I speak with many young women each week who ask me how to give their baby up for adoption. I’m quick to offer new language for these women to think about and to describe their adoption choice.
I help them understand that the question they should ask isn’t how to give a baby up for adoption, but rather how to come up with a positive plan of action. It is the choice to do the best by your baby by making a loving and thoughtful plan for his or her happiness and well being.
In this article, I will describe a better way to think about your adoption choice. I will also give you a brief overview of the adoption process. Please read on to learn how this process works and feel free to contact us even if you aren’t sure adoption is right for you.
“Give a baby up for adoption” may not be the right language to describe your choice
When speaking of adoption, most of us are used to hearing people say babies are “given up for adoption” or “put up for adoption.” Some birth mothers I speak with talk about their adoption choice this way. I am a birth mother (read more about me), and when I went through the process, I never felt that I was giving up my son. The adoption I had in mind felt like something else, something more like “see you later” than “goodbye”, more like “I want what’s best for you,” not “I can’t be a parent and I’m giving up.” Here are some reasons to think of adoption as an adoption “placement” rather than thinking you’re “giving your baby up for adoption”:
- Making an adoption plan is a difficult, selfless, loving choice for your child if you are unable to parent or to provide the life you dream of for your child.
- Adoption requires a tremendous amount of strength and careful consideration on your part. It will likely be the most difficult thing you ever do. It was certainly the hardest thing I ever did, but it is absolutely the thing I am most proud of.
- Today, many adoptions are open. This means you will have the amount of contact you desire with the adoptive family both before and after your baby is born.
Work with an attorney (like me) versus an adoption agency
I find that many women don’t realize there are a lot of different adoption service providers to choose from. These include attorneys, adoption agencies, and facilitators. You have choices. Here are some reasons why women choose to work with me and my team:
- Adoption is a huge decision, maybe the most important you will ever make. The birth mothers I work with trust me because I am an experienced attorney who’s been though the process personally. They are confident that I will pay attention to every detail from start to finish and make the process smooth and easy. This way they can focus on getting to know the adopting family.
- There’s a lot of paperwork and details. My team excels at personalized service; two of my team members are adoptive moms who adopted their children through our law firm. They are here because they know firsthand how wonderful adoption can be for everyone involved. We love our work and genuinely enjoy working together. We are an experienced, compassionate, hard-working team of women available to you 24/7. We can answer all your questions without pressure or obligation as you decide whether adoption is right for you.
- I’ve been in your shoes. I am a birth mother. I can share my story with you and the insights I have gained over the past 25 years.
- We are great listeners. We will hear you and understand what you want for your baby and will help you find the perfect family for your child.
Our services are free to you and we can usually help with other expenses
All of my services are free to birth parents. The adoption will not cost you a penny. However, I find that some women need help covering other expenses. Many states, including California, allow birth mothers to receive financial assistance (if you call my office, we’ll find out if your state allows this!). Here are some of the expenses the adopting parents can help you with:
- Pregnancy related expenses such as maternity clothing, prenatal vitamins, and other out of pocket pregnancy costs.
- Living expenses can also be pregnancy related. This includes food, rent, utilities, phone and transportation.
- We can help you apply for medical insurance if you don’t have coverage. Adopting parents can reimburse you for any medical bills not covered by insurance. If you can’t get insurance, the adopting parents can cover the cost of the pregnancy.
- Counseling, if you choose to go, is also covered by adopting parents both before and after the birth of your baby.
Learn how the adoption process works: a very brief overview
My job is to make the adoption process as easy for you as possible. Your job is to be honest with me about who you are, what you want for this baby, and what support you need (both emotional and financial). You will need to complete a lot of paperwork, but you probably were expecting that. Here’s a very brief overview of the process. If you want to call me, I can give you a whole lot of detail:
- First step is for us to get to know each other. Call my office so we can talk about your situation, you can ask all your questions about adoption, get to know me and how I work. If you decide my services are good fit for you…
- Second step is for you to complete paperwork. This gives me more detailed information about who you are, your medical and social history, and what you are looking for in an adoption family. If you still think you want to move forward and you send this paperwork back to me….
- Third step is to start looking at some wonderful adoptive parents, reading their profiles and looking at photos, deciding who you might want to talk to on the phone and maybe even meet. If adoption still feels right, you will choose a family, get to know them, and talk about the contact you may want with them during your pregnancy and after the baby is born.
- Fourth step is to review the paperwork you will sign that becomes your consent to the adoption. You cannot sign this paperwork until after the baby is born and you are released from the hospital. We want you to take this time to confirm that adoption is still a good choice for you.
- The fifth and final step is to do the hard work of childbirth and to sign your paperwork after you are released from the hospital.
(Read more about the adoption process)
What about the baby’s father…an even briefer overview
Birth father rights vary from state to state. We are experts in working with, dealing with, and handling birth fathers. If you want to know more detailed information about birth father rights, click the link below. Keep in mind that we may be able to work with you on an adoption plan even if:
- You aren’t sure who the birth father is
- The birth father doesn’t support your adoption plan
- You don’t think the birth father will consent to the adoption (his cooperation may not be required…call my office to learn more)
- Your husband is not the baby’s father