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Get Advice on How to Pick the Perfect Parents for Your Baby

Pregnant woman tries to pick the perfect parents for her babyLots of women ask us how to pick the right adoptive family. The answer is different for everyone, but it always starts with asking yourself what’s important to you. This will help you choose a family that best matches your wants and dreams for your baby.

If you’re worried about whether your baby will be safe with the adoptive couple, know that Lifetime Adoption only works with families who are approved to adopt a baby in the U.S. Every one of our adoptive families have been pre-screened, had their backgrounds checked, and have proven they’re emotionally, physically, and financially equipped to provide a safe, stable, and loving home for your baby.

Here are 5 practical tips to follow as you search for the perfect parents for your baby:

1. Don’t Rush Yourself

While you might like to find a family during your pregnancy so you can begin getting to know them, make sure to take your time in finding a couple who is the right match for you and your baby. Don’t feel like you have to rush into a decision because your due date is approaching. You’re able to choose a family after your baby is born, too. It’s never too late!

2. Consider Open Adoption

If you want to have a very open adoption relationship, you might want to view families who have already adopted and have an ongoing relationship with their child’s birth mother. When you see a couple who remain in contact with their child’s birth mother, it’s a good sign that they’d be willing to have an open adoption relationship with you as well.

3. Remain Flexible

You won’t know exactly how much and what type of post-adoption contact you’ll want until you’ve placed your baby with his or her adoptive parents. During the planning stages of the adoption, some women feel like they’d like to visit with the adoptive family twice a year. But after placement, they decide that once a year is enough. It’s important to have an adoptive family who is open to that possibility and willing to be flexible. You might want to talk with the adoptive couple about leaving some room for flexibility in your post-adoption contact.

4. Talk to More Than One Couple

You might wish to speak with more than one adoptive family, even if it is just for comparison. It’s your right to talk to more than one couple if you want to. Some birth mothers know right away that the adoptive family they’ve selected is the perfect fit. Others want to talk to several adoptive couples to compare. This helps them make sure that their top pick is really the right family.

5. Trust Your Intuition

If you start to see “red flags” at any time that this might not be the right family for your baby, do something about it. Let your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime know of your doubts. In the matching phase of your adoption planning, you’re not obligated to any one couple. If you start to feel uncomfortable, speak up and think about choosing another family.

How to Bring Truth to These 4 Common Adoption Myths

Join Lifetime as we shed light on 4 common adoption myths!“Wow, I thought adoption was super-expensive, how did you afford it?”

“Aren’t you worried that her birth mother will come to take her back?”

“Don’t you want a baby of your own?”

Upon telling your family and friends you’re adopting, you may have gotten asked questions like these, followed by looks of concern. Even though they just want what’s best for you, ignorant questions like these prove that they don’t fully understand how modern adoption works.

In movies and TV shows, we often see an inaccurate picture of adoption, one that’s full of drama. As a result, many are led to believe the adoption stories they watch in the media are typical of real-life adoptions.

Lifetime encourages you to educate family and friends with the truth to these 4 commonly-believed adoption myths:

1. “You have to be rich if you want to adopt.”

While adoption can be expensive, it doesn’t mean that wealthy celebrities are the most common adoptive parents. Most adoptive families are ordinary, middle-class people.

Adoption costs vary, with international adoption being the most expensive. So, there’s a type of adoption to meet every budget. For those who pursue domestic adoption, the adoption tax credit can compensate for most of your expenses. Every hopeful adoptive parent’s situation is different, so it’s a matter of determining the type of adoption that works best for you. Many adoptive couples budget, fundraise, and save in order to afford adoption, and there’s also the adoption tax credit, which helps defray adoption costs.

2. “The birth parents can just come by and reclaim their child!”

In reality, after the adoption is final, birth parents aren’t able to reclaim their child. Up to the point that they sign papers relinquishing their parental rights, which can be 24 hours or longer depending on their state laws, they can change their minds.

