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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?”

Why Did They Adopt, But Not Us?

Why did they adopt, but not us?There are many sides to the adoption journey when you’re eagerly waiting to be chosen by a birth mother. Many adoptive couples go through the process joyfully, trying to be as patient and proactive as possible. Others struggle with feelings of jealousy and frustration, asking themselves, “Why did they adopt, but not us?”
 
During the wait, most adoptive families may wonder things like:
 
Why did that couple get chosen by a birth mother and not us?

Why is this taking so long?

Why are they taking new adoptive families when we’re still waiting?

We would have happily adopted that baby. Why didn’t they offer the adoption to us?

Thoughts like these might make you doubt your adoption professional and your adoption plans. They can even make you question what you have to offer a child. It’s what you do with these thoughts that’ll affect your peace of mind, while you’re in the adoption wait. Today, we’re going to elaborate on each common question to find the truth:
 

Why did that couple get chosen by a birth mother and not us?

In modern adoption, birth mothers choose adoptive families for a variety of reasons. Lifetime has worked with birth moms who chose the couple they did because they looked kind, familiar, or fun. Other women have chosen their baby’s adoptive family based on where they live, their hobbies, and even their pets. There isn’t one predictable reason a birth mother may prefer one family over another. However, the truth is that she can only pick ONE adoptive family for her baby. This makes her decision difficult when she learns about so many wonderful couples who’d make loving parents for her child.
 

Why is this taking so long?

If adoption was easy or fast, more people would pursue it. It’s hard to predict exactly how long your adoption wait will be. At our agency, every adoption depends on a birth mother’s choice. So in order to maximize your exposure to women thinking about adoption, it’s very important to follow your adoption professional’s recommendations.
 
Similarly, it’s crucial to keep your adoption preferences as open as you are comfortable. Each time your profile is shown to a birth mother is another opportunity to be picked. The truth is that there are reasons why some couples wait longer than others, such as procrastinating on getting their adoption profile or home study completed or passing up opportunities within their preferences. For couples who have been proactive from the start, the truth is it’s just a matter of time.
 
Birth mother considering adoption

Why are they taking new adoptive families when we’re still waiting?

Many assume that an agency should avoid welcoming new clients until their current ones have adopted. This reasoning behind this argument is that with fewer couples to choose from, the longer-waiting ones are more likely to get chosen. But, the argument ignores the fact that couples ARE completing adoptions each month, and there continues to be a need for adoptive families who are open to a variety of situations.
 
The truth is that birth mothers are less inclined to consider adoption when she doesn’t see any adoptive families that interest her. She might look for an adoptive family at another agency, or even give up on adoption altogether. When she really has a choice in who adopts her baby, a birth mother is more likely to feel confident in moving forward with an adoption match when she’s ready.
 

We would have happily adopted that baby. Why didn’t they offer the adoption to us?

Many factors come into play when an agency picks a family for a baby, including the birth mother’s preferences. Even if she wants the agency to pick the adoptive family, a birth mother may still have requests. Also, the agency must carefully consider the adoptive family’s readiness, preferences, and budget.
 
Lifetime’s Adoption Coordinators are thorough when they help adoptive parents and birth mothers connect. The truth is that because of confidentiality you don’t know every detail that went into an adoption match. It’s impossible to know what happened “behind the scenes.”
 

Remain Positive & Hopeful

Most adoptive families will tell you, that looking back now, perspective is everything when you’re in the adoption wait. When questions like these pop up in your mind, focus on the truth rather than fears or frustrations. This will help you remain positive and hopeful. The best way to fight feelings of discouragement or jealousy is to celebrate the adoptions of other adoptive parents and to focus on what IS happening as you wait. If you find the adoption journey pressing on your insecurities, reflect and then take action to tackle them during your wait. Not every step of your adoption path will be a milestone, but all are a necessary part of leading you to the child you long to add to your family.

This Active Florida Couple Are Excited to Adopt!

Active Florida Family Excited to Adopt from Lifetime Adoption on Vimeo.

Scott and Carma are an active couple from Florida looking forward to expanding their family through adoption. They enjoy doing outdoor activities, spending time with loved ones, and being together as a family. Scott and Carma have a 12-year-old son, and he’s so excited to teach his younger sibling all the things he learns in school.

Scott and Carma created this cute video to introduce themselves and share more about what they have to offer your child. Keep scrolling to learn more about this loving and active Florida couple!

Scott and Carma are excited to adopt!Scott and Carma share, “We are a fun-loving family of three looking forward to expanding our family through adoption! We are financially stable, have supportive family nearby, and we have so much love in our hearts for another child. We look forward to keeping in contact with you through letters, photos, and visits if you wish!”

They promise to raise your child in a loving and faith-based household, and your child will have the opportunity to attend a great Catholic school. Scott and Carma promise to provide for their college education, and fill their days with laughter, encouragement, and opportunities to find where he or she is meant to be in life.

“Carma’s an affectionate and loving person who is a wonderful mother to our son, Caden. She is passionate about her career and works hard for our family as a Senior Executive. She’s looking forward to sharing our Catholic-based household and supportive family with your child!” says Scott. And Carma shares about her husband, “Scott is a devoted father and family man. He has a patient and kind personality and is liked by everyone he meets. Scott is a stay-at-home dad and is such a positive role model for our son!”

You can find out more about this hopeful adoptive couple from Florida by visiting Scott and Carma’s adoption website. You may also view all adoptive family profiles here on AdoptionAgencyFlorida.com. If you see an adoptive family that you’re interested in, please give us a call at 1-877-383-6847.

Pick the Best Adoption Agency With These Simple Strategies

Adopt a baby with these tips on picking the best adoption agencyThe very first step in the adoption process is to choose the best adoption agency. This step is important and must be done after careful thought and deliberation. You’ll need to know the level of service they provide and if they are the right one for you.
 
