Many people in society think placing a child for adoption is an easy choice for the birth parents. These individuals don’t realize the amount of thought and anguish that likely went into this decision. The truth of the matter is that adoption is a lifelong commitment for the birth parents and the adoptive parents, but this commitment can help to improve the life of the child at the heart of the arrangement.
Birth parents need to take the time to make sure that they’re working on their own emotions during this process. Even after the adoption is finalized, they might need to readdress the emotional aspects of the adoption. Here are some points for birth parents to think about when they’re coping with the magnitude of this decision:
Make Sure the Decision Is Yours
Sometimes, birth parents are young, and their own parents are pushing the young parent-to-be to make decisions. Because adoption is such a serious and long-term decision, the parents of the unborn baby must ensure that they’re the ones who are making the choice to place the baby up for adoption. You don’t want to sign the paperwork for the adoption and then realize in a year, or any length of time, that you didn’t really want to do this.
Review Your Reason
No matter how old you are, you need to make sure that you are keeping your reasons at the front of your mind. For most birth parents, the key to this is to put the baby’s needs first. There are times when birth parents would love to try to raise the child, but they realize that they aren’t in the position to do so. It takes a lot of love for the baby to proceed with the adoption.
Prepare for Other People’s Reactions
Some people don’t think about what they’re saying. When people hear that you placed a baby up for adoption, they might make comments, like saying that you’re selfish for doing this. Getting through these situations can be challenging. It might help if you write out your reasons for the adoption so you can review them when people start saying insensitive things to you.
Seek Out Support
You’re going through a tough situation, but you aren’t alone. Even though your family members might not be able to understand exactly what you’re going through, there are others out there who’ve been in a similar position. Finding a support group, either online or in person, might help you when you need someone to chat with about the feelings you’re experiencing. It might also help you to be able to hear about what other people are experiencing.
Don’t Try to Rush
If you’re in a situation where you’re picking out the adoptive parents for your child, don’t rush. Make sure that you look at the available options to determine which family can meet your wishes and expectations. Some birth parents might feel rushed to make a decision, but this usually isn’t necessary. If you’re planning an open adoption, you might be able to discuss that situation with the prospective adoptive parents to see if you can work with them.
Set Your Expectations
The terms of the adoption can vary greatly. Make sure you know what type you want. Don’t settle for a closed adoption if you have your heart set on an open adoption. It’s important that you go into the arrangement with a clear set of expectations. If you aren’t sure about something, find out what options you have and determine which one is the best for your situation.
Prepare for Discussions
If you’re moving forward with an open adoption, you’ll likely have a discussion with the couple you might want to adopt your baby. Take the time to prepare for this. You might be surprised at how emotional you are when the time comes to have this talk. Prepare a list of questions so you can refer it during the discussion to ensure that the important things are answered. This might also help you to stay centered if you feel things are moving off track. Make sure that you can focus on the meeting when it’s going on so you can get the information you need.
Find Your Support System
You might be shocked at how emotional labor and delivery is when the time comes. You need to have a good support system with you in the hospital or birth center. The people who come to help you should be strong enough to support you and kind enough to help you when your emotions start to surface. Even though you might think you’ll want to be alone sometimes while you’re in the hospital, plan for around-the-clock support. It’s easier to let someone know you need a little time than it would be to find someone to come meet you at the last minute.
On top of the emotional aspects of the adoption, you also need to think about the legal aspects of it. Find out about your rights as a birth parent to ensure this is a decision you’re ready for. When you’re ready, contact one of the adoption specialists at Gulf Coast Adoptions to find out more about how we can help you.