Choosing adoption for yourself and your baby will be a life-altering decision. Many first-time moms don’t know what to expect or what will happen when they find out they are pregnant. If your have recently discovered you are expecting a baby but are unsure whether adoption is the right decision for you, there are some questions you should ask yourself.
These questions can help you sort out your feelings about adoption, but they can also help you start making a plan for yourself and for the other people who might be affected by your choice. Some of these questions may seem simple, while others may seem hard. But addressing them can help prepare you to make the decision to choose an adoptive family for your baby.
Is There Anyone Else in the Picture?
As a mother, the choice to place your baby in an adoptive home rests with you. However, there are other people who will be affected by that choice. Sometimes in the shock of trying to do what is best for your needs and for the needs of your baby, you may not initially realize this.
For example, if the father of the baby is still present in your life, you might want to consider his opinion on whether or not to pick an open or closed adoption. Every woman’s case is different.
If you are having trouble processing these complexities, ask a trusted family member to help you brainstorm who in your life would like to continue a relationship with your baby and whether or not you want those people to influence your decision for choosing a family and adoptive agreement.
Can I Communicate My Needs Without Help?
Many birth mothers do not know what their needs are or how to ask for the things they want. It’s best to find a person you trust to help you articulate your needs. This is especially important during your pregnancy and delivery. You may have questions or requests to make of your adoption agency or your doctor.
Sometimes, an agency will provide an advocate for you, but you can bring your own support person if that would make you more comfortable. You don’t have to navigate the entire experience by yourself.
On the other hand, some mothers enjoy the independence of approaching the entire situation without the influence of another person. What you decide to do is entirely up to you and your specific preferences and personality.
What Plans Do I Have for the Future?
One of the biggest concerns that birth mothers have when they discover they are pregnant is how the pregnancy and the baby will affect their future plans. When contemplating adoption, you want to make sure you’ve considered the variables of your life and how you can meet your personal goals.
You should also meet with a pro-bono lawyer or a social worker who can help you know what benefits there are available to young moms in your area. Choosing adoption may be the best choice for you, but you should also know what other resources you might have to rely on when making your choice.
Some plans for your future you might want to think about are:
- Whether or not you want to go to school. If you are in high school, you will want to consider how you might finish and graduate. Community or family support can make continuing education easier. If you hope to go to college, you should look into grants and scholarships that might be available to you.
- How you want to develop relationships with others, including your baby. Write down a vision of how you want your life to look in five years. What things might you need to do now in order to make that vision a reality?
- What employment options are available to you now. Some women already have work opportunities with local businesses. Others might not have had much job experience. Look into what jobs you might be able to pursue now and what career paths they could lead to.
These considerations might seem peripheral to the questions you might about adoption, but they are essential because when you choose adoption, you plan for two lives: yours and your child’s. You should not lose sight of yourself when making choices for the future.
How Do I Want to Handle the Time During Pregnancy?
When you’ve never been pregnant before, every experience and doctor’s appointment is new. However, as the mom, you have the power to choose what experience you want to have. You can choose which OBGYN you see and which procedures you agree to.
Take some time to think about the day-to-day aspects of pregnancy and how you want to handle them. Do you want to talk to the adoptive parents during pregnancy and let them know how things are going? Or would you want to keep the experience private? Do you want to continue life as usual, or do you want to spend more time in counseling and making preparations for life changes?
If you have trouble answering these or any other questions about unexpected pregnancy and adoption, contact us at A Child’s Dream.