If you’ve just discovered that you’re pregnant, you’re probably wondering what you should do. You might be thinking, “I’m giving my baby up for adoption at birth,” because you’re not ready to become a mom at this point in your life. That’s a very loving, mature decision to make.
Lifetime Adoption has been helping women find loving, stable adoptive parents for their children since 1986. During that time, we’ve seen the terms people use to describe adoption change as much as the adoption process itself. And one of the many things we’ve learned throughout all those years: You are not “giving up!”
We don’t really like to use the expression “giving my baby up for adoption” anymore. That’s because the words “giving up” sound negative, and they don’t really mean that a birth mother has given up. When you decide on adoption, you are choosing to provide a new life to your baby — and to you too!
So rather than say, “giving my baby up for adoption,” we might say “placing my baby for adoption.” Why? Because the language we use matters. It shapes our perspective. “Placing my baby for adoption” sounds more positive (and more proactive!)
Let’s get to the real question most people want to know: What is it like to place your baby for adoption?
Placing My Baby for Adoption
The adoption experience depends on the individual birth mother and what led her to the decision to place her baby for adoption.
But we can get an idea of what it’s like by asking women who have made an adoption plan for their babies. Also, we can hear from experts like adoption attorneys, adoption professionals, and, of course, birth mothers who made the tough but loving choice to find adoptive parents for their child.
Here is one example:
Taking Responsibility for Yourself and Your Baby
Faylita Hicks is a birth mother who wrote a heartfelt, honest, and powerful piece for the HuffPost about her decision to place her child for adoption:
“The prospect of caring for a young life was overwhelming, mentally and emotionally. The responsibility of parenthood extends far beyond just feeding and clothing a tiny being.”
She continues: “As a parent, you become a moral guide for a future member of society, setting expectations and standards to live by. Your every action and inaction has an influence on the child’s future and contributes to their character development. It determines what kind of life they’re going live, who they’re going to love, what kind of career they’ll have.”
Many women facing an unplanned pregnancy realize these things as they start the adoption process for their child.
“It’s a big choice,” Hicks concludes. “The decision to have children should never be made lightly, and I had known for most of my adulthood that I never wanted to take on the task.”
Hicks also imagines what placing a baby for adoption must be like for others: “For women who want children but are unable to have them, the decision to give my child up can seem like a slap in the face. For men — like the father of my child — it can make them feel helpless. For parents like mine, who had me when they were far younger than I was when I got pregnant, it can seem selfish.”
Hicks realizes a basic truth that many birth mothers face: “Why would I want to make anybody feel any of these things?” she asks. “I didn’t want anyone to be hurt, but I knew that if I kept this child, it wouldn’t be any of them who would suffer. It would be me and the baby.”
Similar Adoption Stories
At Lifetime Adoption, we’ve heard many stories like Fatylita Hicks’. But as we mentioned before, there are many other adoption stories out there.
But there is a similarity in story after story: There is grief, and there is indecision about placing their baby for adoption. Many women feel like they’re selfish — as if they’re thinking only about themselves, their lives, and their future. Many women really do feel like they’re “giving up.” But there’s also pride in the choice, which is how Hicks describes it. Many women say that adoption was the best choice they could have made.
As part of our adoption services, you can talk with a mom who placed their child for adoption with Lifetime. This is called peer support, and it’s available for free to all birth mothers.
Making a Plan For Your Baby
Choosing adoption is a positive and selfless decision. This is especially true if both birth parents and their other family members are involved in the discussion about adoption. And in an open adoption, where the baby is born with the adoptive couple already chosen and usually waiting at the hospital, is a beautiful thing.
When you use Lifetime’s adoption services, we’ll help you set up an adoption plan. We’ll also help you as you select adoptive parents for your baby. All of Lifetime’s adoptive parents are prequalified, as they’ve undergone a home study from a social worker, and have had background checks done.
Lifetime Adoption’s dedicated and caring team works across the U.S. to connect birth mothers and loving adoptive families. We’re here to answer your questions about open adoption and the adoption process. You can get in touch with Lifetime by calling or texting us at 1-800-923-6784.
There will never be any costs for you, the birth mother. We’re not here to pressure you to make a decision; we’re here to provide these resources to help you make the best decision.
As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.