Even from the moment you decide to place your child for adoption after becoming pregnant unexpectedly, you still have responsibilities to your child as his or her biological mother. As the birth mother, your first and most important job is to choose an adoption agency that keeps the best interest of both you and your child in mind. Your child’s best interest should be top priority, of course, but, because placing a child for adoption is the most selfless of acts, your agency should do everything in its power to help you with whatever you need throughout the adoption process! As you work with your adoption agency, your only concerns should be with your health, creating your child’s adoption plan, and preparing for your due date.
Finding the right adoption agency is a different journey for each birth mother placing her child for adoption. To find an agency that’s right for both you and your child, start by gathering research about adoption agencies within your area. You may also find it helpful to gather information about the adoption process in general. The better you understand the adoption process, the more confident you’ll feel as you make decisions throughout the process and that are in the best interest of your child. The more you know, the better!
What to Consider when Choosing the Right Adoption Agency
1. The Adoption Process and Your Next Steps
It’s important for you to gather as much information as you can about your local adoption agencies, and about the process of adoption in general. Though adoption agencies have a general, common goal of building loving families through adoption, every agency is different: some agencies are faith-based; some only work with heterosexual, married adoptive parents; some only do private or closed adoptions rather than open and/or semi-open. Because of the variety between adoption agencies, it’s vital for you to do research to determine which kind of agency is right for you and your child before you take any further steps in placing your child for adoption.
2. Financial Assistance: Expenses, Costs and Fees Related to the Adoption Process
Many birth mothers are concerned about the financial costs of placing their child for adoption, but, as the birth mother, you shouldn't have to worry about any adoption-related expenses! Your adoption agency, as well as your child’s adoptive parents, should be more than willing to pay any medical and counseling expenses and legal fees related to the adoption process. So, you can focus on staying healthy, especially for your child, and on taking the next steps in the adoption process.
3. Creating Your Child’s Adoption Plan
With the help of the counselors and social workers at the adoption agency of your choice, one of the most important responsibilities you’ll have as the birth mother is creating an adoption plan that’s in the best interest of your child. When you begin creating your child’s adoption plan, you’ll have a lot of difficult decisions to make. The hardest decision of all, though, is one that you’ve already made, which is placing your child for adoption. Even though you’re not raising your child, you’re still his or her parent. Your parental instincts will kick in. Trust your gut and don’t forget to keep your child’s best interest in mind with every decision you have to make!
4. Open, Semi-Open and Closed: Understanding the Three Types of Adoption
Again, every adoption agency is different, so not every agency may offer all three types of adoption. Some agencies focus primarily on closed or private adoptions, which is commonly chosen among birth and adoptive parents who wish to remain anonymous throughout the adoption process. Birth and adoptive parents who opt for closed adoptions do so for a number of reasons, but it’s most commonly chosen by birth mothers who’ve become pregnant as a result of a sexual assault.
Finding information on the three types of adoption is fairly easy, especially now that we have pocket-sized computers that are practically glued to us at all times. But if you still have questions about the three types of adoption, your adoption agency will help you compare and contrast each type to help you determine which type is the best fit for both you and your child!
5. Your Rights as the Birth Mother
As the birth mother, you have the right to change your mind at any point in the process. A good adoption agency will make sure you’re aware of your rights at the beginning of your adoption journey, and remind you of them throughout the process. Once your child’s adoption is finalized, there’s no changing your mind; however, if you opt for an open or semi-open adoption, you may very well have the chance to build a relationship with your child and/or their adoptive family in the future!
6. Therapy, Counseling and 24/7 Support for Birth Mothers
As aforementioned, your adoption agency and your child’s adoptive family should be more than willing to pay any costs related to the adoption process, including medical expenses, legal and counseling fees. Most adoption agencies offer 24/7 support, so birth parents from all walks of life, and at any point in time, may access the resources offered by the agency! If you're nervous to reach out to an agency, keep in mind that agencies want to help you. Adoption agencies, like you, want what's in the best interest for your child, and will do everything they can to make themselves as easily accessible as possible to all women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and who are considering adoption as an option for their child.
7. The Birth Father’s Role in the Adoption Process
No matter what your situation, it’s important for you to at least try to contact your child’s birth father, in order to obtain his consent to place your child for adoption. Exceptions can be made if you’ve made an effort to make contact and cannot, if your child’s birth father is deemed unfit by a judge or if he is unknown. If you’re unsure where to begin in terms of searching for your child’s birth father, your adoption agency can help!
8. Adoption 101: FAQs from Birth Mothers
To help you gather information on adoption, and on the adoption process, you may find it helpful to search frequently asked questions by birth mothers. Agencies often have the answers to these FAQs on their websites to ensure that this crucial information is easily accessible to all birth mothers who are going through an unplanned pregnancy and who are considering adoption.
If you have any questions that you cannot find answers to, feel free to direct them toward your adoption agency. The social workers and experts at your adoption agency have been well-trained and are well-equipped to answer the most confusing, complicated and challenging of questions!
Trust Yourself to Make Decisions for Your Child
As a birth mother placing her child for adoption, it’s common to wonder whether or not you’re making decisions that are in the best interest of your child. Fortunately, you’re not alone in feeling this way! Every parent, biological or adoptive, often wonders whether or not they're doing what’s right for their child(ren). Does a parent ever really know? No, not really. But parenting, even if you’re a birth mother who’s chosen to place your child for adoption, is a combination of trusting your gut and using what you’ve learned throughout your life to help you make decisions that are in the best interest of your child.
When it comes to making decisions for the child you’re placing for adoption, this is no less true, so give yourself some credit and trust that when the time comes, you’ll do what’s in the best interest of your child now so that he or she can have a better, brighter life in the future.
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