What is Adoption & What Does it Mean for Birth Mothers?
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If you are homeless, pregnant and considering adoption, chances are you have a lot of questions. At a very basic level, it is important to understand adoption both practically and legally. We will answer some of these questions like:what adoption is, what it really means for birth mothers and are some of the major milestones expected in the adoption process?
What is Adoption?
Adoption is when an adult formally becomes the guardian of a child and incurs the rights and responsibilities of a parent. Selecting to place your child up for adoption is a legally recognized agreement and is a permanent commitment for birth parents, their child and the adoptive parents. Adoption is an important choice for families, allowing them to put the interests of their children first. There are several situations that would lead a birth mother to choose adoption for her child.
Consider Adoption When:
- Unexpected pregnancy, not financially stable
- Unexpected pregnancy, no family support
- Unexpected pregnancy, homeless and/ or unemployed
- Unexpected pregnancy, issues w/substance abuse
- Unexpected pregnancy, unable to care for child properly
What Adoption Means for Birth Mothers
Adoption for birth mothers means choosing the family that will raise your child. Legally, you are giving the right to raise this child to another family. You are in control of this process; from selecting the right adoptive family to deciding the amount of contact and updates you would like to have throughout the child’s life. The decision to place your child up for adoption is difficult but ultimately a decision of love. Birth Mothers in unexpected or difficult situations that place their child for adoption are actively choosing where their child will go to receive the best care & support possible. Every child deserves the best shot at life they can get, you are giving them the gift of opportunity. Working with qualified adoption professionals will ensure you are taken care of, protected, and are able to make the best decision to place the baby for adoption.
Birth mothers may feel guilt or grief after the adoption process. This is normal and expected. Support and counseling is available to help all birth mothers through this process. Having your questions and concerns addressed in advance can help lessen these post adoption feelings, and help you see the positives of adoption.
Expectations & Milestones for Birth Mothers During the Adoption Process
While deciding if adoption is the right choice for you and your baby, it can be helpful to understand some of the major milestones in the adoption process.
Steps in the Adoption Process:
1. DECIDE: Once you have carefully considered all of your options and decided that adoption is right for you, reach out to an adoption assistance program. You can contact A Birthmother’s Choice when you are ready.
2. CREATE: You will be asked to send in some initial paperwork that helps us verify you and get to know you a little bit better. There will be more extensive paperwork to fill out with a caseworker later on that will detail what you want out of your adoption and the type of adoptive family you are looking for (create an adoption plan). The type of adoption is your choice. The adoption can be opened, closed or a hybrid of the two.
3. CHOOSE: After you have been presented with a few family options, you will be able to decide who you would like to work with.
4. SELECT: Decide if you want an open, semi-open, or closed adoption. You can have as much or as little contact with the adoptive parents during the adoption process and after as you would like.
5. SIGN: These papers are typically signed after the baby is born. How soon depends on the state, but typically this is done within 72 hours of the baby being born.
6.PREPARE: Your baby will go home with their adoptive family. You will need to prepare to go home and get settled back in your life. Typically, you can receive up to 6 weeks of financial assistance after the baby is adopted to help you get on your feet.
7.PROCESS: Your caseworkers and your adoptive family will stay in contact with you. Caseworkers will help you as you process the adoption and provide connections with counselors to help you through the grieving process if needed. Your adoptive family can send you pictures, videos, or talk to you on the phone according to the plan that was created.
Choosing adoption is a lifelong choice for the birth mother, the child and the adoptive parents. When making a choice with such a large impact, you need to have all the information and resources you can to help you in the decision process. If you are pregnant and considering adoption, A Birthmother’s Choice is here to provide adoption support for birth mothers and guide them in their adoption journey.