t have to be intimidating. You just need to take one step at a time and make sure you are comfortable with each step you take.
Adoption in San Diego – Where to Start
Contacting a local agency to help you begin to navigate this journey is the perfect starting point. Luckily, Adoption.com offers 24/7 support so you can first speak to an adoption advocate who can help you process your options. This confidential support will help you take those first small steps towards placing your child for adoption in San Diego. These advocates can help you decide what type of adoption will be best for you. From there, you can determine what type of agency you would be most comfortable working with.
You can explore open adoption, which is where you will be able to have a relationship with the child and his or her adoptive family. This is done by having a mutual agreement with the adoptive family about how the relationship will play out. There are plenty of benefits to open adoption, however, it is not for everyone. Keep in mind also, that adoptive families do not have to agree to share an open adoption.
A semi-open adoption is another option you can explore. This kind of adoption can include updates through letters or emails from the adoptive family, and sometimes even yearly visits or phone calls.
A closed adoption means there is no contact between the biological parent and the child until the child reaches legal age. However, biological parents are allowed to put restrictions on contact even once the child is an adult. Oftentimes, adoptive families are initially more comfortable with closed adoptions simply due to their fear that the child would want to return to their biological parent(s). But that doesn’t mean there are not plenty of families who are open to participating in an open adoption.
Working with an adoption professional can be a huge asset. They can help provide personalized pregnancy counseling to help you navigate all your options. They can help with financial assistance for living expenses, medical care, and housing. They can even help you connect with prospective adoptive families that will be perfect for your child. Whether you choose a closed, open, or semi-open adoption, it is important to make sure you understand the laws for adoption in San Diego. This is another great thing to discuss with an adoption professional. An adoption professional is a perfect partner for you during this confusing time.
Adoption in San Diego – Agencies Available
There is a wide range of agency options available in San Diego. Just like the diverse culture of this beautiful area, adoptions in San Diego can be just as unique, case-by-case.
Adoption Center of San Diego is a non-profit organization that was established in 1987. They provide counseling, community referrals, education, and full adoption facilitation. They focus highly on open adoptions and strive to ensure families receive the needed support and care to continue the journey of open adoption.
Walden Family Services was founded in 1976 and still celebrates the richness of natural diversity today. The staff is trained to work with individuals with all sorts of needs, including physical or developmental disabilities, behavioral or mental health challenges, those who identify as LGBTQ, or adoptees with multiple siblings.
Many, many more agencies are willing and available to work with you. These are just a drop in the bucket. Make sure you agree with what the agency strives to accomplish and are fully comfortable with choosing to work with them. Ask lots of questions, speak to different agencies, and take your time picking which one seems right for you. The agency you select will be working with you throughout your pregnancy, so they will become a major part of your support team.
Adoption in San Diego – How to Find Adoptive Families
There are roughly two million couples currently waiting to adopt a child in the United States alone. There is no way for you to contact each of those families one by one. There is so much to consider. Do you want the adoptive family to be local so you can have open visitation? Would you like there to be a distance to ensure no awkward run-ins? Would you like your child to have siblings? Dogs? Cats? The qualities your child’s adoptive family could have are endless. The main thing to remember is that you are in control. You get to make the choice and decide what adoptive family you feel will provide the best situation for your unborn child. Take your time with this decision and make sure your decision on your child’s adoptive family is one you are fully comfortable with.
Take some time to check out some parent profiles and see if any adoptive families or stories stand out to you. Try to narrow down what you think would be best for your unborn child. There are adoptive families from all walks of life, and each one of them is holding on to the dream of bringing home their new addition. Using guides to help you narrow down your search may make the process go a little more smoothly.
Many agencies allow you to create a personalized adoption plan to help figure out what is most important to you. Also, they understand that pregnancy is expensive. Financial assistance to cover medical costs can sometimes be covered. You are already making a major sacrifice out of love; finances should not be something you need to worry about.
Adoption in San Diego – What Happens After You Find an Adoptive Family?
