Archive for August, 2017

What “This is Us” Can Teach Us About Adoption

randalls adoption in this is us

“This is Us” – NBC’s latest breakout series – tells one of the most poignant and intimate adoption stories to hit televisions yet. Exploring subjects like transracial adoption, closed adoption, and the effects of adoption on children, the show depicts the adoption journey with an undeniable realness, reflecting the emotional trials and experiences of adopted children, adoptive parents, and birth parents alike.

Now less than a month away, many of us are looking forward to the newest season of “This is Us,” which is scheduled to premiere late September. Many of us anticipate answers to questions like, “What happened to Jack?” and “Will Randall and his wife adopt a child?”. Before we get there, let us take a minute to reflect on Season 1.

Among the many storylines in the show “This is Us,” perhaps the most prominent is the story of Randall Pearson, a black child who is adopted by a white family in the 1980s. Flashing between the 80s and present day, Randall’s story teaches viewers that adoption is both a positive and complicated choice. As an adoption agency founded in the 1980s, Adoptions With Love knows the adoptions of this time well. To help educate others on adoption (then and now), we have outlined our top three takeaways from the “This is Us” adoption story.

1. Closed adoption can have negative effects.

In the show “This is Us,” Randall’s story begins with what is called a “safe haven” adoption – his birth father, William, leaves him in a basket on the doorstep of the local fire station. Randall’s mother had died giving birth and William, addicted to drugs at the time, was not ready to parent a newborn on his own. The firefighters brought Randall to the hospital, where fate then brought him and the Pearson family together. Randall was adopted by Jack and Rebecca Pearson, who had just lost their third triplet during birth.

The day Randall is adopted, William goes to the hospital discreetly to ensure that his baby is in good hands. Rebecca catches eyes with him, realizes who he is, and visits him later on in Randall’s childhood. But she chooses to keep this meeting, as well as her knowledge of Randall’s birth father, a secret. She does not tell her husband, Jack, and she does not tell Randall even though he asks. In efforts to protect both her son and her bond with her son, she tells William that he cannot have any contact with Randall.

randall and adoptive dad

The unknowns are hard on Randall. He grows up with no knowledge of his birth family and no official ties to his background or heritage. He grows up in a white household, with two siblings who both know and are raised by their biological parents. He tries to imagine what his birth parents look like and do, constantly confronting issues of identity and belonging. Despite belonging to a loving and supportive family, Randall is still deeply affected by what he does not know. He does not have any African American role models in his life.

Randall has what is called a closed adoption, in which he and his parents do not have ongoing contact with his birth family. He does not have access to answers about his background or adoption story. He does not grow up with respect or understanding of his birth mother and father. With little information about his roots and his African American heritage, he carries some confusion and hurt. These complicated feelings are reflected when he finally meets his birth father as an adult, after hiring a private investigator to seek William out.

Closed adoptions were more common in the 1980s, when the early “This is Us” storyline takes place. Back then, birth parents could not always choose a family for their baby. Adoptive families had limited knowledge of their child’s birth parents. Adopted children could not easily contact their birth families, and rarely met them in person.

Closed adoptions may seem like the best choice for adoptive parents like Rebecca, who are scared of the birth family and worry about how a birth family might affect their child. However, “This is Us” teaches us that secretive, closed adoptions can actually affect their child negatively, distilling feelings of confusion, anger, and guilt at a young age. The show also teaches us that having a connection to one’s birth family can create very positive, meaningful relationships – not negative ones.

That is why today, open adoption plans are more of the norm. Adoptive families can keep in touch with the child’s birth parents online, over the phone, through letters, through the adoption agency, and even in-person. From an early age, adopted children in open adoptions can grow up knowing who their birth parents are, what they look like, and why they chose adoption. This gives them greater confidence, greater respect, and greater understanding of themselves as they mature.

2. Adopted children are naturally curious about their roots, even if they do not ask.

Children are naturally curious. Even in the instance they have everything they could need or ask for, they still wonder about the whys, what ifs, and what could be. This is especially true for those children who have been adopted, those who do not always have complete clarity of their background or biology.

This curiosity, this inherent drive, to uncover one’s biological roots is depicted near perfectly in the series “This is Us.” Growing up, Randall has a stable and healthy home, a great education, as well as two married parents who love him unconditionally. Despite all of it, however, he still feels a void. He desires to know more about his birth parents. At one point in his childhood, he even walks around the grocery store asking black adults if they can roll their tongues as he can. He believes this genetic trait will help him track down his biological family.

Randall’s mother, Rebecca, takes this act personally. She worries she is not enough for Randall, and that finding his birth family could mean losing her son. Having a transracial adoption, she is especially insecure about her bond with Randall and whether she can meet all of his needs. Randall recognizes this and eventually keeps his questions to himself. He tries to hide any desire to know more about his roots, so as not to offend his parents.

