Adoption for Your Baby
Deciding whether to raise your baby or make an adoption plan with a loving two-parent family can be a difficult decision, filled with many churning emotions. Each year over 50,000 women in America make this choice. This loving decision is often made by women who first thought abortion was their only way out. Other people in your life may have strong opinions about what you should do – and you many find yourself changing your mind daily. In the end, however, you are the only one who should decide who can do the best job of raising your baby. Before you make a decision, you owe it to yourself – and your baby – to get all the facts about adoption.
Let’s look at some of the concerns and questions typically expressed by unmarried pregnant women and teens:
"Where do I begin?"
The first step is simply to be educated and informed about the adoption process. Your LifeCare Adoption Coordinator will take time to give you accurate adoption information and answer all the questions you may have.
"If I contact an adoption agency to inquire information, won’t I be making a commitment to release my baby for adoption?"
No, not at all. Our Adoption Coordinator will act as your advocate in meeting with an agency to assist you in explaining the different adoption options, what the process is and how they screen prospective adoptive parents. You are encouraged to ask all the questions you need to. The truth is that the more information you get (no matter what you decide in the end), the more likely you are to make the right decision.
"If I choose to release my baby for adoption, people will talk about me."
So, what else is new? Since people are going to talk no matter what, give them something admirable to talk about – make it clear that you chose to think of your baby’s best interests! Adoption is truly a heroic act – an act of sacrificial love!
"I don’t want my baby to be raised by strangers. What if weird, horrible people get my baby?"
Stop for a moment and consider this truth: The only people who have to jump through any hoops to "qualify" for parenthood are adoptive parents! The screening procedures for prospective adoptive parents are so tough that they most always include extensive interviews, paperwork, home visits, criminal background checks and psychological screening. With so many qualified couples waiting for birthmothers to choose them, you can be quite selective about the parents you pick for your child, and you can even get to know them personally so that you can trust them with the life of your child.
"I just can’t afford to carry my baby."
Many adoption plans include financial assistance with your prenatal and childbirth expenses. Most adoptive parents can provide your baby with the security and advantages that children raised by a two-parent family offers.
"Why is a two-parent family so important for my child?"
Statistically, adopted children have stronger identities and self-esteem than children raised by single mothers. The realities of single motherhood mean that your opportunities for dating, marriage, higher education, good jobs and a comfortable standard of living may be severely limited. Adoption saves your child from the all-too-frequent damage that comes from being raised in a fatherless home. Think about this: Children in families without fathers are two to three times more likely to abuse drugs, 70% of long-term inmates grew up fatherless and girls without a father in the home are more likely to get pregnant before marriage. Dads do make a difference!
"What is an open adoption plan?"
If you choose an open adoption plan, you not only can choose your baby’s adoptive parents, you can get to know them and stay informed about where (and how) your baby is. Depending on the specific arrangement that you and the adoptive parents agree to, you can have varying degrees of communication and contact as your baby grows up. In the meantime, you can move forward with your life trusting that your child is being loved and well cared for.
"My parents disapprove of an adoption plan. They say they will help me raise my baby."
As wonderful as your parents may be (or not be), they are not the ones who will have the ultimate responsibility for raising your baby. They may have their own parenting flaws and may actually be relieved if you make the decision that "gives you back your life" while giving your child the life you desire for him or her. There also aren’t many middle-aged parents who want to go through the entire process of child-rearing again! Ultimately, remember this: You are the mother of this baby, and it is you – not your parents, friends or the baby’s father – who should make the final decision.
"If I keep my baby, maybe my baby’s father will marry me, stay with me or come back."
Babies rarely have that effect on guys . . . especially guys who have sex with you before saying "I do." It’s not the baby’s job to turn some guy who’s possibly self-centered, immature, and irresponsible into your ideal partner. Statistically, you are much more likely to meet and marry the right one for you later on (and avoid another out-of-wedlock pregnancy) if you release your baby to loving adoptive parents than you are if you choose single motherhood.
"I could never give up my baby."
The majority of women and teen girls in your situation feel the same way at first. However, rarely does an unmarried pregnant woman or teen stop to consider the tremendous cost and responsibility of choosing single motherhood. Successful parenting, while rewarding, is also very demanding, even for two-parent families. It requires a great deal of time, self-sacrifice and financial expense. Almost without exception, birthmothers who choose an adoptive family for their baby later say it was the right decision. Of course, you will experience grief temporarily, but you will be supported by caring counselors and the knowledge that you made the best decision for your baby.
"Neither option sounds easy. Abortion would be the easiest."
You are right about one thing: There are no "easy outs" in this situation. However, one of the biggest lies ever is that abortion is an "easy solution." It’s anything but easy for your baby, and you will suffer emotional consequences; research shows that post-abortive women are much more likely to experience infertility, future pregnancy complications and various kinds of cancer later in life.
Whether or not you choose adoption, we are here to encourage and support you in any way we can.
We truly care about you and your baby – you are not alone!