There is a lot of information around that tells you about the searching side of adoption. With more than 100,000 are adopted each year in America, the process of bringing a baby into your family has become streamlined.
But what about the other side, when a parent must make the difficult choice to give their baby up for adoption?
If you’re facing this decision, it’s a stressful time for you. These 12 facts about the adoption process on your end will clear up some confusion. Knowing your baby has the chance for a different life than you could offer might help you move forward.
The Facts About Adoption on the Other Side
You’ve probably heard that you’re not “giving up,” you’re giving your baby a chance for a better life. Even if that’s true, it’s still a hard thing to do, and that’s understandable.
It’s important for you to know that you have control of the adoption plan. It’s perfectly common to wait until you’re in the hospital, or you’ve given birth, or after you get home, before you make a decision!
There’s no age limit as to when it’s too late to change your mind. Life happens. But when you put your baby’s welfare first and offer them the opportunity for things you can’t provide at the time, it’s always a noble decision.
Keep these facts in mind while you consider adoption or go through the process:
- You can have a say in the parents that adopt your baby. Depending on the agency you work with, it’s possible for you to be part of the process when determining prospective parents. You can talk to them on the phone or meet with them, or have nothing to do with the selection at all. It’s up to you.
- You also get to be involved in determining the post-adoption relationship. It’s a common misconception that the birth parent is not allowed to see the baby after adoption. That actually depends on the post-adoption contact agreement.
This decision is between the birth parents and the adoptive parents. It determines how much communication there is after the adoption and how it is maintained. It also covers how much authority the birth parent has throughout the child’s life.
- Contact agreements are encouraged but not legally enforceable. The adopted baby is the priority of everyone involved. In a contact agreement, the terms are laid out as far as how the birth parent is going to be kept up-to-date with the child. However, these agreements can be modified or discontinued if either party breaks the terms.
- Going through an adoption agency minimizes your financial concerns. Some adoption agencies offer programs that cover your medical expenses for delivery and postpartum care. They also cover the legal expenses for an adoption attorney so you understand all of the paperwork and know what to expect.
- Your baby won’t stand out. In fact, studies show that at least one out of twenty-five families in the United States have adopted a baby.
The stigma of adoption began decades ago in a time that no longer exists. At that time, only married couples who couldn’t have children were allowed to adopt. Now, adoption is a respected route for both the birth parent and the adoptive parents.
- Race doesn’t always matter. If you’re concerned that your baby will not be adopted or treated well because of their race, you might be pleasantly surprised. Actually, around 40% of adopted babies have a different race than at least one of their adopted parents.
- Strict international adoption rules make your baby more in-demand. It’s more likely that your baby will be adopted since international rules have become more strict.
Babies or infants are, of course, preferred over children of other ages, but some prospective parents have been waiting to adopt for years.
- You can see the requirements that any potential adoptive parents must meet. Every state has its own laws regarding the guidelines and regulations in order for someone to adopt a baby.
But you are welcome to this information so you know that your baby will be in safe hands. How many adoptions are successful are often based on the screening of the prospective parents.
- Studies show that adoptive parents are more involved. Some studies have suggested that parents who adopt a baby or child are more likely to be significantly involved in their life.
Experts suggest that this could be a way to increase the bond between them to make up for the lack of a biological connection. Whatever the reason is, your baby will most likely be well taken care of.
- The birth father’s consent is not always necessary. When you work with an adoption agency, they can provide you with legal counsel. With their help, whether you need the father’s consent or not before you give your baby up for adoption will be determined.
- You’ll have someone helping you through each step. You can choose to go out on your own with a private adoption. But if you work with an agency, they will likely pair you with a specialist to guide you through every part of the process. You won’t be alone or without direction. Their job is to answer all your questions and prepare you for the next part of the adoption. If they can’t answer a question, they will point you to someone who can.
- Yes, you can hold your baby, but you don’t have to. Another common myth is that an adopted baby is removed from the birth mother before she has a chance to see the newborn. This is usually a decision discussed ahead of time, but you have the right to change your mind, too.
Hospital adoptions are a complex thing full of emotion. Your agency specialist will help you through this often difficult time, and you can choose to hold your baby or not see them at all – the control is yours.
It’s a Step in the Right Direction for Your Baby
A baby is a miracle and should be cherished and treasured, as well as kept safe. If, for any reason, you don’t think you can offer your baby stability, comfort, health, and the life you want for them, adoption might be the answer. It truly is the opportunity for you to ensure, as best as possible, that your baby has a happy, healthy life.