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Archive for Open adoption

4 Ways to Build a Quality Relationship With Your Child’s Adoptive Family

Learn about building a relationship With your child’s adoptive familyWhen you decide to make an open adoption plan, it doesn’t just mean having a relationship with your child. It also means having a relationship with your child’s adoptive family. And creating a bond with them can be a wonderful experience!
 
Today, we’re giving you 4 tips to help get you to begin the path towards a quality relationship with the adoptive family:
 

1. Get to Know Them

Getting to know your child’s adoptive parents before and after placement is important! So, ask them questions about things like their lives, jobs, church, vacations, and traditions. You could try chatting with them like you would to a friend.
 
“When I go to California to visit my daughter and her adoptive parents, I always update them on my life – school, dating, work, and stuff like that,” says Taylor, a birth mother. “I think that when we show interest in each other’s lives, it makes us all feel more comfortable.” Who knows, the adoptive couple may even become some of your closest friends!
 

2. Honor Boundaries

It’s crucial to respect their roles as parents, and yours as the birth mom. These roles are equally important but different. When you honor their boundaries and parenting decisions, the adoptive parents will feel respected and secure in their role. This security will make them feel more comfortable with you.
 

3. Notice Your Child’s Siblings

If your child has siblings, you’re important in their lives too. “My son’s brother is one of my favorite kids. When I visit, we all play together. He knows that I love him and his brother,” says Hailey, a birth mother. So if you get your child a gift, think about getting a gift for their brother or sister, as well. They need to know they are important to you too.
 

4. Don’t Worry

Adoptive parents are only humans, so they might act awkward and make mistakes. They might be worried about saying or doing the wrong thing, just like you. So try not to feel intimidated as you start your relationship. What’s helped some birth moms is to think of them like extended family members.
 
 
The bottom line is that any relationship requires work. We recommend that you find what works best for you, since every open adoption relationship is different. Your relationship with the adoptive couple will naturally change as time passes. It’s possible to have an incredible open adoption relationship if you put the child first and remember that adoption is about love!

“I Praise God for Women Who Choose Adoption”

This guest post was written by a Lifetime adoptive mother who adopted a baby girl last year, along with her husband.
 
"I praise God for women who choose adoption" shares an adoptive mother“It’s National Adoption Month. I’ve had a lot on my mind. And I’ve tried to do my due diligence at reading/listening to all members of the domestic private adoption triad. Here’s what I’ve learned…
 
The adoptee doesn’t want to be told to be thankful. She lives with a label she can’t hide from and a shadow of what the unknown could have been like.
 
Birth mom doesn’t want to be told what a selfless and sacrificial decision she made. She may live with guilt and grief, and despise the adoptive parents because she feels like a doormat. Only getting contact to check off the box of what they owe her…
 
We haven’t heard from our birth mom since our daughter was six weeks old. I can’t help but wonder how she is. I send her a lengthy email every two months, update pictures in a Google share folder, and send text pictures randomly. No response. I gave her permission to tell me to be more frequent, or less frequent – but no response. I miss her. I care about her. I wish I knew how to help her.
 
Adoptive mother and newborn adopteeOur daughter is great! She loves her family, and we love her. This is a journey, and in 10 years there will be much more to say about how she is – how she has come to accept her heritage. My prayer for her is that adoption would not define her, that she wouldn’t let it be her sole identity. But rather, through this experience she would become an advocate for families. An advocate for children.
 
My husband is a pastor. We work with a lot of children and adolescents. There are so many difficult situations our kids are dealing with – living in. Step parents are cruel, moms are in jail, dads and boyfriends are abusive, and children beg for food, I could go on. This is really difficult to say without sounding judgmental, or proud – so please hear this carefully. 18 years is a long time for a child to live in turmoil. When I think about our daughter’s birth family, the writing on the wall tells me she would have been living among unstable and non-committal relationships. Her birth mom found herself in a very sticky situation, bless her heart. I have full forgiveness and mercy for her. And for our daughter’s sake, I’m so thankful she chose adoption. I’m not sure what her motives were. Whether she realizes it or not, she saved our daughter from a slew of messy and quite possibly abusive relationships. She gave her stability and full acceptance. She’s no longer an accident, a mistake, an ex-girlfriend’s other child, a half-sister, or a girlfriend’s daughter. This is an identity she does not have to live with! And I am so THANKFUL for her sake. She is a daughter, a sister. No strings attached.
 