The desire to know and understand more – about birth parents, about biological siblings, about traits that they all might share – is completely normal and necessary for adopted children. It is especially important for adoptive parents to recognize this, and to know that it is not a rejection or reflection of their parenting. This desire, this need, is a natural curiosity among adopted children to learn more about who they are. It is essential to developing their own sense of identity.

3. Birth parents are emotionally affected by adoption, too.

randall and birth father this is us

Adoption is a difficult journey, and we see that through Randall’s emotional struggles on “This is Us.” It is worthy to note, however, that Randall is not the only one who experiences complicated emotions throughout this journey. William, his birth father, also feels the heartbreak and overwhelming, yet delicate love that so often comes with adoption re-connections. For 36 years, William felt heartbreak, grief, and loss. Like Randall, William spent years of his life wondering “what if” and “what could be.” We see these feelings in several episodes of “This is Us.”

Adoption is a decision made with love; a decision made in the best interest of the child. What William chose to do that day, having a history of drug abuse, was in the best interest of Randall. Randall was able to grow up with two loving and devoted parents, in a safe neighborhood with opportunity to grow and thrive. Despite the loss that William felt after leaving his baby, he knew that he could not offer all of that to a child. So, he made a sacrifice.

Adoption is a lifelong journey that constantly shifts and turns, presenting new feelings and challenges at each phase and for each member of the adoption triad. Adoption can also be a beautiful journey full of understanding, forgiveness, and love. Randall’s adoption story in “This is Us” is an excellent example of the highs and lows, the happiness and hardships, that the adoption journey can bring to all who are touched by it.

What do you – as a birth parent, adoptive parent, or adoptee – think of the “This is Us” adoption story?

 

 


Back to School: Talking About Adoption with Teachers & Classmates

The first day of school is right around the corner. You and your child have been stocking up on school supplies, spending your final days off with old friends, and getting ready to meet new ones this fall. Perhaps your child has been practicing the ABCs, the 123s, and mastering the art of writing his or her name. Maybe your little one has picked out the coolest lunchbox to impress classmates the first day.

There are many preparations that come with the back-to-school season. If you are an adoptive parent, this time is also a great opportunity for you to think about adoption and school, and prepare for the ways in which your child’s adoption story might come into play throughout the school year.

School is often a child’s first real encounter with people outside of family and friends. For an adopted child, school may also be the first time he or she is asked questions about adoption, or asked to share information about his or her family with others outside it. To help your child navigate these conversations at school, and to help your child feel confident in his or her adoption story, Adoptions With Love recommends the following tips:

1. Speak openly, positively, and regularly about adoption in your home.

One of the best things you can do as an adoptive parent is talk openly and honestly about adoption with your child. Even at a very young age, your child will benefit from hearing his or her adoption story (in age-appropriate language) and knowing that it is a very special part of your family.

Talking about adoption openly in your home also gives your child the message that you are comfortable and proud to talk about their story and allows many opportunities to ask questions about adoption. Your answers and your perspective will help your son or daughter grow confident in sharing their story, too. By talking openly, you are giving your child the message that this discussion does not hurt your feelings and that you want open communication. Instead of feeling confused by adoption-related questions at school, your child might even become the one who educates others about adoption.  However, this should not be a burden on your child and cause stress.

2. Prepare your child for questions about adoption.

Being an adoptive parent, you have likely been asked countless questions about adoption and your experience with it – about your child’s birth parents, his or her background or ethnicity, perhaps even your personal feelings on the subject. Many of these questions were likely fueled by unawareness or misconceptions regarding adoption. More than likely, you used your answers as a way to inform and educate others about this positive, loving act. It is important to teach your child to do the same.

Fact is, many kids do not know much about adoption before going to school. They will ask questions, sometimes over and over again. Before sending your child to school, remember that healthy adoption conversations start at home. As a parent, you can help your child become familiar with, as well as proud of, his or her adoption story. You can help your child understand that there are all different types of families in the world, and that yours is very special and unique. Explain that other classmates may not know this yet. Having these conversations now will help your child feel more equipped to handle any questions in a positive and healthy manner.

Most of all, also help your child understand that this adoption story is his or her own to tell. There is no pressure to talk about it if he or she is not comfortable doing so. You can discuss the difference between secrecy and privacy. This is not a secret, but your child may wish for it to be private until they are ready to share it.

3. Consider talking to school faculty about adoption.

Many parents wonder if they should tell teachers about their family’s adoption background. Some believe that adoption is private or irrelevant to their child’s school performance, while others think it will be helpful for teachers to know. There is no right answer here – the choice to share your family’s adoption story is completely up to you. However, it is something we recommend considering as an adoptive family. Sometimes adoption comes up at school and you would want to know so you can address this at home.

