Archive for November, 2015

Your Rights as an Expectant/Birth Mother Considering Adoption

Choosing adoption for your child does not mean you are immediately relinquishing all of your rights as his or her birth mother. In fact, you still maintain many rights throughout the adoption process.

If you are currently considering adoption for your baby, it is important for you to understand all of these rights. Adoptions With Love has compiled the following list to help guide you in making a fully informed decision regarding adoption. Please take the time to review and do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

As an expectant/birth mother considering adoption, you have:

The Right to Make Your Own Decision, Free From Pressure or Coercion. 

One of the most important things to remember in considering your options is that you, as an expectant/birth mother, have the right to make a choice free from outside influence. No one, not family, friends, nor the father of your baby, can force you into making a decision you do not want to make. This is your choice.

The Right to Your Body and Any Decisions Regarding Your or Your Baby’s Health.

As an expectant mother considering adoption, you have complete say in your pregnancy and all rights to control your body during your pregnancy. Right now, you are the person who truly knows what is best for you and your child. How you and your baby are cared for is therefore determined by you. Once the baby is born, you, as the biological mother, still maintain the right to make all decisions regarding your care and that of your baby, right up until the adoption process is completed.

The Right to Change Your Mind.

It is also important to know that no decision you make before the birth of your baby will be binding or limit you in any way. While laws do vary state to state, you have the right to change your mind about adoption or parenting up until the birth of your baby.

Depending on where you live, you will have a certain allotted time after your baby’s birth to make a decision about adoption. Some states also allow you to revoke your consent to adoption days after the papers have been signed. This is not always the case, so if you have questions about the specific laws in your area, please contact us.

The Right to Design an Open Adoption Plan.

Using a licensed adoption agency gives you the right to be a part of every phase of the adoption process. This means that as a birth mother, you have a right to participate in designing the adoption plan that works best at this time. You may choose to create an open adoption plan, which will give you the right to stay updated and/or in contact with your child and the adoptive family.

You may choose to participate in Adoption With Love’s letter and picture program, which gives birth mothers the opportunity to receive personal updates from the adoptive family.

The Right to Choose and Meet an Adoptive Family.                            

As an expectant/birth mother, you have the right to choose adoptive parents to raise your child. If you are still considering adoption, you also have the right to view several waiting adoptive families’ profiles. . Once you have chosen a possible adoptive family, you have the opportunity to meet them in person. These in-person meetings will give you the opportunity to ask questions of the adoptive family and may help you form a relationship. This connection may give you confidence that you are choosing a loving, caring family for your child (for more information on choosing an adoptive family for your baby, download our free guide, here).

The Right to Confidentiality.

If you choose to place your baby for adoption, know that you have the right to complete confidentiality. Open adoption is not right for everyone. You may feel more comfortable keeping your information private. Rest assured that no one—not even an adoption agency—has the right to share your personal information without consent.

The Right to Financial Assistance.

Choosing to place your baby for adoption means that you will have the right to request financial assistance for pregnancy-related expenses. At Adoptions With Love, we want to ensure that you have the proper, quality medical care. We can assist with hospital bills as well as pre-natal costs.

You also have the right to other financial assistance through our agency, such as transportation, maternity clothing, and housing assistance. We can assist you with these expenses in the third trimester of your pregnancy.

The Right to Counseling.

The adoption process can be overwhelming, but you always have the right to on-going support. As a part of our free services for birth mothers, Adoptions With Love offers professional, compassionate counseling during and following your pregnancy should you choose adoption. Our team of professionals can help guide you through the adoption process. Our goal is always to be there for you, before, during, and after the birth of your child.

The Right to Respect.

Adoption is a courageous act that gives your child a life beyond what you can provide at this time. If you choose adoption, know that you ALWAYS have the right to respect and dignity. You have the right to be proud of your decision and the right to be confident that your decision was the best option for you and your baby. This is not an easy decision to make. It takes bravery to choose adoption, and you deserve every ounce of admiration.