This is also difficult to say, because I don’t want to exclude single adoptive moms – or cast judgement on single parents. I simply want to say, that on top of what I’ve already said about the gift our daughter’s birth mom gave her, she gave her a DAD. Had she stayed with her birth family, in 15 years she may have been saying to her pastor, like many have said to us in tears, ‘I don’t have a dad.’ They call mom’s boyfriend dad, but he’s not their dad and next month he could be gone. Their siblings’ dad babysits them, but he’s not their dad, and everyone knows it. Our daughter has a dad, and he’s not going anywhere.
 
The gospel has incredible healing power. And I believe God changes lives. I would 100% support a single woman with an unplanned pregnancy who wanted to parent, because I believe God can turn our mess into something beautiful. He is the God of restoration. But the road isn’t easy. Quoting the title of an excellent book, the Christian life is “a long obedience in the same direction.” Although this next part grieves me, I’ve also learned to accept that not every birth mom is ready for the long obedience that will transform her mess into a beautiful story. And so I praise God for those birth moms who choose adoption. And I also praise God for bringing the gospel to me, for cleaning up my own mess and equipping me to be a part of someone else’s story – my daughter’s story. It’s an overwhelming privilege. I pray I am faithful to the task.”

 

Would you like to discover the amazing blessing of infant adoption?

Take the first step today by filling out
Lifetime’s free application to adopt!

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!

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!

“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.

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!

Adopting a Baby in Today’s World

Webinar to learn about adopting a baby in today's worldWhat have you heard about how domestic adoption works nowadays? It’s easy to get caught up in the opinions and comments of others who think they know what adopting a baby is like or how it should go.
 
The truth is, adoption has changed a lot, even from just five years ago. It’s important to know what adopting a baby in the U.S. is like TODAY.
 
Lifetime just held a Q&A webinar about domestic adoption in today’s world! You can listen to “A Lifetime Q&A: Adopting a Baby | Domestic Adoption in Today’s World” here. Most people who want to adopt a baby aren’t totally clear on the process when they decide to pursue adoption. That’s where we come in!
 
Click to listen to this adoption webinar!We’re excited to present this new webinar, to help you cut through the stereotypes and hear-say. Get the info you need to know to adopt the baby you’re praying for.
 
If you’ve been thinking about starting the process to adopt a baby born in the US, then you’ll want to listen to this webinar all about domestic adoption!
 
In Lifetime’s Q&A webinar, we took questions from people considering domestic adoption, just like you. We covered topics from adoption basics, like getting started and what open adoption really looks like today, to beyond-the-basics, such as when (and how!) to tell your child about adoption, embracing adoption after going through infertility, and the best tips for ensuring a safe and successful adoption process.
 

A Lifetime Q&A Webinar: Adopting a Baby in Today’s World

 
When you subscribe to Lifetime’s Adoption Webinars, we’ll email you to let you know once our next webinar is scheduled. Sign up for the opportunity to ask our adoption experts your questions. We love to take questions from our audience of future adoptive parents, just like you!

“Open Adoption Was the Best Thing for My Son”

Birth mother Ashley shares why she chose open adoption

Birth mother Ashley shares her adoption story“When I discovered I was pregnant, I was terrified and confused. I was a freshman in college. My boyfriend and I talked about our options. He knows I am pro-life, so he didn’t even suggest abortion. We both agreed that adoption was the best decision. I called my parents from school to tell them this life-changing news. They were very supportive of my decision to adopt out my baby.

An old friend of mine told me about a couple that was looking to adopt. She gave me the number for Lifetime Adoption Agency and urged me to call. The woman I talked to at Lifetime was very friendly and helpful.

They sent me numerous profiles about prospective parents. I selected three, including the first couple I met through my friend and talked with them all. I had a good feeling about the first couple, but I wanted to be absolutely sure they were the right people to raise my child. After meeting the other couples, I knew that the first couple were the ones.

I had a lot of support from my family, friends, my Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime, and, of course, the adoptive parents. I never doubted that the best thing for my little one was to make an adoption plan for him.

The adoptive couple visited me often, and the wife was there in the delivery room along with my parents. As I kissed my son’s tiny, perfect cheek, I cried. But they were tears of joy at having completed someone’s family.

The adoptive parents and I talk on the phone, and they tell me how healthy and happy my son is. They send me pictures regularly, and I am secure in the knowledge that he is being brought up by beautiful people. I wrote my son a letter explaining why I chose adoption for him and telling him that if he wishes to see me, I would enjoy nothing more than to sit and talk with him when he is ready.