But this is no longer the case once the adoption is final. At that point the adoption becomes final, you are the child’s legal parents. You may have heard adoptive families called “forever families,” and that’s because adoption truly is forever.

3. “Most birth mothers are irresponsible teenagers.”

The truth is that birth mothers are a variety of ages within range of childbearing years. We have helped birth mothers anywhere from their teens up to their forties, but most birth mothers we support are in their twenties and thirties. Rather than focus on birth mothers’ age and situation, we encourage you to share that birth mothers are women who make a decision so their baby can have opportunities they are unable to provide.

4. “It’s hard to develop a relationship with a child you’re not biologically related to.”

Adoptive parents, like biological parents, develop a deep and lasting bond with their child. If you ask any adoptive parent, they’ll tell you that there’s no difference in the love they have for a biological or an adopted child. The child they adopted is their “own,” despite the fact they didn’t give birth. Love, not biology, is what creates a family!

5 Major Reasons Why Women Choose Adoption

What are the reasons why women choose adoption?When you’re facing an unexpected pregnancy and thinking about adoption for your baby, you might have a lot of questions. One of your questions might be “what are the reasons why women choose adoption for their baby?”

Making an adoption plan is a personal decision, one which every woman needs to make on her own. The fact is that women choose adoption out of love for their baby. By making an open adoption plan, they’re placing their child’s needs and interests before their own.

Today, we’re sharing 5 of the most common reasons why women choose open adoption:

1. Power over their adoption plan

Today, birth parents have a lot of control in creating and planning for their child’s adoption. They’re able to look at as many adoption profiles as they’d like and select the perfect adoptive parents for their baby. Also, birth parents can talk with the adoptive couple of their choosing, to get to know them better.

2. Not ready to become a parent

There’s no doubt about it: having a child will change your life forever. Some women aren’t prepared to become a parent, so they explore other choices.

3. Wants to give her child more opportunities

If she’s struggling to make ends meet or is in an unstable relationship, a woman might conclude that this isn’t the right time to bring a child into her life.

By making an open adoption plan, she can place her baby into a safe and stable home, with loving adoptive parents who are ready and equipped to parent her baby.

4. Desire for a two-parent family

Lots of women choose adoption because they want their child to grow up with two parents. Particularly if they’re no longer in a relationship with their baby’s father, a two-parent adoptive family is what they’re looking for. Through modern adoption, a birth mother can provide her child with the type of future she desires.

5. Wants to continue having a relationship with her child

It used to be that adoption meant goodbye forever for birth parents, and they never heard about their child again after signing adoption papers. Today’s adoptions happen much differently. We recognize that children need to know where they came from and who they are. By choosing open adoption, a birth mother can stay in her child’s life. The adoptive family of her choosing sends updates through emails, letters, photos, and social media posts. And, there’s also the option for visits once or twice a year!

While each woman will have her own reasons for choosing adoption, it all comes down to what’s best for your child. Before you make a decision, we encourage you to learn all you can about adoption. We can help you do that; just call Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784.

Lifetime can help you obtain free, third-party counseling and connect you with a peer counselor too. A peer counselor is a woman who’s made an adoption plan already, so she knows where you’re at. By chatting with her, you can make an informed decision about adoption.

Call or text Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784 to learn more, so that you can decide if open adoption is right for you.

Why is Open Adoption So Wonderful?

“Hi, my husband and I are hoping to adopt a baby after enduring several failed attempts to conceive. As I do research online, I’ve been seeing the term ‘open adoption’ a lot. But we are worried that the birth mother would just be dropping by our house unannounced all the time. Does this really happen? I guess I’m really asking, what makes open adoption so great?”
 

Peter and Helen were blessed by open adoption!

Lifetime adoptive couple Peter and Helen were
blessed by open adoption!

Great question! Often, when you’re new to adoption, the idea of an open adoption can seem daunting. Open adoption gives your child security as they grow and start to ask questions about their heritage and origins. If you have an open adoption relationship with your child’s birth mother, you’ll be better equipped to answer their questions. It will help you maintain and celebrate your child’s connections with all the important people in his or her life.
 
