Making the choice to place a child for adoption is one of the hardest things any parent could ever do. It will be one of the hardest decisions they ever make. It can also be an incredibly difficult decision to make the choice not to place your child or to even change your mind at the last minute. There are a few things to consider when thinking of placing a child for adoption. Many of these things will involve the actual decision of placement. However, some of these things will involve what placement might look like for you and your child.
Adoption in movies and media has painted this picture that adoption looks one certain way. We even have the term “give up” a child for adoption. We are not in a world anymore where we are “giving up” our children. We are carefully placing these children into the care of someone else. Many times that does not have to mean cutting off contact. While there are still closed adoptions, open adoptions are very popular and are a great middle ground. They have been proven to be the healthiest option in many situations. When you are thinking of placing a child for adoption, consider all of your options and speak with someone you trust about your decision. It is important that you feel confident that you went through the decision-making process thoroughly before making such a life-altering choice.
The main thing to consider when thinking of placing your child for adoption is that this decision must be yours. There will be many people in your life who have an opinion about what you should do. However, the choice needs to be up to you. There may be circumstances in your life that make you feel like you do not have a choice. That is understandable. However, you should never place your child for adoption simply because that is what someone else wants. You have to go over what your options are in the situation and see if there’s any way to change the circumstances that face you.
If you are in a financial bind, you may be able to look for assistance to help you be able to raise your child. There are a lot of programs that will help with medical, living expenses, and even childcare expenses. It is important to seek out options if you do have a hope of parenting. You may be at a place where your thought is that you simply are not ready to be a parent and that is okay. Even if you are at a place where you could parent a child but are not ready or do not choose to, it is okay to make that choice. It’s just important that you make sure that the choice is yours and no one else’s. However, if there are circumstances in your way but you desire to parent, it is great to explore the options available to you. You may find that the circumstances still prevent you from parenting, but you may very well find that there are options available to you that you either did not know about or did not know were available to you specifically.
It is important to consider what type of support you might have in raising this child. You may find that you have less support than you thought, but you may also find that people are more supportive than you thought they would be. It is amazing how children make people sometimes grow up. All you can do is ask for help and see where that leads. You may find while someone may be upset that you are pregnant that they come around and want to help in some sort of way. There has been story after story of someone finding out they were pregnant and their family not necessarily being happy about it, but rallying around them to help them raise the child. Talk to your family and friends. Confide in those whom you trust. Confide in your church or any community you might have. You may find that you have more support than you think. There is also a chance that you may find that you do not have the support you need and that is definitely good for you to know. However, it’s going to take asking for help to find out how much help you actually have.
On the note of support, it is important to recognize that while placing a child for adoption is your decision, it is also the decision of the other person in this relationship. If you are a birth father who wants to place the child for adoption but the birth mother does not want that, you have to respect that in the end. You also have to take with that what you will and make decisions on your involvement in the child’s life. If you are our birth mother and the birth father wants to parent, you should also respect that as long as it is a safe situation. When there are other people involved who are the parent of the child, it will make it not necessarily your decision alone unless that person has given you the right to make that decision.
If you are on either side of this equation and would like to place your child for adoption, it is important that you keep the other side informed. Get some information from an adoption professional, like an adoption agency, about adoption. Also, present the fact that adoption is no longer necessarily closed in every situation. There can certainly be a middle ground. It is important that you both look at all of the options that are available to you and try to discuss what would be best in the situation. However, do not feel pressured to place just because that is what the other person wants.
In turn, do not feel pressured to forgo plans for adoption. This is why it’s important to establish healthy communication when possible. There may be a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to adoption and a lot of myths that need to be addressed. Take the time to make sure that the other person involved also has all of the Vital Information. Also, understand that they may be feeling pressure from other parties including their own family. Give them some time to sort through the options with you and provide the information without trying to let your emotions get the best of you. It works out much better when each person can be on the same page. Also, make sure that you take the time to hear the other person out on what they want for this child. You may find that you can reach a middle ground or a mutual agreement on what would be best without having to fight one another.
After you have made the decision or are leaning toward a choice about adoption, it is important to know that you do have options. Something to consider when you are thinking of placing your child for adoption is what type of adoption you would hope for. For some people, adoption is a great option for them because there is often the option for open adoption. It is important to note that many adoption agencies support the process of allowing a child’s birth parents to choose the adoptive family with whom their child is placed. With this, it is great to be able to have the option to choose a family that values or is okay with open adoption. It is important to remember that in many states, open adoption is not legally enforceable. However, there may be some stipulations that can be added to the agreement or an honorary agreement drawn up for an open adoption.
For adoptive parents who support open adoption, we understand the value of open adoption and would not have it any other way if given the choice. I completely understand that open adoption is healthier for my children and because it is possible, I feel very blessed. If you are hoping for an open adoption, it may be great to find an adoptive family who will let you have the contact or updates that you feel comfortable with in your situation. If you want a closed adoption option, this is something to think about as well. If, for some reason, you need that security or choose not to be involved in any way, you may also choose a family who has that as their wish as well or will support you in your decision. The importance being that you will likely be able to choose the adoptive family with whom your child is placed or be a part of that process.
If you are still on the fence about placing your child for adoption, that is completely okay and normal. Placing a child is not something that you will necessarily ever feel 100 percent sure about. It is a huge decision that will change your life forever. I don’t say that to scare you, but rather simply as a fact. It is definitely a decision worth taking time to consider. One thing you can do when you are considering placing your child for adoption is to gather information. It is important to be well-informed to make your decision. Call various adoption professionals or agencies in your area to gather information. Many will be willing to even sit down with you and chat. None of this is you committing to place your child but rather gathering information.
If you feel pressured by any adoption professional, find another professional in your area. These agencies and professionals should not make you feel pressured in this time, but rather they should support and treat you with compassion. Any ethical adoption agency or professional knows that this time is delicate for you and will understand how hard the decision to place a child can be. It is equally important to find an adoption agency that provides you with legal representation that differs from the legal representation of the adoptive family. You will want someone who is advocating solely for you and representing you throughout the legal process of adoption.
You are not committing to place your child until placement occurs. While it is important to be relatively sure before entering the adoption process, things may change and that is okay and your legal right. Once your child is born, you may decide that you would like the parent and have the opportunity to back down depending on the length of time that has passed since the child’s birth and the regulations on adoption in your state. This is something that you should be well-informed of by any adoption professional. An adoption professional should advocate for adoptive families and also for you. If you do not feel completely informed about your rights, seek outside counsel or a different adoption professional.
It is completely normal and expected that placing your child for adoption is not an easy decision. Take the time to think through your options before choosing placement. You may be sure that adoption is what you want to choose and that is great if that is true for you. If you are unsure, that is completely normal as well. Take whatever time you need and do not feel pressured either way. Spend time with those you trust, speak at length with anyone involved in the adoption, and take the time to gather information before making your decision. Make sure that you are involved with an adoption agency or professional who is ethical and recommended by those in your area. You will want somebody to advocate for you. A good adoption professional should be compassionate, loving, supportive, and understanding. You should feel at ease and informed of your rights throughout the process. Make sure that the decision is yours in the end and that you advocate for your rights and for the type of adoption you hope for both you and your child.
If you are unexpectedly pregnant, please consider adoption. Visit Adoption.com to view adoption profiles from hopeful adoptive parents. Visit Adoption.com/unplanned-pregnancy to find guidance with your unplanned pregnancy.
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit PregnancyHotline.org or call 1-800-GLADNEY and speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.