Making an adoption plan was the best thing I could’ve done for my son, given my situation. I like to tell people how beautiful open adoption is. My family and I have become good friends with the adoptive parents. I thank God for Lifetime and for open adoption.”

“Open Adoption is Amazing! We’re Thankful to Be a Part of It!”

Brynlee's parents exclaim, "Open adoption is amazing!"

Here at our adoption agency in Florida, we love to share updates from our adoptive couples who are experiencing the joys of open adoption! Today, we’re sharing a sweet open adoption update from Jesse and Alicia, a young adoptive couple living in Colorado. Earlier this year, we wrote about their thankfulness to God for writing their beautiful adoption story. And last summer, we blogged to congratulate them on their adoption!

A year ago, Jesse and Alicia wrote, “We’re so thankful to have found Lifetime. You all have been there every step of the way. Struggling with infertility for so long leaves you vulnerable and it is difficult to imagine that you may never become a parent. God led us to Lifetime because He knew this perfect little girl would be waiting for us and that everyone at Lifetime would be here every step of the way! Every phone call, every webinar, and every prayer helped us become stronger and prepared us for parenthood.”

Here’s the most recent update from Jesse and Alicia, who created their family through a Lifetime open adoption:

Brynlee having fun in Disneyland“We have been reflecting on our journey a lot lately. On Mother’s Day I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do than to spend time with the woman who made me a mom! We met with Brynlee’s birth parents and visited the aquarium downtown! I love that we are in the same state because we can visit each other often. Brynlee loved seeing the fish and she soaked up all the hugs and play time.

Watching them interact was such an amazing feeling. It showed us again, just how amazing open adoption really is and how thankful we are to be a part of it.

After struggling with infertility for so long and hiding from this day every year, it was nice to have someone to celebrate it with and I feel like it was part of my healing process.

Jesse, Brynlee, and Alicia in Disneyland with Minnie MouseWhen we were saying our, ‘see you later,’ they gave me flowers and I just about lost it! I was amazed at how strong and selfless this gesture was. I was so honored! I think about them and pray for them every single day! I pray they are safe and that they are content with the decision they made and this gave me the reassurance I have been needing. They are doing well and they know their daughter is cared for and loved so much!

Can you believe Brynlee is 1 year old!?? Time is flying incredibly fast and we are enjoying every second! We are learning so much as she is blossoming into a beautiful, independent toddler. I take full advantage of when she wants to sit on my lap or be held to fall asleep. We celebrated Brynlee turning 1 by having a birthday party with family and friends. We also took her to Disneyland and spent some time on the beach, she LOVES being in the water.

We are eternally grateful for being chosen to raise Brynlee and for all the amazing people we have met along the way.”

If you’re ready to see how Lifetime’s Adoption Agency could help build your family, please apply today! You can click here to take the first step towards becoming a Lifetime family.

With Modern Adoption, You Make the Choices

A woman learning about modern adoption on her cell phoneAdoption today means that you make all the choices. And modern adoption gives you tons of choices! You can choose the adoptive parents for your baby, how much you want to get to know the parents you choose, and what happens at the hospital when you give birth. If you want, you can even keep in touch after the adoption happens. You can do this through phone calls, emails, texts, letters, social media, and visits. You have a say in every step!

We provide you with the trusted adoption help you need, the way you want it. Learning about adoption is easy, private, and convenient with Lifetime! Get answers to your questions, see waiting adoptive couples, and receive free resources! With Lifetime, you have a wide variety of adoptive families of all backgrounds to choose from, living all throughout the US.

Lifetime offers a FREE BOOK for women thinking about adoption. Just visit FreeAdoptionBook.com. And in our smartphone app, you can listen to stories from other mothers who chose adoption.

You can get peer support, counseling, and help with your needs or pregnancy-related expenses as you consider an adoption plan for your baby. While you learn about adoption, you will receive free services and full support, as well as during and after the adoption.

On the new site ModernAdoptionAgency.com, you can learn about adoption from the privacy of your phone or laptop. Chat on the website, or message (with a real person!) on our Facebook page or on Instagram.

You can confidentially and safely begin your adoption plan online, by email, or by mail. Just let us know what’s best for you!

Call or text a caring adoption expert ANYTIME at 1-800-923-6784.