It also serves as a comfort to your child’s birth family, with the knowledge that they chose a family for their baby. They’re able to know and see their child grow up, through the emails, letters, videos, and photos that you send them. Some adoption relationships even include in-person visits once or twice a year. The birth family can have peace of mind in knowing that their child is happy and thriving, and enjoying the life they hoped and prayed for.
 
Open, modern adoption empowers you, the adoptive parents, as you raise your child. It equips you with knowledge about your child’s birth family and their family’s medical history. When you have your home study, your social worker will educate you on the many positive features of open adoption. You can also discuss which type of contact arrangement you’re most comfortable with. It’s important to be honest and open with your adoption professional about the type of relationship you envision with the birth family. Then, you’ll be able to build a relationship with your child’s birth mother that’s authentic and truthful!

Here are some recommended resources to check out:

7 of the Most Frequently-Asked Questions About Open Adoption

Adoptive Couple Jesse and Alicia’s Adoption Story

How to Build a Relationship With Your Baby’s Birth Mom

Adoption Webinar: An Adoptive Mom and Birth Mom’s Stories

Adoption Webinar: Questions Most Asked About Open Adoption

Start your adoption journey today, by filling out Lifetime Adoption Agency’s free online application!

Hoping to Expand Your Family With a Second Adoption?

Discover how Lifetime Adoption Agency can help you with a second adoption!

James and Kellie adopted their first child through Lifetime in 2014…

Are you thinking about adopting another baby? After experiencing the joys of parenthood, many couples hope to expand their family by adopting a second time. Lifetime would love to help you adopt again!

Many of Lifetime’s birth mothers are looking for experienced adoptive parents. Adoptive couples who have already adopted a child know the ins and outs of open adoption, because they’re currently in this type of relationship with their child’s birth mother. And this is something that’s very attractive to prospective birth moms.

Today, we’re providing info on how you can expand your family through the blessing of a second adoption!

James and Kellie's children, all adopted through Lifetime Adoption Agency!

…and adopted twin boys through
Lifetime last year!

A More Streamlined Adoption Process

As an experienced adoptive parent, you have much to offer that is appreciated by adoption agencies. You have already created an adoption profile, had a home study, and completed the necessary paperwork for your first adoption. With this experience, those first steps in your adoption journey should be much more streamlined and prompt for your second adoption. As seasoned adoptive parents, you’ll already have significant experience by having been through the meticulous preparation and assessment process.

Greater Need for Experienced Adoptive Families

Lifetime Adoption Agency has seen an increase in birth mothers seeking a couple who has already adopted. We have come to find that birth mothers want a couple who have already adopted and is prepared to match. Due to the couple’s experience with the adoption match with their first child’s birth parents, they’re able to develop a relationship with birth parents more easily.

“When I decided to adopt out my baby, I was looking for a couple who would stay in touch afterward. I chose a couple who had just adopted their daughter a couple of years ago. I read in their adoption profile that they had visits with their daughter’s birth mom once a year and would like an open adoption with me, too. Right when I read that, I knew they were the perfect couple for my baby,” says a Lifetime birth mother.

Besides your experience with open adoption, your practice with parenting an adopted child makes you valuable to birth mothers. You’re already experienced in approaching the unique concerns involved in raising adopted children.

Aspects to Consider

It’s easy to see why many couples adopt again: they’re able to fulfill their dream family structure and give their child a sibling! Before you seek a second adoption, we encourage you to consider aspects like your child’s age, your family structure, and possible expenses. If you think you’d like to adopt again, make sure to take into account how this will affect your current children.

Before you consider adopting again, it’s important to give your child plenty of time to feel secure in your family. Many adoption agencies suggest that you’ve had at least a year to adapt to living together as a family before thinking about another adoption.

Let Us Help You Adopt a Second Time!

