If you just found out you’re pregnant by surprise, you’re not alone. In the U.S., around half of all women will face an unplanned pregnancy in their life, and some choose adoption. The adoption decision is a personal one. Only you can know what’s best for your life and your current situation. It’s important to receive information and support if you’re thinking about adoption, and Lifetime is here to provide you with just that!
As you think about placing your baby for adoption, you may have doubts. To make this choice, you need to consider different aspects of your current life. Answering these four simple questions can help you understand your feelings and guide you into making a decision you feel confident of.
1. Can I provide for my child?
Adoption is a great way to make sure that you and your baby have a better life. Besides your needs, you should also consider whether or not you could provide your child a good life. Are you financially and emotionally able to provide for a child?
Some women feel confident about parenting but change their minds after a few weeks have passed. Others try to parent their baby for a bit and come to realize that adoption is best. What you feel right now is completely normal. And it’s never too late to choose adoption, even after your baby is born.
2. Do I feel ready to become a mom?
Finding out you’re pregnant may have come as a shock. Even planned pregnancies can make women feel doubtful about becoming a mom. It is very normal to feel nervous and insecure about your future and your baby’s.
Parenting requires you to find a healthy balance between your needs and your child’s needs. For some women who aren’t ready to become moms, adoption is the best option.
3. What about child care?
Being able to afford childcare services or having family or friends you can rely on is something you might want to keep in mind.
Caring for a child is a journey that you might not feel ready to take. Nobody is born knowing how to parent. You can talk to friends, watch videos, read books, or get counseling, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you.
4. What are my plans for the future?
This is an important question and one of the reasons why unplanned pregnancy can be so scary and confusing. Do you have a job with a stable income? Do you want to continue your education? For many birth mothers, there are still important things they wish to achieve.
Your future plans are extremely important, so it is up to you to decide. A baby comes with lots of responsibilities that not everyone is ready to take.
You’re in Charge of the Adoption Process
You have the right to choose your baby’s adoptive parents, how things go at the hospital when it comes time for you to deliver, and how much you’d like to stay in touch with the adoptive family in the future. There are hundreds of wonderful adoptive families located throughout the U.S.
Every state has adoption laws to protect you and to guide the adoptive couple. Lifetime Adoption can connect you to licensed counseling and peer support at no cost, and we can also refer you to an adoption attorney to fully understand your rights with this process.
Why Do Women Choose Adoption?
Each birth mother has her own valid and unique reason for making an adoption plan. Here are some of the common reasons why women choose adoption:
- Can’t afford to raise a child.
- Not ready at this time in their life to become a parent.
- Don’t wish to be a single parent: they want more for their child.
- Desire to devote time, resources, and attention to the kids they already have and to be the best parent possible
- Need to finish school, focus on work, or accomplish other goals before becoming a mom.
- The guy they’re with isn’t “dad material.”
- Are in an abusive relationship
- Were sexually assaulted
- Believe adoption is the best opportunity for their baby to be well-cared for.
How Do I Decide if Adoption is the Best Choice for Me?
Adoption isn’t the answer for everyone, but it may be the right choice for you. We’re all about educating you so that you can make the best choice for you and your baby. If you want to learn more about open adoption, check out these resources:
When Do I Need to Decide If I Want to Choose Adoption?
In order to make the best decision for you and your baby, it’s important to take the time you need. It’s never too late to choose adoption!
Some women begin planning their baby’s adoption early on in their pregnancy, and others begin later in pregnancy. You can even start the adoption process at the hospital after the baby is born. There is no deadline on when you need to decide one way or the other on adoption. The timeline for creating an adoption plan depends on you and your needs and situation.
You can reach out to Lifetime Adoption whenever you’re ready to learn more about the choice of adoption for your baby. Call or text us any time at 1-800-923-6784.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 9, 2019, and has since been updated.
As the Vice President (VP) 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.