While there are three clear options women have when facing an unintended pregnancy, adoption is one that many women feel is impossible. “I could never give my baby away” is a very real and heartbreaking statement- especially for a woman who feels that parenting is just simply not an option. It’s important to note that all three options (parenting, adoption, and abortion) come with hardships. However, it is also important to know all the facts before you decide.
As time goes on, our culture adjusts, and we learn from the past. Domestic infant adoption looks a lot different today than it did 30 years ago. Here are 6 misconceptions that many people may still believe about adoption today.
- “She gave her baby up, because she doesn’t love him enough.”
If you decide to place your baby with an adoptive family, it’s not because you don’t love him enough, but because you have an abundance of love for him. You’re facing what feels like an impossible situation, and choosing adoption is a courageous choice that deserves an incredible amount of respect.
Most birth parents who make an adoption plan want to see their baby thrive in a world that they feel they cannot provide for their child at that time. They care for their baby so much that they’re willing to go through the heartbreak of placing their child into another woman’s arms. This kind of love is unmeasurable and sacrificial. It has layers. It is complicated, but it is deep.
- “I’ll never get to see my baby again.”
In years past, closed adoptions were very common. However, open adoption has proven to not only become more popular, but also more beneficial for the birth mother, adoptee, and adoptive parents1. In an open adoption, birth moms are able to communicate with their children, visit their children, and have an active role in their lives as they grow. Birth parents may not be the main parent in their child’s life, but they will still be able to have a relationship. A semi-open adoption allows for a bit more privacy as an agency or attorney will act as a “middle man” through communications and visits. This usually involves letters, pictures, and emails. Adoption agencies can help you find the best family for you and your child that will allow you to maintain whatever role you wish to have in your child’s life.
- “My baby will end up with a family that I do not approve of.”
Did you know that as the expectant mother, you get to choose who will parent your baby? When you decide to pursue adoption for your baby, the agency or attorney will provide you with profile books of hopeful adoptive parents and families. You are able to look through each book to explore what they enjoy, what their families are like, what their home and town are like, and how their days are spent. The profile books give you a glimpse into the lives of each hopeful adoptive parent to help you decide. You can be comforted in knowing that you have hand selected your baby’s new family.
- “I can’t go through an adoption without any support.”
Most reputable agencies today will have a hotline for you to call whenever you’re feeling alone, stressed, or worried about your adoption situation. They also offer post adoption counseling services to birth mothers, which may be very beneficial. A support system is very important, so if you do not have a friend or family member to talk to about your decisions, we highly recommend finding a counselor through your agency. As a Pregnancy Resource Center, we are also here to talk to you if you are considering adoption.
- “Isn’t adoption really expensive?”
Adoption does not come at a financial cost for expectant mothers. In fact, most agencies will cover your living expenses throughout your pregnancy, and for a few weeks afterwards. Your agency will also make sure that you receive quality medical and emotional care at no cost to you. Adoption is free for expectant mothers, making it the lowest cost-option available if you feel like you are not able to raise your child.
- “What if I want to change my mind?”
As an expectant mother, the truth is that until your baby is born and you sign the papers to terminate your parental rights- your baby is still yours alone. An adoption match or agreement is not legally binding, and you have every right to change your mind if you feel that you are able to parent after all. The laws vary between states, and your adoption agency can help you understand the legalities of this depending on the state you reside in. As an expectant mother, you deserve to be respected and loved, no matter what happens in the end.
If you’d like to discuss adoption more at one of our pregnancy centers, please contact us! We’d love to talk to you and help you understand more about this process, and can provide a list of reputable agencies that can help. We are here for you!