If you feel that God is nudging you toward bringing another child into your heart and your family, we’d love to help you adopt again! You can reach Lifetime Adoption Agency at 1-877-383-6847 if you have questions. We look forward to chatting with you about how we can help you build your family through a Lifetime Adoption.

Take the first step by filling out our free online application! Our application is the best place to begin, or restart, the adoption conversation with Lifetime Adoption Agency:

Apply to adopt today!

Can I Hide My Adoption Plans?

Can I hide my adoption plans?If you’re pregnant and making an adoption plan for your baby, it’s great to have a reliable support system. However, some women don’t have any support to lean on throughout their adoption process. Some pregnant women ask “can I hide my adoption plans?”

Adoption is such a personal decision, and one that’s not easy to make. It’s important to know that you shouldn’t hide your plans of adoption from your baby’s father. After all, he’s this child’s parent too. If you’re uncomfortable telling him or if you’re scared for your safety, Lifetime can help you share the news with him. Or, we can contact an adoption attorney who can give suggestions on how to proceed.

Today, Lifetime is sharing info about confidential adoptions.

What’s a Confidential Adoption?

In a confidential, closed adoption, the birth mother chooses to keep her identity private. In a closed adoption, she has no contact with the adoptive family during or after the adoption process.

Some women who have wished to keep their adoption plans hidden from certain friends or relatives have created a closed adoption to help them keep their privacy. Even though most modern adoptions today are open or semi-open, you can still choose a closed adoption. But closed adoption does come with challenges. Your child may grow up not knowing your identity, and without a way to contact you in the future.

Hiding Your Pregnancy and Choosing Confidential Adoption

Some women can hide their growing bellies easier than others. They wear certain clothing or avoid people they don’t want to know the news. Keeping your pregnancy hidden might be difficult, but it can be done. Women may choose make a confidential adoption plan to:

  • Avoid a verbally or physically abusive relationship
  • Find support from family members or friends in another location
  • Hide their adoption plan from specific family members or friends, for various reasons.

In some situations, there are advantages to a confidential adoption. For women in an abusive situation, keeping adoption confidential may be important to protect both her and her baby. In other situations, women can avoid conflict with unsupportive friends or family members.

Disadvantages to Closed Adoptions

It’s important to know what the challenges are with a closed adoption before you consider this option. If you hide your pregnancy, you might have a difficult time getting the services you need, like prenatal care and adoption counseling. Plus, if you hide the fact that you’re making an adoption plan from your baby’s father, it can prevent the adoption from happening.

If you keep your adoption under wraps from your friends and family members, you’d miss out on their support during (and after) the adoption placement. Keeping such a significant life decision a secret in the long-term can be very emotionally challenging. It can make it more difficult to process emotions of grief and loss after placement. Because of these reasons, Lifetime recommends a closed adoption only if it is necessary for the safety of yourself and your child.

Why Should I Share My News?

Even though it might seem impossible now, telling just a few select friends or family members about your adoption plan may actually be a comfort to you. You may be surprised to find that they’re genuinely supportive of your confidential adoption plan, not disappointed in you.

But not everyone feels comfortable sharing the news of their pregnancy and adoption plans. If this sounds like your situation, we can help you learn how to best share about your pregnancy.

If you’re pregnant and thinking about a confidential adoption plan for your baby, know that Lifetime respects your privacy. We’ll provide all of the services, support, and guidance you need while keeping your adoption plan confidential.

Call us anytime at 1-800-923-6784 for free information. Your call is completely confidential and doesn’t obligate you to continue with an adoption plan.

How to Find Out If You’re Both Ready to Adopt

Communicate openly with your spouse to find if you're both ready to adoptYour decision to adopt a baby probably didn’t happen overnight. Most couples take weeks, months, or years to move from fertility treatments to adoption. It’s important that you make sure you’re ready to adopt before you start the adoption process.

Today, Lifetime shares three basic requirements you should meet before signing on with an adoption professional:

1. You’ve Moved on from Infertility

So that your adoption can be successful, the decision must be fully embraced by both of you.

