What does adoption look like?
If you find yourself pregnant and don’t want to be pregnant, you may be looking at your options. One of your options is to create an adoption plan. You may be wondering, what does adoption look like? It can look like a lot of things! If you are considering making an adoption plan, we are here to support you and help you. You are so brave to even consider adoption as an option. We recognize what a big choice this is for you. No matter what outcome you choose for your pregnancy, we are here to support you and help you with whatever you need.
What are my choices?
Adoption is a choice. Within that choice there are so many other choices you get to make. You can choose which family will adopt your baby. You can choose whether you want to be in contact with the family or not. Additionally, you can choose if you want to stay in contact as your child grows up or not. Regardless of what you choose, adoption is a brave choice.
Some people choose to make an adoption plan because they want their child to have a better life than they feel they can give them. Birth parents come from all stages and walks of life. Some birth parents are married and have decided that raising a child is not in their best interest. Other birth parents are single women who want to continue to pursue their own life and dreams. Some birth parents are teenagers who do not feel ready to parent a child. Each birth parents story and reason for choosing adoption is unique. No matter what your story or situation is, we are here to support you and help you through that.
Some sources estimate that there are around two million couples in the United States waiting to adopt a child. Did you know that you can choose which family you want to place your child with? When you work with an adoption agency, they will be able to sit down with you and go through their available families to help you choose which family you would like to place your child with. The adoptive families are required to go through a rigorous screening processes to ensure your child will grow up in a safe place.
Two million couples is a lot of profiles to go through…but don’t worry! You can work with your adoption agency to narrow that number down! You can choose to look at any kind of family…families with two kids, families that live on a farm, families with six kids, families with no kids, families that have a faith background that you want your child to grow up in, families that are traditional, families that are non-traditional, families that live in a city, families that live near you, families that live far away from you…your options are endless!
Many adoption agencies have meet-and-greet videos you can watch from the adoptive families. Watching the videos gives you a chance to see the families and get to know them a little bit before to help you decide if you want to meet them in person. It is your choice which family you place your child with!
What kind of adoption?
There are two different kinds of adoption. There are open adoptions and closed adoptions. You can decide which type of adoption you want for your adoption plan. Let’s break down what these two kinds of adoption are.
An open adoption is when the birth mother and adoptive families choose to have contact during the adoption process and after the adoption is finalized. It is up to the birth parents and the adoptive family to determine how open their open adoption will be. Almost 60-70% of adoptions are open adoptions. It is your choice if you would like an open adoption and how much contact you would like.
Open Adoption Options
Some women choose to have no contact in an open adoption. That is okay! Having an open adoption simply gives you the opportunity to choose to contact your child and their adoptive family at anytime in the future. Some women wait a year or two after placement before they reach out. The adoptive mother may want some time to process the experience and move forward in her life after placement before contacting the adoptive family. Some women choose to never reach out and contact the adoptive family. That is okay too. It all depends on what you are comfortable with.
On the other hand, some birth mothers like to stay in touch shortly after placement. Some of them find it helpful to have regular updates. Many birth mothers share that seeing their child growing up happy and loved in their adoptive family provides a sense of closure. Seeing this often reaffirms for the birth mother the feelings she has that she made the right choice in creating an adoption plan.
An open adoption allows you to continue to have contact throughout your child’s life. This looks different for everyone and it will be a decision that you and the adoptive parents make together. Some families have yearly or monthly contact and updates. Some birth mothers decide that they only want phone call or email updates with pictures. Others choose to visit in person regularly and interact with the adoptive parents and child. There are even families that see each other on the holidays! It is your choice. You can decide what you are comfortable with.
In some adoptions, the amount of contact waxes and wanes. Sometimes the birth mother decides she wants monthly updates. After a while, she may decide that she wants less contact and may request just yearly updates or no updates at all. A few years later, she may decide that she wants monthly updates again. It is up to you as the birth mother to decide what you are comfortable with!
A closed adoption is a type of adoption where the birth family and adoptive family have little to no contact with each other. During a closed adoption, all identifying information usually remains confidential. Depending on which adoption agency you work with, you can still choose which family you would like to place your child with.
It is important to remember that it is your choice whether or not to have a closed adoption. A few common reasons people choose to have a closed adoption include emotional closure, safety, and privacy. Some birth parents who find themselves in an abusive environment choose to have a closed adoption for their safety. However, being in an abusive environment does not mean that you are required to have a closed adoption. You can still choose to have an open adoption.
Some women choose to have a closed adoption for the sake of privacy. There are a number of reasons why a birth parent may want to keep an adoption plan private. However, it is important to have support when you are making an adoption plan. We understand there are different reasons why you may want to keep your pregnancy and adoption plan private. We are here to support you no matter what option you choose for your pregnancy.
Adoption is a hard choice to make but it can be very rewarding. There are so many aspects to consider if you are thinking about creating an adoption plan. Just remember, you can take one step at a time. We will be with you through every step and want to make sure you feel supported. There are many resources, stories, and videos available to you to help you learn more about adoption. You can schedule an appointment today to talk with an advocate about what adoption can look like for you. Your advocate will be able to put you in touch with a reputable adoption agency and assist you through the process. We are here to help you.