Sometimes, the decision to place your baby for adoption can feel lonely. Even if you have friends and family who are supportive of your decision, it still may be hard for them to truly understand what you are going through. We asked our social workers what are some of the most important things they want expecting parents who are considering adoption to know during the different steps of the adoption process.
When Considering Adoption
You social worker is your advocate. They are there to help you make the decision you think is best, not to force your decision in any way.
Find the person in your life to lean on who will support you no matter what decision you make. This person may be a family member, best friend, therapist, coworker, or something else. You may need to “float” the idea of adoption first to determine their level of support about adoption before disclosing your plan but it is important to find support during this difficult time.
This is not a decision that you will enter into lightly. It is a life changing decision not only for your baby but also for you.
We know this is the hardest decision you will ever make.
You can be a part of your child’s life through open adoption. There are even some states that have enacted laws to make future contact agreements legally enforceable.
Our services to you cost nothing. We are here to help you any way we can.
No matter what you decide, whether it be to parent or to place for adoption, we understand and support your decision.
This is entirely your decision, don’t ever feel pressures in your decision by anyone. We are here to help and support you any way we can.
This will be such a bittersweet decision for you as the pain of letting go and the comfort in knowing your child has all you hoped for battle against one another.
Openness is a way to stay in touch with your child, see how they are growing up and even visit with them and make a connection throughout their childhood.
Putting your child’s needs before yours makes you selfless, not selfish.
Establish openness expectations if you are ready for that. That way a social worker can show you families that have similar openness hopes.
You can call us when you are 3 months pregnant, 8 months pregnant, at the hospital after delivering your baby, or even weeks or months later when you are thinking that adoption might be the best option.
We really do care about you and want to help you when you are struggling.
Time of Placement
Take it one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Each day will get just a little bit easier, but some days might feel especially difficult. During those times, rely on your support system and your social worker.
You control the hospital experience. This is your time to be with your baby. Your child won’t be taken from your arms as soon as you deliver. Feel free to spend all the time you want with your child.
You will find that you are often much stronger than you think and have much more courage than you will ever know until you are faced with a tremendously difficult decision.
Adoptive parents are filled with love, gratitude and ultimate respect for you.
It does get easier. Lean on us, that’s what we are here for.
Ask your social worker for resources to be able to connect with other birthmothers. They are the only ones who truly know and fully understand what you are going through and their support can be invaluable.
You have just made the ultimate sacrifice for the love of your child.
Even if you made a hospital plan, emotions and circumstances change and that’s ok. If you need time alone or more time with your baby or more or less time with the prospective adoptive family, just let us know. We are here to advocate for you and what you want.
Your child will always know that you wanted what was best for them.
It is ok if you change your mind and decide to parent. You are the only person who can decide what is best for you and the baby. Talk with your social worker. And although you may be worried about hurting the prospective adoptive parent’s feelings, you need to make this life-long decision for yourself. Their social worker will be there for them too. You don’t want to have regrets for not speaking up.
Many Years After Placement
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your child and his or her adoptive parents even if it has been a long time since you’ve last reached out. It is never too late to reach out!
We are always available. We can’t help you if you don’t reach out.
It is ok to be sad, it doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision it means you miss your child and that’s perfectly normal. The pain will often never disappear but does get better over time. There will be more and more “good” days as time passes but you will still have “bad” days too. Find your release (journaling, talking with friends, going through photos and updates) to help you get through them.
We still think of you. We are so proud of you as you grow and continue to reach your goals in life.
We are here for you to help you even years after placement. Anytime you want to know how your child is doing or would like to have pictures that the agency has held for you, just call us.
Write letters to your child telling him or her how you feel and how much you love them. It is important for your child to hear from you that you love them and think about them all the time and not just having their adoptive parents tell them that you do. Also send us any photos of you and other family members so that we can share them with your child.
Keep in contact with us and send us any updated contact information (phone and address) so that we can continue to update you about your child.
If now years later you have decided that you would like to receive pictures and updates, don’t hesitate to reach out to your social worker.
If you are struggling in any way in your open adoption relationship, contact us. We want to help you.