Keeping My Family Close

Unplanned Pregnancy: 3 Ways That Today's Adoptions Help Birth Mothers Feel In Control Of Their Child's Placement

When you discover you have an unplanned pregnancy, it may cause you to feel as if you have lost control of your life. Your body is no longer yours alone, you may have to put important plans on hold indefinitely, or you're already struggling to raise a family.

The good news is that today's adoption landscape gives you back control of your situation. You are in charge of the outcomes as much as you wish to be. Here are 3 ways:

You can choose private adoption.

Although state adoption laws vary, there are normally two types of adoptions. Private adoptions are conducted by an adoption agency or an adoption attorney. Adoptions handled by your state's representatives, such as its department of child welfare, are the second kind of adoption.

Depending on your circumstances, you should be free to choose a private adoption as long as you are healthy and not abusing drugs or alcohol during the pregnancy. A private adoption means that you, not a judge or a social worker, decides how your adoption will be handled, giving you back control of your future.

You can have open or closed adoptions.

Again, laws vary from state to state, but in private adoptions, you can create the adoption scenario you wish to see. Many birth mothers desire to maintain contact with their children after they place them for adoption. Other mothers want a clean break and no contact for their own and the child's benefit. Whichever path you choose for your own adopted child, the control is in your hands.

You may normally stipulate that you be allowed to visit your child periodically and receive updates. Some birth and adoptive parents end up in regular contact texting and sharing videos. You can receive correspondence-only updates a few times a year, handled through the birth agency or adoption attorney--if you wish to retain your anonymity. This option gives you the reassurance that your child is happy and well without a more intimate relationship.

Or you can choose to have a completely closed adoption where neither the birth mother or the adoptive family have any contact after the adoption is finalized. Some laws do allow the adoptive child to have access to records in certain circumstances, but your adoption attorney or agency will help you formulate a plan that accommodates the legal requirements.

You may choose the adoptive family.

You have control over who adopts your baby.

For a private adoption, you will be asked about the qualities you wish your child's new parents to have. Income, occupation, and religious beliefs may all be taken into account.

Many agencies and adoption lawyers have books that show pictures and details about families who wish to adopt a newborn baby. You can select families to meet with in person before you finalize a choice.

When you are able to meet with the potential adoptive parents before selecting a family to raise your baby, it gives you the reassurance that the child you carry will be loved and raised by good people that you trust.

Birth mothers are heroes who turn their mistakes into blessings for other families. Today's adoptions reflect that sentiment and put control back in the birth mother's hands.

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