Many families lose their peace of mind, money, and time by selecting an adoption agency who doesn’t meet their needs. With a bit of preparation, you can avoid such a situation on your adoption journey.
 
If you are looking at multiple adoption agencies and trying to pick the best adoption agency, this checklist will help you assess if they’ll be genuinely committed to making your adoption journey a success.
 
These 10 questions will help you measure your adoption agency’s level of commitment and engagement with the adoption process. Let’s take a look at the key questions you might consider:
 
1. Does the adoption agency have the right resources (licenses, experience, and so on) to perform their role well?

2. Does he/she take every opportunity to make the adoption successful?

3. Can the adoption agency produce testimonials, such as recognition or praise, for doing good work?

4. Do you think the adoption agency cares about you as a person and understands your needs and concerns?

5. Does the adoption professional encourage you on your adoption journey?

6. Does the agency have the legal expertise to deal with complexities that may arise during the adoption process?

7. Is the professional committed to doing quality work?

8. Does an external agency periodically review them?

9. Is the adoption agency transparent about the financial aspects of the adoption, his/her fees, and so on?

10. Does the agency have qualified staff to counsel adoptive parents?
 
The more information you gather about multiple agencies, the easier it will be to narrow them down to the one who will meet your specific needs and concerns. It is imperative to know the level of adoption services provided by each agency before you select them. With proper research and verification, you will be able to choose the best adoption agency, one who is committed to your adoption success.

Get 6 Tips on How to Support Your Loved One’s Adoption

Discover how to support your loved one's adoption journey!Today’s post is meant to help your friends and family better understand how adoption works today. If they want to participate in your adoption experience, this information can help serve as a starting point for meaningful conversations about how your adoption will affect everyone.

Please feel free to share this post with those close to you!

When someone you care about is hoping to adopt, you become a member of their adoption circle. As a member of their adoption circle, you’ll need information and insights about adoption. Whether you’re excited or anxious, experienced or unfamiliar with adoption, this info is useful for anyone touched by adoption. Lifetime hopes to help as you participate in their lives as an adoptive family!

Here are 6 ideas to support your loved one’s adoption journey:

1. Learn about modern adoption
Let them know that you want to learn more about domestic infant adoption. It’s helpful to know is that adoptions today are done so differently than they were 50 years ago, and drastically different than Foster to Adopt situations. Modern adoption is much more open, with the birth mother choosing the adoptive parents for her baby, and staying in contact as their child grows up.

2. Encourage them to see your point-of-view
Remind them that adoption was once new to them, as well. If you seem awkward as you talk about adoption or adoption terms, it’s because this is totally new to you.

3. Take risks
Part of being supportive and involved in their adoption will include asking questions and talking about adoption. If you’re not sure how to best discuss adoption, ask.

Don’t be worried if you accidentally say what might be seen as the “wrong” thing. Everyone, and that includes adoptive parents, says the wrong things about adoption inadvertently. Share that your questions come from a genuine and heartfelt place of interest.

adoptive father explains modern adoption4. Understand that sometimes, they might be sensitive about adoption and their child.
Sometimes, adoption is a touchy topic for the adoptive parents. We find this to be true if they’re still becoming comfortable with adoption themselves, or when they’re waiting to be chosen by a birth mother.

5. Apologize if needed
Do you feel like you’ve made mistakes in the past or said things you regret? Think about making an apology if it’s warranted. Tell them that you’re trying to learn more about adoption, then forgive yourself and move on.

6. Be open to learning and growing.
It’s normal to feel lost when you begin to learn about domestic adoption. So, keep an open mind and be willing to expand your knowledge as you support your loved one’s adoption journey.

When someone you care about is offering you the opportunity to participate in their adoption, it’s a beautiful thing. Maybe they’re even including you in their adoption process, for example by asking you to write a reference letter or appear in a photo for their adoption profile. It’s wonderful to get to share in the experience of your loved ones who are adopting!

“Should I Give My Baby Up For Adoption?”

should I give my baby up for adoption?“I’m 35 weeks along and I’m thinking about adoption, but I’m really on the fence. My Mom raised my brother and I all by herself, and I saw how hard that was. I love babies but I’m not ready to be a mom, so I’m wondering if I should give my baby up for adoption. Do I need to decide right now, before my baby’s born? How do I decide? Help!”

We encourage you to take all the time you need to reflect on the pros and cons of both parenting and adoption. You don’t have to decide on adoption before your baby has been born. You can call Lifetime at any point during your pregnancy, or after you’ve delivered. We’ve even helped women create an adoption plan after they called us from the hospital, in labor.

Weighing the pros and cons of parenting and adoption will help you during your pregnancy, as well as after your baby is born. It helps you to clarify and communicate your decision-making process.

Here are 3 things that you can do if you’re unsure whether adoption is right for you:

Keep a Journal

Journaling is a really helpful tool that you can use to express your thoughts, feelings, and ideas about adoption on paper. Many birth parents have shared with us that reflecting back on their journey is therapeutic.

Speak to a Counselor

It’s important for you to talk about your fears as you’re deciding whether adoption is right for you and your baby. A counselor will provide a safe and nonjudgmental space for you to talk through your fears. Lifetime can connect you with an outside counselor at no charge to you.

Talk With A Birth Mother

Some women thinking about adoption find it helpful to connect with a birth mother who has made an adoption plan herself. Talking with others who are living with their choices can help shed light on the positives and challenges of adoption. Lifetime can connect you with a birth mother, through a phone call, email, or in person.

Lifetime Adoption Agency is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So just call us at 1-800-923-6784 whenever you have a question or a concern you need to talk through!