There are many reasons why expectant parents consider adoption for their baby. You may have arrived at this point in your life and have found yourself expecting a child and unsure of your next steps or options. There are many unique reasons for considering adoption for your baby. You may be going through all aspects of your life and unsure of what to do. You may feel confident and certain of creating an adoption plan for your baby. You may want to learn what other expectant parents say are unique reasons for considering adoption for your baby. Understandably, you do not want to feel alone in this journey. Reading about some of the unique reasons for considering adoption for your baby can help; it can also help to connect with other expectant parents and birth mothers who have gone through a similar—or different—adoption journey. Sharing stories of adoption can help you to feel that you are not alone in this journey, that others have experienced this process, and that your feelings are normal and shared by others. Adoption forums like the one on Adoption.com are a great place for connecting with expectant parents. Just as important is understanding the unique reasons they had for considering adoption for their baby. Here are a few of those many unique reasons that exist for placing your baby for adoption.
1. She is considering adoption because she doesn’t want her baby to enter the foster care system
Some expectant parents, in cases where an expectant parent or birth mother is in communication with her state’s department of Child Protective Services, may be able to have another option for their baby; foster care is a potential occurrence. In certain states, a birth mother or expectant mother can have the option to make an adoption plan for her baby instead of placing her child in foster care.
It is important to remember that foster care does not need to be forever. It is a temporary service provided by your state to ensure your child is safe and cared for while you make a plan with your social worker and with the family court system to ensure you can be reunified with your child and provide a safe and permanent home for him or her. Foster care is an option to one day be reunified with your child; you can make a parenting plan and, when you are ready and the court and social workers deem you are ready, you can parent your child. It is important to remember when looking at all of your options that making an adoption plan for your baby should be considered when you firmly believe it is in your best interest and your child’s best interest. No one should ever pressure you to place your child for adoption. Expectant parents who make an adoption plan for their child do so not just to ensure their baby does not enter the foster care system—this should not be the only reason you choose adoption for you and your child. Foster care can be a wonderful, loving option for your child, especially if it is family foster care. Foster parents go through a rigorous screening process and you can communicate with the foster parents during the time your child is in foster care. Again, making an adoption plan should only be because you believe after exploring all of your options that it is the best option for you and your child.
Creating an adoption plan for your baby means you get to pick your child’s adoptive parents. You can meet them and work with an adoption agency to choose the best adoptive family for your child. You can decide the level of communication you have with your child and their adoptive family. You can choose an open adoption plan for your child. This means that you will meet the adoptive parents you choose for your child and decide on the level of communication you would like to have with them after the adoption is finalized. This can mean meeting your child during points of the year; you could have quarterly visits or visits on birthdays and holidays. You may video chat, email, send letters, or get regular phone calls at decided-upon intervals throughout the year. Open adoption may mean that you do not have regular communication, but you may ask for a scrapbook or photo album annually or at your child’s birthday. It may mean that you do not communicate at all, but your child and their adoptive parents know about you and you have met and shared your story and medical history; you both know how to contact one another but do not communicate. This is sometimes referred to as a semi-open adoption. You can also choose a closed adoption or confidential adoption. This means that you get to choose the adoptive parents for your child but you do not know their identifying information or contact information and they do not know yours. You can still share your medical history and story, but it will be through your adoption agency or adoption attorney, and the adoptive parents and your child will not know who you are or how to contact you. This means that your adoption records will be sealed. This does not mean they will be sealed forever, and you may one day have the case file opened so that parties to the adoption—you, your child, and their adoptive parents—may petition the court to learn who you are and how to contact you.
If you are working with your state’s department of Child Protective Services as an expectant mother or prospective birth mother, adoption may be an option instead of court-ordered foster care if that is the decision you want to make for the right reasons. Placing a child for adoption and creating an adoption plan for your child gives you the option to choose your child’s parents and how much you will communicate as well as other factors. You will likely not have the same level of decision-making control if you are ordered to complete a foster care placement for your child.
