It can be really shocking to discover you are pregnant again not long after placing your baby for adoption. You may experience a roller coaster of emotions: shock, shame, happiness, sadness, anxiety, fear. Keep in mind, just because you went down the path of adoption once before doesn’t mean it’s the right choice this time too. You will need to examine your current situation to decide what is right now. Sometimes women choose to place and sometimes they choose to parent. The decision is up to you.
Your social worker is always there for you, even if you just want to talk out your options. A social workers’ role is not to pass judgment, but rather to provide support and encouragement for you to feel empowered about your decision making. Your social worker will be there for you in support as you face this difficult decision no matter what you ultimately decide.
Amanda Aliberti, an adoption counselor for Adoptions From The Heart, explains …
The fact that a woman I’ve worked with before feels comfortable enough to reach back out to discuss her second or even third unplanned pregnancy, shows the comfort level that was established between us. Trust is extremely important when counseling a woman or a man about their options with unplanned pregnancies.
Working with a birthmother who is expecting and planning to place again shows that she felt supported during her first adoption plan. Many women feel a sense of comfort their second time knowing what the process looks like and what they can expect. This does not diminish how difficult making the decision is. It is still a very hard decision to make but feeling secure with the agency you are working with takes away some of the stress of the process.
During my initial counseling of a second time expecting parent, I always make sure to discuss how they feel about their first adoption plan and their open adoption relationship. I also ask if there is anything they would like to see done differently this time around. Part of that conversation is discussing the option of reaching out to the adoptive family they placed with previously. Many times, a birthparent feels a sense of ease with the idea of possibly placing their child in the same home with a sibling or half-sibling. I’m sure to explain that not all families are ready or wanting to continue to grow their family, but that reaching out to these adoptive families is always an option.
Contacting the Sibling’s Adoptive Family
Making that call to an adoptive family and letting them know their child’s birth parent is pregnant and considering making another adoption plan is life changing.
Amanda explains further…
I realize I am catching the adoptive parents “off guard,” but after our initial conversation, families are always appreciative that we made that call to them first. Deciding whether you want to proceed with adopting again, specifically from your child’s birthmother, is always a very encompassing decision. There is a lot of thought that must go into this decision, but ultimately a family needs to do what is right for them. Part of their commitment to open adoption in raising that first child, is being able to be the best parents, emotionally, physically and financially. That was a promise that these parents made to their child’s birth parents.
Building your family with additional children is a responsibility, and one that must not take lightly. I firmly believe that all families that are presented with the idea of taking in a sibling or half sibling of their adopted child, would most certainly want to keep the children together.
However, there is much respect given to adoptive families who really take time to consider all of pieces that come with building their family. There is a lot to consider. There are circumstances where it isn’t the best fit and families need to decline. In my experience, birth parents really do understand if the family is not in the place to take in another child. They want the best for all of their children and know that our agency will still be able to provide good, loving families as options for placement. In the event that children are placed in separate families, our social workers are sure to connect the families so that the children can still have a relationship with each other.
Remembering that One Special Call
I will never forget making that phone call to an adoptive mother. It was coincidentally, the birthday of her first child who was adopted through our agency when I called her to tell her that her child’s birth mother was pregnant again and was hoping she might consider adopting again. Emotions were high, and tears of happiness came streaming down her face. Within a matter of a few moments, she responded over and over …“of course, or course I will take him… I will do whatever I have to allow these amazing boys to stay together.” She prepared herself financially, emotionally and mentally over the next couple of months. She returned to Delaware to witness the miraculous birth of another little boy. In addition to her social worker, her son’s adoptive mother was the only support that the birth mother had. Their bond strengthened through the process.
It was a magical time and one that I, as their social worker, will never forget. Making that phone call truly changed the lives of everyone involved and set the course for an amazing future for these brothers.