Life has a funny way of not going the way you expect; finding yourself unexpectedly pregnant falls into that category. Expectant mothers, you are not alone in this journey. Many women have come before you. This guide can hopefully help you along your journey. If you live in Texas or are considering adoption options in the great state, here are some tips.

Step 1: Decide to Place Your Child for Adoption

Finding yourself unexpectedly pregnant can be hard. Very hard. Parenting your child can be hard work of course, but choosing to place your child for adoption can also be incredibly difficult. It is rarely an easy decision, but you can feel more comfortable with whichever decision you choose after some research.

Before you decide either way (to parent or place your child), it could be helpful to consider both options. Consider whether you can dedicate a good portion of your life to your child or whether it may be better to place your child in the arms of another person. Adoption can be a scary choice, especially if this is your first time entering the world of adoption, but with the right support, things could be easier than you imagine.

When considering to parent your child, it would probably be helpful to look at all aspects of your life. Are you in a position where you can parent a child? Is the father in the picture and willing to help? Is your family supportive of your parenting this child and willing to be your support system throughout anything that may happen? Can you afford it? Is your living situation stable? While nobody is ever truly ready to be parents, do you feel as though you could parent your child?

If you’re unsure if you can parent your child, consider looking into adoption. You can change your mind at any time during the process up until you choose to relinquish your rights after you’ve given birth. If there is someone pressuring you either way, try and consider what the best choice for you would be. Your decision is the right decision.

One thing that you should take into consideration when researching adoption is how you want to begin your journey. Do you want to move forward with an adoption agency or a private adoption attorney? What type of adoption are you considering? Do you have family members or close friends who are interested in adopting your child? If you’ve wracked your brain on how to go about this but are unsure of the exact way to place your child for adoption, this TX adoption guide can give you some advice and help you to feel more comfortable and sure about your decision to place your child for adoption.

Step 2: Learn About The Gladney Center for Adoption

One of the first steps you can take is to research adoption agencies. The Gladney Center for Adoption can be an amazing resource for you. Although it is centered in Fort Worth, TX, Gladney is licensed in a number of surrounding states across the U.S. and even across the world.

Their programs have helped expectant mothers, hopeful adoptive parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees for years. Gladney is proud of the programs they offer and what they have accomplished with those programs. They are willing to help anyone who goes to their site. Some of their services include Child Advocacy, the Gladney Blog, Humanitarian Aid, Post Adoption services, the reFRAMED Podcast (dedicated to “educate, encourage, and inspire parents and professionals”), and many more.

Even after you have placed your child for adoption, Gladney offers support and resources for you. Some of the things that are available are counselors, therapists, and programs all dedicated to helping you post-adoption. Another idea that may help you is to have a trusted friend or family member who can support you throughout everything; simply having someone there can be a big help.

If you want to find some other support and commendation for The Gladney Center for Adoption, Adoption.com has several testimonials and articles about the things that Gladney has been able to accomplish and how they have changed lives for the better. Working with an agency that has good reviews and good feedback may help you more than you might think.

Other Adoption Agencies

If for whatever reason you don’t wish to use The Gladney Center for Adoption, it’s recommended to research as much as you can about different adoption agencies, attorneys, or any other avenue you may wish to pursue.

Step 3: Find a Family for TX Adoption

Once you’ve selected which adoption agency you would like to work with, you will typically start the search for a family who wants to adopt your baby. It can be difficult to know where to start because there are thousands of families searching for a child to adopt, but there are ways to be more comfortable moving forward with the search.

As the expectant mother, you have full control over how you wish to start your search. You can ask your agency who they might recommend for you to consider, you can flip through parent profiles both online and on paper, or you can talk with other expectant mothers or birth mothers about how they made the decision. Adoption.com also has a FAQ section that may prove valuable to you as you start looking.

As you begin your search, it can be helpful to keep in mind what you want for your child. Some things to consider may be religion, schooling, marital status, hobbies, and more. If you want something specifically for your child like to be raised by a religious family, it may be helpful to organize parent profiles by those who share the same faith as you. You might consider making a list of non-negotiable things about the prospective parents or in other words requirements that adoptive families must meet before you consider them as possible parents for your child. This can be anything from marital status to lifestyle choices and hobbies. As the expectant mother, you can typically be as specific as you want.

On the other hand, you could search for a family relying on your gut. While it isn’t a scientific measurement and may not always be correct, sometimes your gut decision can be the right one. Listen to your instincts and your research and the process could be a lot smoother.

