Considering Adoption While Pregnant: Making An Adoption Plan During Pregnancy

Choosing Adoption Isn’t Giving Up

“When I chose adoption for my son, the last thing I did was give up.” – Sierra, Birth Mother

Facing an unplanned pregnancy is overwhelming. You’re under pressure to make a decision, but it’s a challenge to even think clearly. Who should you turn to? Family? Friends? Counsellor? You know that’s it’s your decision, but it may not be one you ever thought you’d have to face. Whether you choose abortion, parenting or adoption, you need to first get educated about all three of your options. Start gathering information about adoption while pregnant from as many sources that you can – websites, adoption forums, and the like. Remember, the best choice is an informed choice.

Even if your circumstances are not picture perfect, parenting may be your best option. Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself:

Is Parenting Your Best Option?

Will your family help you raise a child?

How about the baby’s father? Regardless of whether you’re in a relationship with him or not, he has a responsibility to provide financial support for his child since he is one of the birth parents.

What local parenting resources and support is available? Find out what programs are in your area. Visit a local daycare and ask them about government-subsidized childcare. Most counties will provide or at least contribute to childcare (assuming you will qualify) as long as you’re in school full-time or working a certain number of hours per week. Get educated about other resources in your area, including child care, parenting classes and even housing and support groups. You can find some of the available government resources out to find a database of some of the government funding available.

Is Abortion Your Best Option?

You may conclude that you’re just not equipped to parent and that abortion is your only realistic option. If so, you must first seek out accurate and honest information about the short and long-term effects of abortion. Sure, everyone’s abortion is experience is different, but the vast majority of women confirm that going through an abortion is traumatic and has lasting consequences, despite the fact that having an abortion obviously resolves the issue in the short-term.

Is Adoption Your Best Option?

Adoption is your other option, but before you start down the adoption journey, you need to have a clear understanding of what the adoption process is all about, including how to find parents hoping to adopt, which agency or attorney to work with, your state’s laws regarding expectant parent living expenses, what are birth fathers’ rights, post-adoption grief and support resources and post-adoption contact.

In the end, the only way you can truly know which option is best for you and your child, is to gather as much information as possible, listen to birthparent’s adoptive parents and adoptees talk about their adoption story and then honestly evaluate your circumstances in light of everything you’ve learned. Going at this alone is not recommended. It’s best to seek counsel from individuals you respect and trust, such as a parent, older relative, teacher, counsellor, pastor or medical provider. As you consider each option, make lists of the pros and cons of each. In the end, don’t be tempted to shy away from the hard decision. You can do hard things and you’re stronger than you think.

How to Find the Best Adoption Agency or Attorney

If you decide adoption is the best choice for you and your unborn baby, your first step is to find a trustworthy adoption agency or attorney to assist you in finding an adoptive family you love. But don’t just rely on your search engine to do the work for you. The adoption professionals who appear at the top of your search results may not necessarily be the most ethical or even qualified to offer you the guidance you will need. Thankfully, AdoptMatch has made it easier to find an adoptive family who is committed to an ethical and compassionate adoption. AdoptMatch-approved adoption professionals and their adoptive families are committed to post-adoption contact, separate legal representation and ensuring your needs are met throughout the adoption process and beyond, including assistance with reasonable living expenses, counseling, transportation, medical care such as prenatal care, housing, birth education and legal representation.

How to Find an Adoptive Family for Your Unborn Child

It’s hard to know where to begin looking for an adoptive family for your child. The good news is that you can choose from literally thousands of qualified (home-studied) waiting families with adoptive parents waiting for a child to adopt. If you don’t find some great options among the families your agency presents to you, be sure and ask to see additional profiles until you do. Before you consider any families, take the time to think hard about what you’re hoping to find in an adoptive family. This is another great time for list-making. There are the basics to consider, such as ethnicity, marital status, faith, sexual orientation, other children in the home, geography, career/education, etc., but there are also more nuanced considerations including the adoptive parents’ individual family background, marital issues, communication styles, conflict resolution skills and, of course, hobbies, taste in music and favorite sports teams. The latter is obviously not as important, but most of our birth mother clients report that the more similarities and interests she shared with the adoptive family, the easier it was to forge a relationship. That makes perfect sense. We’re drawn to people with whom we feel a connection. For an expectant parent, choosing parents who are looking to adopt is often a matter of finding people she can relate to and who she sees herself in.

The Importance of Birth Mother Counseling

AdoptMatch firmly believes that counseling is a vital part of a birth mom’s experience during and healing after an adoptive placement. Having the support of a counselor in the months leading up to your baby’s birth can make a huge difference in just about every aspect of your adoption; from your relationship with the adoptive family, labor and delivery, interactions with the hospital staff, your time with baby after delivery to your overall hospital experience, being emotionally and psychologically prepared will significantly impact

A counselor equipped to deal with issues of adoption-related grief and loss can help prepare you for the emotional rollercoaster ride that you may find yourself on from the moment you step through the hospital doors to the moment you exit empty-handed. While there’s nothing magical about counseling, it can definitely help alleviate some of the long-term adoption trauma and feelings of loss that an adoptive placement brings. Counseling can create a safe space where you’re invited to acknowledge your feelings of heartache, rather than ignoring them with the hope that they will simply diminish with time. Chances are, they will not.

We understand that just because counseling is available, that doesn’t mean you’re going to take advantage of the chance to go. When things are emotionally hard, it can be a serious challenge to drag yourself to the counselor’s office for the fun of drudging up painful topics. Life gets busy and it may seem easier to instead try to ignore the pain (aka burying your head in the sand) rather than dealing with it. Because they understand the importance of post-placement support, AdoptMatch-approved professionals do everything they can to make it easier for a birth mother who is thinking about adoption to actually attend her therapy sessions, such as offering the option of attending counseling via skype or via telephone, in addition to regular in-office meetings. They may also offer transportation to counseling appointments if needed.

How AdoptMatch Can Help

Finding out you’re pregnant when a baby wasn’t in your immediate plan, is never easy. In fact, an unplanned pregnancy may be one of your life’s most difficult experiences. Getting pregnant means that in nine months, you can potentially have a baby girl or baby boy in your arms. Whether you choose abortion, parenting, or adoption, there will be uncertainty ahead and hurdles to overcome.

Ultimately, the responsibility is on you to make this choice, and it’s not an easy one.

AdoptMatch is on a mission to ensure that if you do decide to pursue adoption, you will have access to compassionate, qualified adoptive families and ethical, experienced professionals who are committed to a child-centered adoption.