People handle stressful situations and grieve differently. So, it’s common for one spouse to be ready to adopt and the other to be uncertain.

Allow your spouse fully grieve failed fertility treatments, and the dream of having a child biologically, so that they can move through the grief and loss process at their own pace. If one of you isn’t fully ready to move to adoption, it might lead to complications during the adoption process down the road. Neither of you should feel pressured into adopting just because the other one is ready.

We encourage you to see an infertility counselor or a marriage and family counselor if you’re struggling to move on from infertility.

2. You Have Similar Adoption Plans

Just as each of you should be ready to adopt, you should also be on the same page as to how you’re going to adopt. Consider if you want to:

  • Adopt a newborn or an older child.
  • Adopt domestically, internationally or through foster care.
  • Adopt a baby of a specific gender.
  • Adopt a baby of a particular ethnicity
  • Be in contact with the birth parents, and if so, how much.

Speaking with an Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will help both of you gain a better understanding of all the elements in adoption. Listening to webinars will help you gain more information about all aspects of adoption. Visit AdoptionWebinar.com to get started. Seek input from adoptive families for their experience with the type of adoption you’re interested in.

3. You’re Financially Ready for Adoption

There will be various adoption costs you need to prepare for. Examples include medical, legal and travel expenses.

Begin by carefully researching all of your options. Balance those costs with your budget to decide if you’re financially ready to pursue adoption. If finances are a concern, look into adoption fundraising, grants, and loans.

When you’re deciding whether or not you are ready to adopt, it’s essential to communicate openly with your spouse. Talk about all aspects of adoption, financial security, adoption goals, and your feelings surrounding infertility.

If you’re both ready to adopt or if you have questions about moving on from infertility, call Lifetime Adoption Agency at
1-800-923-6784.

“I’m So Thankful for Open Adoption!”

"I am so thankful for open adoption!" shares one birth motherToday, Lifetime Adoption Agency is sharing one birth mother’s story. While every open adoption is different, it can help to hear from others who have been where you are now. Here’s one birth mother’s experience with coming to adoption:

“I was 16 years old when I became pregnant. Even at such a young age, I knew that there would be no way I could make parenting work. I didn’t even have my driver’s license yet! My baby’s father, Matt, and I knew we couldn’t give our beautiful baby everything she needed or wanted. Adoption was a hard decision for us to make, but we have all been blessed abundantly. Today, I feel like we have one of the best situations in open adoption history.

Hailey was born at 6:02 p.m. after an exceptionally smooth labor. She was loved and visited by my family and friends as well as Matt’s. The adoptive parents we chose, Kirk and Gwen, arrived later that night. As soon as they took their first look at her, I knew this was right. It was the hardest thing we’ve ever done, but I know it was the right decision.

I will always have a deep love for Matt, Hailey, and the adoptive parents, Kirk and Gwen. We are all so happy and very close. We talk a few times a month and meet up twice a year. I am so thankful for open adoption. I thank God every day that He showed me this option because it eases me to know that Hailey will know I love her, and she’ll know me as a person—as her birth mother.”

You can learn about making an open adoption plan for your baby by calling
Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784.

5 Stereotypes About Birth Parents that Need to Be Stopped Now

Let's end hurtful stereotypes about birth parentsThere seem to be plenty of stereotypes about birth parents: that they’re addicted to drugs, that birth fathers don’t care, or that birth mothers are women who don’t want children. Stereotypes develop because not enough is known about a person or situation. Stereotypes about birth parents are no different. They’ve developed from a variety of sources, and society has come to develop them into a stereotype birth parent.
 
Actually, one thing birth parents have in common is the desire to provide their child with the best life they can. Women who choose adoption do so out of love. Birth mothers make a very difficult, but also courageous choice that should be supported and applauded.
 
It’s time we put a stop to these hurtful stereotypes about birth parents and replace them with the truth:
 

1. Stereotype: All birth parents are teenagers.

Truth: Birth parents are a wide range of ages

Teenagers aren’t the only people facing an unplanned pregnancy. The fact is that plenty of people decide that adoption is their best option, from teens to women in their forties. They’re making an adoption plan after lots of thought so that they can provide their child with a life that they can’t.