Remember, adoption is not limited to state lines. For example, if you are currently living in Maine, you don’t have to limit yourself to adoption agencies in Maine only. You can specifically search for TX adoption options and see if there are any couples you connect with. This could be a deciding factor for you, however, it could also just be a fun perk. Whichever way you decide, there should be people around you who are willing to support you with the decision.

Step 4: Decide what Type of TX Adoption You Want

The next step involves deciding what type of TX adoption you want to have with the adoptive family. The three options are to have an open, semi-open, or closed adoption. Each one has potential benefits and potential drawbacks. It is important to research and perhaps discuss each option with your support system.

Open Adoption

For many years, open adoptions were less common, but in recent years having an open adoption has become more and more popular. An open adoption is when both the expectant parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s) agree to some level of contact and visitation. This can come in the form of meeting face-to-face regularly, having phone calls every week, or some other form of contact.

This type of adoption has been shown to help adoptive children have more confidence in themselves and where they come from. It can be incredibly difficult to not know your ancestors or your family, so having an open adoption where a child is able to ask pertinent information about their history and be able to get an answer quickly can be incredibly useful.

Semi-open Adoption

A semi-open adoption is a combination of a closed and open adoption in some way or form. This is often just limited contact with the two parties like phone calls or letters on special occasions for example. Otherwise, the adoption tends to be closed with no contact between adoptive families and birth parents.

This type of adoption can be helpful for those who want to be able to contact each other for important occasions such as graduations or weddings but who also don’t wish to be overly involved in every decision and moment with the two groups.

Closed Adoption

A closed adoption is when birth parents and adoptive parents agree to have no contact after the adoption. The circumstances surrounding a closed adoption are different for everyone. Sometimes it may be better for the child not to know their parents or the situation, crisis pregnancies may be one such example.

While this type of adoption was once a more common practice, it has become less common to encounter a strictly closed adoption. It can make it difficult for adoptees to uncover more about their birth families; if there are any need-to-know medical issues, it can be incredibly difficult to learn what biological family medical history there could be. It can be expensive and difficult to find sealed adoption records because a court-order may be required for any records to be unsealed. Adoptees may not have the resources necessary to go through the entire process.

If you do choose this type of adoption, try and think of what your child may go through as they grow up. Is there any information they would need to know? Are there any aspects of your life that may affect them? It may prove useful for your child to at least have access to medical information.

Step 5: Create a Hospital Plan for TX Adoption

After deciding what type of adoption you wish to have and which family you are planning on placing your child with, you typically start planning for what you wish to do in the hospital and perhaps even afterward.

Some expectant mothers wish to have the prospective adoptive parents with them throughout the entire process: attending doctor’s appointments together, meeting up and discussing how the pregnancy is going, and being present for the birth. This option is typically chosen by those who decide on an open adoption, but there are no specific requirements over how you may choose to include the prospective adoptive parents.

Some expectant mothers only wish for the adoptive mother to be in the delivery room. Others only want their personal family with them (perhaps even the birth father). There is no right or wrong answer to who should be in the room with you while giving birth. However, with COVID you may need to check with your hospital and see if multiple people are allowed in the delivery room or if the hospital has any restrictions in general when giving birth.

Other aspects that may be part of a hospital plan are what you plan to do immediately afterward. Are you going to hold your child, immediately place them with the adoptive parents, and/or wait a couple of days before relinquishing your rights? There are often a ton of questions that you may not know the answers to right now but with a hospital plan, you can know how things are going to proceed. There are several articles on Adoption.com from birth mothers who created a hospital plan and how it was able to help them throughout the process. If you are feeling unsure about how to begin planning, try reading through these other birth mother’s experiences and see if there is something there that may help you plan.

Post-Adoption Support

Once you have placed your child for adoption, it may be unclear how you go forward with your life. You may be suffering from postpartum depression, post-adoption depression, regrets, fears, or more. All of these things are real, and you are not alone in facing these trials. One of the biggest things you can do is ask for help either from a doctor or from a trusted friend or family member. Some birth mothers have found that support groups have helped, others have found that moving forward with life has helped, and others struggle through all kinds of support without finding one in particular. There is no one-size-fits-all support system, and you may have to look for a while, but support may be something that can help you immensely after having placed your child for adoption.

Expectant mothers, you are on a long road of adoption. Life has placed you on a roller coaster of emotions and you may not know for sure how life is going to go after this. Hopefully this TX adoption guide was able to help you at least a little bit. Remember, you aren’t alone in this journey.