2. She is considering adoption because she doesn’t have a good relationship with her baby’s father
Choosing to parent your child when you are going over all of your options as an expectant parent involves many different factors. If as an expectant mother you do not have a good relationship with your baby’s father, it can make things complicated. Raising and parenting your child is a commitment for your life, but it also may be a commitment to the child’s father. If he chooses to be a part of the child’s life or to raise the child, you will likely have a custody arrangement, sometimes ordered through family or juvenile court. That custody agreement will specify visitation and custody schedules, child support, and all of the other details regarding both your obligations to your child and your obligations to each other financially. Financial obligations could include medical expenses, child support, college tuition, childcare, or the reimbursement of camps, sports, and activities. You will co-parent, even if the father just receives visitation rights. There will be communication for at least the next 18 years. Some women who do not have a positive or healthy relationship choose to not create a parenting plan but rather create an adoption plan. The expectant mother may believe this is the best choice for her and her baby. However, if the father wants to be involved in the child’s life or does not support the expectant mother’s plan for adoption, there are states in which he can become involved and contest the adoption so that he can raise the child. It is important to discuss all of your options with your adoption agency or adoption attorney. You can speak to an adoption agency and ask questions regarding your situation and your options without any commitment to use the adoption agency or go through with an adoption plan for your child. They can help you understand what your state adoption laws are regarding paternal rights in adoption. They also can explain what goes into the adoption process as you contemplate all of your options. The Gladney Center for Adoption is one such adoption agency with options counselors who can help and support you as you get all of your questions answered. You can call or email them and they will help you understand all of the options available to you. You have no obligation to continue to speak with the options counselors or work with the adoption agency if you decide to create a parenting plan and raise your child. The Gladney Center for Adoption will support whatever decision you make for you and your baby. They can be a wonderful resource at this point in your journey.
It is also important to remember that if your baby’s father is abusive, harassing, violent, or unsafe you can get full legal and physical custody of your child. Just because you do not have a great relationship with the baby’s father—or if he is unsafe—does not mean that adoption is your only option. If you are in danger or your baby is in danger, it is critical you speak to law enforcement immediately.
3. She is in a relationship with someone other than her baby’s father
There are times when an expectant mother contemplates creating an adoption plan for her baby because she is carrying a child that was conceived outside of her current relationship. It may mean that she was taking a break from her partner or there was infidelity in the marriage. Sometimes it is a trauma situation where she was sexually assaulted or raped while monogamous with her spouse or partner and feels it is best for her and her baby to contemplate an adoption plan.
In many committed, healthy relationships, pregnancy by another man may be something the couple can recover from as a healthy couple before continuing with the relationship and marriage. Sometimes adoption is the plan the mother believes she must make in her and the baby’s best interest. However, she should never feel pressured to place her baby for adoption or consider an adoption plan if that is not her desire or choice. She should never feel coerced to create an adoption plan or place her baby for adoption. Some women feel that adoption is the only option to save their relationship, however, this should never be the case. A healthy, strong relationship that can survive a pregnancy conceived outside of the relationship would support whatever decision the woman is making for her and her child. You need to make the choice that is best for you and your baby; that is the only reason to make an adoption plan that is in both of your best interests, not someone else’s.
There are many unique reasons you may be considering adoption for your baby. You are not alone if you find yourself in a situation where you may be contemplating all of your options. There is a myriad of reasons why you may want to create an adoption plan for you and your baby. Whatever the reasons are for contemplating an adoption plan, so long as they are in you and your baby’s best interests, they are the right reasons. Expectant parents have many unique reasons for considering adoption for their baby and you are not alone in yours—no matter how unique you feel your reasons are for contemplating adoption. Adoption is a lifelong journey for all members of the adoption triad—adoptive parents, children, and birth parents alike. Feeling absolutely sure this is the best choice for you and your baby is the most critical part of the journey. It is important to know that regardless of your unique reasons for considering adoption for your baby, you can change your mind at any time. You can also decide to place your child for adoption after your baby is born or at any point in the process. This journey is yours to make.