Pre-screened adoptive families have already met all adoption requirements before you coming in contact with them. This should relieve any worries you have about making sure a family is qualified or not. Your social worker can arrange for you to view their adoption profiles, meet in person, and help mediate the process. This is where you need to express your desire for an open, semi-open, or closed adoption. When both parties come to a decision, you can take steps to set up a birth plan.
Whether the adoptive family is in the labor room during delivery depends on you. Some birth families want the delivery to be intimate and private as they say good-bye to their child. Others want the adoptive families involved throughout the whole process so a parent-child bond can instantly be created between the adoptive parents and the adoptee. Clearly express whatever will work best for you to everyone involved. Overall, what is most important during this time is making sure you are comfortable and secure about the decisions being made.
A social worker will go over legal information before delivery. Depending on your state, the laws may vary. Your social worker will make sure you understand California’s process fully and make sure you are comfortable with your final choice before the legal process fully unfolds. Remember, the child is legally yours until relinquishment paperwork is signed. Take your time, ask as many questions as needed, and move forward to sign the paperwork only when you are comfortable.
Adoption in San Diego – Self-Care
Right now, you are full of emotions and hormones. Your body is going through some of the biggest changes it’s ever faced, so now more than ever is the time to practice self-care. Taking time to make sure you are well is so important to not only you but also to your unborn child.
Spiritual well-being is also important, no matter what your belief system may be. Some women carry shame and regret when they find themselves pregnant and/or preparing to place their child for adoption. Those feelings will create darkness in your life and not allow you to fully heal as you move forward with your life in either a closed, semi-open, or open adoption. Speaking to a spiritual counselor is a great option to help stabilize your life.
Exercise is the number one way to just feel good physically. During the first months of pregnancy, you might not want to get up and move around much due to exhaustion and morning sickness. However, if you can push yourself to take daily walks, go for a light run, or even continue your usual active lifestyle, it will help you feel good not only physically but mentally as well.
Whether or not you are planning on keeping your child, right now your body is changing dramatically. Taking time to make sure you are physically feeling well is so important to your overall well-being. Luckily, San Diego has the perfect medicine! Take a walk down the beach or through Balboa Park. Enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Be part of the beauty around you and allow San Diego to lift your spirit.
Lastly, emotionally, you may feel like a wreck. Postpartum depression is so common; however, many people don’t discuss how common it is to feel depressed during your pregnancy as well. It is normal to feel emotionally unstable during this time because your hormones are in overdrive. Having someone you can share your thoughts and emotions with will really help you cope during this time. Counselors are obviously a professional option, but even a close friend who is willing to listen can help immensely. The most important thing to remember is that your feelings are valid and true. But holding them inside will continue to weigh you down and not allow you to plan for your future.
Adopting in San Diego – Life after Adoption
The most important thing to remember about placing your child for adoption is that you are making a huge sacrifice. Allow yourself an opportunity to grieve for the child you are placing for adoption. No matter what your situation is, or how sure you are with this decision, there will still be pain involved. Do not discredit your emotions. During this time, seek out support and comfort from others who have made the same choice as you. Many agencies offer counseling services to be used any time after the child is placed with their adoptive family. Utilize this service and understand that you are not in this situation alone.
Moving on looks different to each individual. It will take time for your heart and body to mend. There are many ways to help prepare for moving on after placement, but don’t push your emotions aside or allow false shame to push you away from others. Share your story and connect with other women who have made this sacrifice. Do not allow yourself to fall into the mindset that you have to go through this alone. Find a support system that works for you and remain accountable for it. Work on making your body healthy again. It’s been through a lot and will need time to heal. Take walks, exercise, grab coffee with a friend. Slowly returning to your normal might be difficult, but it will happen. Take a stroll through Old Town, watch the sunset over Mission Bay, take a course through a community college, do anything that will help you focus on yourself for a bit, and get your life back on track.
San Diego has so much to offer, including many options for the happiness of your unborn child. Take your time as you weigh all your options. Just like diving headfirst into our beautiful San Diego oceans, adoption may seem overwhelming at first. But, when you let the waves lift you, the horizon can give you an empowering view.
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.