To learn more about your rights as a birth parent, please call Amy, Nancy, Amelia, and Claudia toll-free at 1-800-722-7731.


5 Questions to Ask Before Making an Open Adoption Plan

If you have decided that adoption is right for you and your baby, it is important to know about the possibilities of open adoption. An experienced open adoption agency can help you design a flexible plan that is completely tailored to your needs, hopes and wishes.

You may have many questions when beginning your open adoption plan, as this plan will need to meet the needs of both you and your child as the years pass. As you begin, take a step back and carefully consider your present situation. How might open adoption impact your current lifestyle? Then try to think about the future. How will an open adoption plan affect your own life goals? How might it affect your child, as he or she grows and begins to understand the adoption process?

  • What is your ideal adoption plan? This is probably one of the most important questions an expectant/birth mother can ask herself when beginning the open adoption process. Close your eyes and picture your life over the next few years. After your baby is placed in a new and loving home, do you see yourself staying updated on how he or she is growing? Do you see yourself keeping in contact with the adoptive parents? Try to picture your life five, ten, twenty years from now. Would you be comfortable with your child calling you to talk more openly about the adoption?
  • What sort of family do I want for my baby? In an open adoption plan, you are able to choose the parents who will raise your baby, and we welcome you to be involved in this positive choice. Consider your ideal family. Where do they live? Do they have extended family? What are their interests and hobbies? Are there certain values you want your child to possess that can be found in the right adoptive family? Once you have a picture in your mind of a family for your baby, it will be time to start your research. An open adoption agency can help you research adoptive families in depth by providing you with extensive profile books of each waiting family that may be a good fit based on your wishes. If you would like, you also have the opportunity to meet and develop a relationship with this family before your baby is born and as the years continue. This is completely up to you. In an open adoption, your possibilities for this relationship are flexible—but know that every waiting family at Adoptions With Love is willing to build this connection if you want it. It is also important to note that each waiting family at Adoptions With Love is carefully screened.
  • Do I want my child to know about me? How much do I want him or her to know? A huge part of deciding whether open adoption is right for you lies in how much you want your baby to know. In a closed adoption, no identifying information is revealed to your child, or to your child’s adoptive family. In a semi-open adoption, only what you want them to know will be disclosed. In a fully open adoption, your child will be able to contact you according to your contract, and will know both your first and last name at your own discretion.
  • What is my own comfort level regarding openness? Your next step will be to decide how much contact you will have with your child, and how much you can see yourself having after the placement takes place. What forms of communication will you be most comfortable enacting? Once you determine this, you will be able to consider how this contact will occur. Will you keep in touch with your child’s family via phone calls or email? Will you schedule yearly visits with your child and his or her adoptive family?
  • Do I want to meet my child in person? If so, how often? If you decide that you do desire to see your child face-to-face, there are various ways you can go about it. One question to ask yourself is how exactly do you envision these meetings going? Do you want to schedule periodic visits to your child’s new home? Who do you want to be present at the meetings? You can schedule these meetings with your child’s adoptive parents initially. Some birth and adoptive parents decide it is best to have a third-party mediator present at these meetings, and one of the compassionate counselors at Adoptions With Love can guide the conversation.

As an expectant/birth mother, you can work directly with an agency and potential adoptive parents to decide what is best for your baby. The frequency of communication and visits (if you choose to have them) will be decided based on your desires, as well as the feelings of everyone else involved. Only you know what kind of adoption plan will work best for you and your child. We encourage you to ask yourself these five important questions as you begin your plan. Most importantly, we encourage you to be completely honest with your answers. Only then will you decide if open adoption is the right choice for you.

For more questions about open adoption, as well as how to begin your open adoption plan, please download our free guide, a Guide to Open Adoption. Our team of adoption professionals also welcomes you to contact us at any time of day for any further answers on open or closed adoption. Call us toll-free at 1-800-722-7731, or text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0072. We look forward to hearing from you!

