When faced with an unintended, unplanned pregnancy, the natural first step is to consider your pregnancy options (parenting, adoption, and abortion) and which one is right for you and your child. Of these three, the two that are highlighted the most in today’s society are abortion and parenting. These two have become the foundation of a charged debate that takes up the majority of the focus of the media, leaving information about adoption and the adoption process less visible to the public.
However, it’s important that adoption is considered just as strongly as your other pregnancy options when it comes to making an informed choice about your pregnancy. In today’s blog, we detail what the adoption process looks like and answer some frequently asked questions around this topic. For more information regarding if adoption is the right option for you and your child, contact Abiding Love Adoptions. We work exclusively with birth mothers and parents, not the adoptive family, in order to provide you with the support and guidance you need during the adoption process. If you are considering adoption, we’d love to meet with you to discuss this further. Call or text us at (800) 277-0748 or request an appointment online with a member of our staff.
Who is Adoption For?
Adoption may be a consideration for you if:
- You don’t feel comfortable with the idea of an abortion but you feel you’re not at a place in your life where you’re ready or capable of raising a child.
- Your home life is complicated at the moment and you want your child to grow up in a home that can provide emotional and financial stability that you currently can’t provide.
- The father of your child is no longer in your life and you want your child to be raised by a two-parent family.
Adoption isn’t for everyone, but it’s also not as outlandish as you may believe. There’s a stigma in society today that often makes women feel ashamed to consider adoption. They’re told it means they’re not capable of raising a child themselves and they’re passing it off to someone else, that if they couldn’t handle the responsibility of parenting, you never should’ve put yourself in a situation where that could occur. However, the reality of unintended, unplanned pregnancies is much more complicated than that. Each woman’s situation is different and no one but you can make the decision of how you choose to proceed with your pregnancy options.
This stigma also robs women of a valuable truth: that it takes a tremendous deal of courage to choose adoption for your child. It means proceeding with a pregnancy when you weren’t prepared for it and making the decision to part with your child. There’s a dignity in this, as you are gifting another family with the ability to raise and care for a child they could not otherwise have. This has given rise to the term adoption being referred to as “alternative parenting.” Also, if you choose to make an adoption plan, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to have contact with your child as is commonly believed.
What are the Different Types of Adoption?
There are three main types of adoption: open, semi-open, and closed. Each refers to the level of contact you want to have with the adoptive parents during and after the adoption process:
- Open Adoption. This option provides you with the most communication and involvement with the adoptive parents throughout the adoption process and after the adoption is finalized. You can meet with them and discuss the life you want your child to have and if they are a good fit for your wishes. In addition, you are able to describe to your advocate what contact with your child will look like and what level of involvement you’d like to have in your child’s life. Your advocate will then bring you families who match your openness design for you to choose from and you pick the family. Many birth mothers are able to develop a healthy and loving bond with their child and be present in their life as they grow up in an environment you know they’ll thrive in. This option also gives birth mothers a sense of peace, as they are able to see first hand how their child is doing and don’t have to wonder what kind of life they are leading. At Abiding Love Adoptions, we work with birth mothers who are wanting to explore the open adoption process. Unlike other adoption agencies, we do not work with or represent the interests of the adoptive family, instead focusing solely on the birth mother in order to put her best interests first. We know the ins and outs of the adoption process and how complicated it can become, allowing us to help you navigate the process with ease and your focus to remain on what’s important: the creation of your adoption plan.
- Semi-open Adoption. This type of adoption allows you a greater amount of say in the adoption process and some communication with the adoptive parents. You’ll be able to view profiles of potential adoptive families and have some say in the final decision your adoption representative makes. During the adoption process, you may have some direct contact with the adoptive family, but once the process is finalized, all contact is typically handed over to the adoption agency. However, a benefit of semi-open adoption is the chance to get updates on your child, as you can request pictures and/or letters from the adoptive family. This request is given to your adoption agency, who will act as the middleman between both parties and pass along any pictures and letters the adoptive family sends to you.
- Closed Adoption. In this type of adoption, you typically won’t have any contact with the adoptive parents and vice versa. Instead, you’ll each have an adoption representative that handles the communication between both parties. Your advocate will meet with you and you’ll be able to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. You will then choose an adoptive family that you believe is the best match for you and your child but will not exchange information or have contact.
What Does an Adoption Plan Look Like?
Each adoption plan is different for each birth mother, as you have a unique vision and wishes for what life you want your child to have. Your birth mother advocate will meet with you and ask you questions about what amount of contact you wish to have with the adoptive family during and after the adoption process, as well as what kind of family you wish your child to be placed with. Your advocate will take this information and use it to build a portfolio of prospective adoptive families that are best suited to your requests. From there, they will accompany you to meet with and talk to those adoptive families you are interested in, or, if you prefer, they can handle that interaction for you. Your advocate will be with you every step of the way, answering your questions and concerns, providing the support you need to choose an adoptive family that is best suited to you and your wishes.
It’s important that you trust and feel comfortable with your birth mother advocate and ensure they have your best interests at heart. At Abiding Love Adoptions, we take that to heart and have you meet with and interview our birth mother advocates in order for you to find one that you connect with. From there, you can discuss the level of involvement you want from your advocate throughout the process. Our advocates aren’t just invested in the adoption process; they’re invested in you. They’re happy to accompany you to doctor’s appointments, be present to provide support and encouragement during the birth of your child, and continue to meet with and get to know you both during the adoption process and after. Many of our birth mothers go on to become good friends with their advocates and become a part of our Abiding Love family. Whatever level of involvement and support you desire, you can rest assured that our advocates will be there for you every step of the way.
What are Some of the Benefits of Adoption?
Many women who are considering adoption are unaware of the financial support this pregnancy option affords you. The decision to choose adoption can be extremely difficult and come with a wave of emotions. Whereas with your other pregnancy options you have to pay for the hospital bills and procedures, the adoption process is different in that the financial burden is not on your shoulders. The entirety of the pregnancy, birth, and adoptive process are completely free to you, allowing you to focus solely on your adoption plan and what’s best for your child.
Additionally, financial assistance is available for expenses outside of the adoption process, providing you with support in your home life as well. For many women, the main concern is financial stability once their pregnancy progresses to the point that they are unable to work. The type and extent of financial assistance you can receive varies from state to state and takes your living situation and expenses into account. At Abiding Love Adoptions, our advocates are here to answer all of your questions regarding financial assistance and can help you navigate the paperwork and application process, as well as explain what assistance Alabama and Georgia state laws offer you.
And finally, the adoption process provides the best benefit of all: knowing that your child will grow up in a loving environment and go on to lead a vibrant and full life. Open adoption is a unique choice, as it is a decision that is based solely out of love for your child. It takes courage to choose adoption for your child and allow another family to raise them as their own. But it is truly an act of selfless love that only a birth mother can provide, as you are giving them a life full of love, happiness, and family.
Your Next Steps
If you are wanting to explore your pregnancy options and whether open adoption may be the best option for you, contact Abiding Love Adoptions. We are a certified adoption agency that is licensed to handle adoptions in Georgia and Alabama and are committed to providing you with the support and counsel you deserve. Again, adoption is not for everyone, but if it is for you, Abiding Love ensures that you will never be pressured to make a decision other than the one that is best for you. All of our services are free and confidential. Call or text us today at 1 (800) 277-0748 or send us a message; we’d love to meet with you.