02 Sep Putting a Baby Up For Adoption – Making a decision you can feel at peace with
If you’re experiencing an unexpected pregnancy, you’re probably feeling scared, confused, or alone. However, you need to understand that you are not alone. Not only are there so many women who are going through the same thing, but there are also people out there who would want nothing more than to help you and see you succeed. You may be wondering what exactly the process looks like and how to “put a baby up for adoption”.
The phrase “putting a baby up for adoption” has a negative connotation. It makes it sound like you “gave up” or “abandoned” your baby which is the furthest thing from the truth. When you choose adoption, you choose life for your baby. Also, your adoption decision is an extremely brave and selfless choice. If you know you’re not at a place right now to raise your baby, there are many well-qualified and well-screened parents out there who will adopt your baby in a heartbeat. Instead of saying “putting a baby up for adoption”, let’s say something more positive like “placing a baby for adoption” which is exactly what you’re doing; you’re placing your baby in another home where he or she can have a good life with a forever family.
Adoption is a lifelong decision that should be well thought through. If you choose to place your baby through the state’s system, your baby would be in foster care for a while before a family gets to adopt him or her. The foster care system is imperfect and can be frustrating for biological and adoptive families. On the other hand, if you choose to go through an adoption agency like Cradle of Hope, your baby would go home from the hospital with the adoptive family that you choose. You have a lot more control in this scenario. Cradle of Hope can help you select the perfect family for your baby.
Cradle of Hope social workers can give you clarity about the adoption process. They will be there every step of the way, and can help you sort out the type of adoption you prefer:
Open adoption is an arrangement where the adoptive family, child, and birth family have an open relationship with each other. This looks different for every family since some families are geographically close with each other and some are not. Communication can be through in-person visits, social media, phone calls, emails, or text messages. In an open adoption, your child won’t have a sense of missing who they are as a person when they get older because they can have contact with their birth family.
A semi-open adoption has most of the communication go through Cradle of Hope. Adoptive parents will send updates and pictures to the agency, who then sends them to the birth family on a schedule that is comfortable for the birth family. Some birth families want more communication than others, and that’s perfectly fine.
A closed adoption does not permit any direct communication between the birth and adoptive families. All records are sealed, and information is not easily accessible. Closed adoptions are becoming less popular as more adoptive and birth families are understanding the positive aspects of open adoptions. Some birth families look at a closed adoption as a clean break and a better way to heal. However, some adoptees may struggle with having a closed adoption because they want to know who they are and where they came from. An adoptee won’t be able to access that information or reach out to the birth family until they turn 18.
Cradle of Hope has lots of family profiles to review. You can narrow down your options based on race, ethnicity, religion, how many other kids they have, etc. Do you want a married couple or a single person? Do you want to know about their lifestyles? Once you choose a family, you can talk or meet with them to get to know them better. Most birth families use this opportunity to see how the family acts and answer any questions they may have, such as:
- Why did you decide to adopt?
- How do you plan on raising the baby?
- Do both parents work or is there a stay at home parent?
- How often are you comfortable with visitations?
- Would you be willing to teach them about their culture?
Once you pick the family that you feel is best for your baby, things will start to fall into place. Next, we will help you work on your hospital plan. Who do you want with you in the hospital, how long do you want to spend with the baby, and when can the adoptive family spend time with him or her? It will be important to have at least one person in the room with you when you give birth, whether it’s your partner, your family, your Cradle of Hope social worker, or even the adoptive mother. Your support person will make sure you are seen and heard while you go through labor.
During and even after the adoption, there are resources and support for you. You can participate in counseling and support groups for birth mothers. Cradle of Hope will help you locate resources in your community to support you during this period and beyond.
Adoption is a choice you make FOR your baby, not something you do TO your baby. You are choosing adoption because you want your baby to have the best life possible. Everyone at Cradle of Hope is here for you.
Adoption is a special bond that creates families between adoptive and biological parents as well. You have a lot of options to choose from and amazing families to sift through, but your Cradle of Hope social worker can help you make the final decisions. You won’t walk this journey alone.