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November is National Adoption Month

Happy National Adoption Month!

This November marks the 20th anniversary of National Adoption Awareness Month.

November is a time for giving thanks. It is a time for family, love, and celebration. This National Adoption Month, we thank you for allowing us to be a part of your adoption journey and we invite you to celebrate all of the lifelong connections that have been made through adoption.

We devote this month to the courageous birth mothers who have made the selfless choice to give their child a future they are not able to provide at the time of birth. We also dedicate this month to the loving adoptive parents who provided a loving, stable and secure life for their children. We celebrate the adoptive parents that relate to their child’s story with empathy, and who understand the brave, selfless and courageous decision the birth parents made for their child’s future. Most of all, we celebrate the adopted children around the world who continue to fill our hearts with their stories, day-in and day-out.

National Adoption Awareness Month is about the celebration of adoption, but it is also about educating others regarding the positive aspects of adoption. This month, Adoptions With Love hopes to raise awareness about adoption, adoptive families, and the children in need of loving, permanent homes. We invite you to join us. If you would like to share your adoption story with us or with others, please email our team at info@awlonline.org.

How did National Adoption Awareness Month begin?

In 1976, the governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, announced a statewide Adoption Awareness Week.  It was not until November 1984, however, that President Ronald Reagan declared the first National Adoption Week, giving special acknowledgment to those who are rebuilding families all over the country through adoption. He proclaimed:

“National Adoption Week gives us an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to give every child waiting to be adopted the chance to become part of a family. During this Thanksgiving season, let us work to encourage community acceptance and support for adoption… Most importantly, let us pay tribute to those special couples who have opened their homes and hearts to adopted children, forming the bonds of love that we call the family.”

Families have long stood as the pillars of our communities and children have long been our highest hope for the future. President Clinton knew this when in 1995; he expanded Adoption Awareness Week to the entire month of November, which has continued now for twenty years. Clinton affirmed:

“For many people across the United States, adoption provides a means for building and strengthening families. It places children into loving, permanent homes where they can flourish and grow up to become happy, healthy, productive members of our national community. Adoption also enables adults to experience the unique joys of parenthood.”

What is the meaning of National Adoption Month 2015?

This year, National Adoption Awareness Month is focused on our nation’s population of older youth in foster care who are still in need of a loving, supportive family. Children usually enter the foster care system when their parents are unable to care for them. They are often neglected in this system, and left only hoping for the love and stability they deserve. Each year, 23,000 youth are released from foster homes without having a permanent family living arrangement to fall back on. This month, campaigns will be made in efforts to move children from the foster care system to a secure and lasting home.

How can we help?

Making a private adoption plan is one way to prevent children from ever entering the foster care system. That is why Adoptions With Love is committed to working with expectant/birth parents as they make a choice for their child. By helping them to design an adoption plan, we can ensure that their child will be loved unconditionally.

This choice is not an easy decision to make. That is why National Adoption Month honors those birth parents that have made this inspirational choice to design an adoption plan for their baby. By working with adoption professionals to create this plan, expectant/birth mothers are able to choose an adoptive family for their baby, secure their child’s future, and give their child the life that he or she deserves.

Open adoption is one way that many birth mothers ease their feelings about adoption. Open adoption allows them to maintain contact with the adoptive parents of their child and stay aware of the child’s growth. We would love to hear about your open adoption plan, and how it has developed over the years.

How can you help?

Adoption gives children in need love and opportunity. Those that have not been touched by adoption may not fully understand the adoption process, how it works, and what can come of it. We welcome you to share your thoughts, feelings, and stories about the adoption journey, to help others see the benefits of the adoption.

Let us celebrate these 30 days of November together. If you would like more information on National Adoption Awareness Month, or how you can get involved, contact us directly at 1-800-722-7731.

We look forward to hearing from you!