Adoption or Baby Safe Haven: Which is Right for Me and My Child?
Unplanned pregnancy can be scary for birth mothers for a number of different reasons. Some may not have planned to have children, while others may not be ready to be a mother yet. Still others might not be at a place in their life where they're able to raise a child and give him or her the best life possible. Whatever the reason, it’s important for birth mothers who have become pregnant unexpectedly to know that you have options and to understand what each one means. Two of those options, adoption and baby safe haven, are important to differentiate if you’re not planning on raising your child yourself.
Most people have heard of adoption because it’s perhaps the most common option for birth mothers who decide they are unable to care for their child. Depending on the type of adoption -- open, semi-open or closed -- a birth mother chooses, she may have the opportunity to select and meet her child’s adoptive parents, securing the child’s well-being and future with just the right family. Additionally, a birth mother may at some point be able to develop a relationship with her child and her child’s birth family, which is also dependent on which of the three types of adoption she chooses for her child.
Baby Safe Havens, on the other hand, are less likely to be heard of, but are still a common option among birth mothers who decide they cannot raise their child. Baby Safe Havens, also referred to as the Baby Moses Law, allow an individual to legally relinquish their parental rights to a child within a specified amount of time after the child’s birth. This time frame varies depending upon which state you live in; however, in Florida, a child must be brought to a Baby Safe Haven location within seven days after his or her birth. Baby Safe Haven locations also vary by state, but most include hospitals, emergency medical services stations, police and fire stations.
The 3 Main Differences between Adoption and Baby Safe Haven
Adoption Offers You Some Control/Choice
Birth mothers who choose adoption, specifically open or semi-open adoption, will likely have the opportunity to choose her child’s adoptive parents, allowing her to secure the best possible future for her child. Both open and semi-open adoption have become increasingly popular in recent years because they allow the adoption triad, which consists of the child, the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s), the chance to get to know each other and build strong, healthy bonds with one another. Children who have been adopted often go through life with many questions about their birth family, but are less likely to get answers when their birth parents aren’t involved in their life. With a birth mother in the picture, a child will be provided with answers to any questions they may have, which can help give them a clearer understanding of who they are and where they come from.
Adoption Give You More Time to Consider Your Decision
Because the Baby Safe Haven Law requires the birth mother to bring her baby to a safe location within a certain number of days, she isn’t allowed much time to think about her decision or to consider her other options. Additionally, the birth mother won’t get a hand in securing her child’s future: She won’t know what happens to her child, or whether or not he or she will live a happy life with a loving family. She might very well go through her life with many questions about her child, without ever getting any answers. Adoption, depending on which of the three types a birth mother chooses for her child, may have the chance to meet potential adoptive families and even have a healthy, positive relationship with them, as well as with her child someday in the future.
Adoption Provides You Support and Guidance
Birth mothers who choose to bring their child to a Baby Safe Haven location usually do so because it allows them to remain anonymous, which is often important to these women. Though some people may find it unusual that a woman could simply drop her child off somewhere without knowing what’s going to happen to him or her, it’s important to know that doing so isn’t easy for these birth mothers. Unfortunately, women who choose Baby Safe Haven often desire anonymity because they don’t feel they have a system of people who will stand by to support them.
Birth mothers who opt for adoption are often provided with a variety of excellent resources, from experts who will help them to create an adoption plan to counselors who will help them sort through their thoughts and understand their feelings. For birth mothers still seeking anonymity from their child and their child’s adoptive family, closed adoption might be an option to strongly consider, with the guidance of social workers who can help them to what each type of adoption entails.
Unplanned Pregnancy is Scary, but Considering Your Options is Important
Birth mothers who become pregnant unexpectedly often have many questions. Right away, you might feel like you want to rush things, or figure out what you’re going to do next as soon as possible. But it’s OK to slow down and think things through. Before jumping to conclusions, it’s important to consider ALL options carefully. Do some research. You might learn something you didn’t know before that could change your mind about your decision. As you're exploring your options, your child’s best interest should be at the forefront of your mind. Keep in mind that whatever you choose is going to affect your child’s life more than anyone else’s -- even your own!
If you are a birth parent considering adoption, and have any questions or concerns about the process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: 800-985-8108