2. Stereotype: Birth parents are addicted to drugs.

Truth: Some birth parents use, but many do not.

Around 20% of birth mothers use drugs or alcohol during their pregnancy. In most of these cases, she used drugs or drank before she became aware of her pregnancy. Women choose adoption out of concern and love for their unborn child. So, they’d rarely consider something that would cause their baby any harm.

3. Stereotype: Birth fathers don’t care.

Truth: Most birth fathers do care, and want to be involved in the adoption.

This stereotype about birth parents damages all men and fathers. There are stories of men who didn’t know they had a baby placed into an adoptive family’s home and then worked for some contact.

Fortunately, adoption laws have evolved to protect the rights of birth fathers, so this won’t happen. As open adoption has become the norm, many birth fathers are actively involved in the adoption planning process. And, they remain in contact with the adoptive couple and their child as the years pass. Open adoption benefits everyone in the adoption triad: the adoptee, adoptive family, and both of the birth parents. So, birth fathers shouldn’t be regarded as dismissive.

4. Stereotype: All birth parents are poor.

Truth: Birth parents come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds

Some birth mothers receive public assistance and feel that they can’t adequately provide for their baby. Other birth mothers come from middle-class backgrounds. They might be in college, have other children, or be living with their parents.

The truth is typically someplace in between. Often, birth mothers feel like they are just barely getting by and can’t provide for one more child in the midst of everything they’re handling.

5. Stereotype: Birth mothers don’t want children.

Truth: There’s no single reason why a woman decides on adoption.

Some birth mothers are already parenting children and don’t have the means to care for another. Some birth mothers want to have children in the future but aren’t ready right now. Sometimes the baby was wanted and even planned, but their situation led to adoption being the best choice.

Simple Tips to Pick the Best Adoption Agency for You

how to pick the best adoption agency as a birth motherAs you look into which adoption agency will work best for you, you might be feeling overwhelmed. Today, we’re giving you info on how to select the best adoption agency for you and your baby!

As a birth mother, you need an adoption agency that:

  • Puts you first
  • Provides pre- and post-adoption counseling
  • Supports the communication and relationship you want with the adoptive parents

An adoption agency which makes sure the couples they work with are socially, emotionally, and financially ready to become parents is also important. After all, you’re choosing the adoptive parents based on the idea that they’re prepared to parent your child. So, you want to find an agency that makes sure adoptive parents:

  • Receive education before they adopt
  • Promise not to hide your child’s adoption story from them
  • Have respect for you as an individual and as the mother of their child

Those are just a few reasons to choose Lifetime Adoption Agency. As you research adoption agencies, you might be surprised that some never ask the adoptive parents how they would tell their child about his or her adoption. The answers to these questions reveal a lot about how a couple will raise your child:

Does it matter to their friends or family members that their child was adopted and isn’t biologically theirs?

How do the adoptive parents view the birth mother? Do they see the birth father as irresponsible?

How and when will they tell their child about being adopted?

Adoption should be a normal and comfortable topic of conversation at home. If you grow up with the knowledge that you were adopted, the subject is normal. But, if the child finds out later on, the results can be life-shattering.

As you read through Lifetime’s adoptive parent profiles, you can tell that they’ll talk about adoption from day one. You’ll also notice that we make counseling and training available to both adoptive parents and birth parents.

Once you choose an adoptive family, you’ll discuss the kind of future contact you’d both like. You’ll create and agree on a pretty specific communication plan with the adoptive family. Hopefully, this information can help you through your own adoption journey and choices.

Lifetime Adoption Agency’s website provides some additional information that you might find helpful:

  1. Support provided to birth mothers
  2. Info on how to start an adoption plan
  3. How To Decide How Much Future Contact is Best for You
  4. “How can I be sure my baby will be safe with the adoptive couple?”