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Adoption in the United States

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Adoption in the United States Even though it may not be the right time for a birthmother to raise a baby, she could help another family fulfill their lifelong dream to have a baby. Although adoption may be the right decision for her to make for her and her baby, adoption is a forever decision. The birthmother can contact an adoption professional in her state and explore adoption as the right decision for her and her baby. What is Adoption? Adoption is a legal decision that gives the right for someone else to raise a child. The birthmother gives up her rights as the legal parent of her child (Adopt Florida, 2002). Adoption is also considered to be a loving act of caring for a child. The birthparent(s) can choose for another family to raise their child out of love for their child. Working together, the birthparent(s) and the adoptive parents will make a plan in the best interest of the child (American adoptions, 2009). Adoption is not foster care, rather, a permanent placement for a child. Do not rush into adoption without fully understanding and exploring other choices (Adoption Network, 2003-2010). Although adoption may be the right decision for the birthmother to make, adoption is a forever decision. Whether the birthmother is single or married, she may believe that her relationship is not stable enough to raise a child or cannot care for a child (American Adoptions, 2009). Every reason to choose adoption is unique. To make adoption a decision can be very difficult. It may take strength and courage to go through the adoption process and to make this important decision. Why Adoption? Some pregnant women choose adoption for a variety of reasons. They want to make the best decision for them and for their child. Give to her child what they cannot at this point in her life (Adoption network, 2003-2010). Women are putting their baby’s needs ahead of their own needs for the love of their child. They are deciding to give their child everything that they cannot at this time in her life. Women want to have a stable relationship, a two parent home for their child to be raised in. Adoptive parents can provide this for the child because they are financially secure and have been waiting on a child to adopt. Women are realizing that their current life/life style is not the best for their child and do not want to have to struggle day-to-day. Some women do not have a supportive family to help raise a child and they cannot do it alone without support financially and emotionally. Women find themselves not ready to raise a child and believe that adoption is the best decision for them to make for them and their child (American adoptions, 2009). These are just some reasons that pregnant women decide that adoption is the best decision for them to make. Every woman has her own reason to choose adoption. Different Types of Adoption There are different types of adoption. Sometimes the adoption process can be confusing for the birthmother. She may be unaware of what type of adoption is best for her and her baby.
The birthmother has a choice to choose which adoption type will be best for her and her baby (American adoptions, 2009). Closed Adoption In a closed adoption, the records of the birthmother are sealed. The birthmother is not involved in the adoptive parent’s life. She will not have the choice to choose the parents for her child. She will not know them and they will not know her. Privacy can be a factor in a closed adoption. A closed adoption can feel like a sense of closure for the birthmother (American Adoptions, 2009). Open Adoption An open adoption is the sharing of information and contact between the birthmother and the adoptive parents. This can occur during or after the placement of the child. The birthmother can keep in contact with the child through letters, phone calls, e-mails, and regular scheduled visitations. This is done by carefully creating a plan that fits to both the birthmother and the adoptive parent’s needs and expectations. The needs of the child must be considered as well. This may seem like the perfect solution but not in every situation. The birthmother must consider that this is to be done out of the love for the child (American Adoptions, 2009). Semi-open Adoption A semi-open adoption is similar to a closed adoption. In a semi-open adoption, information is shared between the adoptive parents and the birthmother. The birthmother may send pictures, letters, and cards to the child. This is done directly through an agency or through an attorney. She will not have any face-to-face visitations with the child (American Adoptions, 2009). The consideration to choose the right type of adoption that is the best for the birthmother and child is hers to make. The birthmother has the opportunity to choose which type of adoption will be the best to make for her and her baby (American Adoptions, 2009). The Process of Adoption Once a woman realizes that she is pregnant and this is an unplanned pregnancy, her emotions can run very deeply. She may feel confused, lonely, and like she has nowhere to turn. This doesn’t have to be the issue. There is help for her to make adoption her decision (Adoption Network 2003-2010). She should come to her emotions and gather all information for adoption in her state and explore adoption as a choice for her and her baby. This may help start the birthmother off to explore adoption as an option for her and her baby: Step 1: Initial Contact The birthmother should work with a professional that is trustworthy and that she feels comfortable with. This will make all the difference. If she trusts the person who is willing to help her make adoption the decision she chooses, she will not feel so alone in this forever decision. The birthmother can contact a specialist in her state and explore adoption with them. The contact with the professional is kept confidential (American Adoptions, 2009). Step 2: Information Packet The birthmother can receive helpful information on the adoption process either by mail or e-mail along with forms to be filled out about her. These forms are similar to medical background information. This is the same information provided to a doctor at doctor visits. This information is confidential. By filling these forms out, the birthmother is not committing to adoption just yet. She is just exploring adoption as an option and creating an adoption plan. She is not signing any legal adoption paperwork (American Adoptions, 2009). Step 3: Create an Adoption Plan If the birthmother has explored all her options, and adoption is the decision she has made for her and her child, she can contact an adoption professional and create an adoption plan that is best for her and her child. The following is a good way to start the adoption plan. The birthmother can ask questions (American Adoptions, 2009).
• Can she choose the family for her child?
• Can she meet the adoptive parents?
• Which type of adoption should she choose for her and her child?
• How can she afford to take care of herself and her baby during pregnancy?
• What if she needs housing or living arrangements?
• How can she get face-to-face counseling during and after the adoption process? (American Adoptions, 2009). These are just some questions the birthmother may be asking herself. She can ask all the questions to the adoption professional that will be helping her through this process. They are here to help the birthmother feel comfortable and safe during this process (American Adoptions, 2009). Step 4: When the baby is Born When it is time for the baby to born, the adoption professional will review the adoption plan that was created. This is to make sure that everything is correct to the adoption plan. The birthmother’s emotions will be felt at this time and the adoption professional will prepare her for what to expect from here and to make sure her wishes if any, are done at the hospital. Some women may wish to have some time alone with the baby once the baby is born. Some women wish to have the adoptive parents in the delivery room while giving birth. This is to have the adoptive parents experience the birth of their adoptive baby (American Adoptions, 2009). Whatever the birthmother’s wish, she needs to make sure the adoption professional knows of her wishes (American Adoptions, 2009). Step 5: Adoptive Placement After the baby is born, it is time for final placement for the baby. As long as the birthmother is still comfortable with the adoption plan that was created with the adoption professional, this is where the baby will be placed with the adoptive parents. The baby will be placed with the adoptive parents upon discharge of the hospital. This can be a difficult and emotional time for the birthmother. She needs to understand that her feelings are normal and expected. But most of all she needs to understand and remember why she chose adoption. The adoption professional is here to help her through this time and to make sure that she is comfortable (American Adoptions, 2009). The signing of the legal adoption documents is also done at the time of placement. Step 6: Post Adoption Services It is important to stay in touch with the adoption professional after the placement of the baby. Over the next few days or months, the birthmother may experience many different emotions. The adoption professional can help her better understand and help her process these emotions. It is important for the birthmother to continue getting support from the adoption professional. The birthmother can get counseling and support by joining a support group with other birthmothers who have chosen adoption as their decision for them and their child. (American Adoptions, 2009). Now that adoption has been explored as an option for the birthmother, she wants to remember if adoption is her choice for her and her baby, adoption is a forever decision. The birthmother should create an adoption plan that is right for her and her baby.

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