Even today, teachers do not always know how to approach the topic of adoption or integrate it into school assignments. Without knowing about your child’s story, teachers may give homework such as a “family tree” or request that students bring in baby photos, two typical elementary assignments that can be challenging for adopted children. By informing your child’s teacher early in the school year, he or she will be better able to accommodate your child’s needs and stay sensitive to adoption issues. You can even help the teacher think-up new, fun assignments to educate other students about adoption, too!

Talking about adoption with teachers can be especially useful for elementary school-age children, who may face emotional challenges as they start to understand more of their adoption story. Talking about adoption with teachers ahead of time will encourage them to use very positive adoption language in the classroom. This will also help teachers make adopted children feel more secure and comfortable in class.

A good opportunity to have the adoption conversation is at the very beginning of the school year, during a parent-teacher conference. Or, you may choose to reach out to your child’s teacher via email. You may also consider including your child in these conversations, to help share his or her story.

4. Get involved.

While you cannot be side by side with your child during the school days, you can get involved with his or her education. Actually, we recommend it. Getting involved with your child’s education – whether attending parent conferences, PTA meetings, helping with homework, donating books to the school, or volunteering in the classroom – can help make the transition to school both comfortable and positive for your child. It will show your child that his or her learning (and his or her success) is important to you. Being there will encourage your son or daughter to do well, to stand tall, and be the best he or she can be.

If your child is entering the first or second grade, you can use it as a great opportunity to introduce the topic of adoption to his or her peers. For example, you may consider donating or bringing in children’s books about adoption, such as Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, by Jamie Lee Curtis, or A Mother for Choco, by Keiko Kasza.

There is no doubt that the start of the school year is an exciting time for your child. As an adoptive parent, though, you may be feeling a bit nervous about sending your child off to school for the first time. Do not worry. With some preparation on your part, and with consistent, open adoption conversations in your home, you can ready your child for a great start to the school year. If you have any questions about adoption and school, or about talking to your child about adoption, please do not hesitate to call Adoptions With Love at 1-800-722-7731 or visit http://adoptionswithlove.org/contact-us.


Preparing for Adoption: Your Third & Final Trimester

Unplanned pregnancy can be quite the rollercoaster, full of complicated emotions, challenges, uncertainties, and anticipation along the way. It is also a journey filled with love and hope, a journey that many women continue to take in the best interests of their baby. Some women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose to parent their child; others lovingly choose to make an adoption plan.

If you are pregnant and feel you are not ready to become a parent, you may be considering placing your baby for adoption. You have already read up on your options and evaluated the pros and cons of each. You have spoken with your doctor, as well as a trusted friend or counselor, and decided that adoption will bring the most positive outcomes to you and your child long-term. As much as you love your unborn baby already, you know in your heart that you are not emotionally, financially, or physically ready to raise a child. You are, however, prepared to make a plan that will give your baby the best start at life.

While you can start making an adoption plan at any stage of your pregnancy, most expectant parents will do the majority of their planning in their third trimesters. This is the final stretch in which the pregnancy truly becomes a reality. The baby does the most growing during this time – going from a mere two pounds to between six and nine pounds – and his or her movement gets much more frequent.

If you are entering the final stages of your pregnancy, you too are likely starting to feel the effects. Your baby and your belly is growing quickly, and your due date is approaching fast. You have been educated on what to physically expect for delivery, but are only starting to prepare for the emotional effects of adoption. You also need to decide where you will have your baby, who will be there at the birth, as well as the details of how your adoption plan will go— during the rest of your pregnancy and beyond.

Preparing for adoption is a very helpful step for expectant mothers, as it gives them peace of mind in knowing that they thoughtfully planned for their child’s life. To help you get started in preparing for adoption, Adoptions With Love has outlined the most essential steps in making an adoption plan.

1. Find an adoption agency you trust. Choosing an agency you trust is a crucial first step in preparing for adoption. An adoption agency is equipped with counselors and attorneys who can walk you through the adoption process and help you make the perfect adoption plan. They can also help you prepare for the emotional aspects of adoption, and offer ongoing services to ensure you are comfortable at each stage of your pregnancy and beyond.

Adoptions With Love is a non-profit, private, full-service adoption agency working with expectant and birth parents nationwide. Here, we extend a range of free services to women considering adoption for their babies. Our compassionate counselors can help you learn more about adoption, find a family for your baby, prepare for your delivery, arrange for post-adoption contact, and meet with you even after your baby is placed. We also offer housing, legal, and other financial assistance to expectant mothers considering adoption.

 2. Choose a family for your baby. By now, you have spent some time bonding with your baby and likely have an idea of what you want for him or her. You might want your baby to have siblings as he or she grows. You may feel it is important for your child to have two parents, a stay-at-home-parent, or a parent of a certain ethnicity or background. We welcome you to share these hopes and needs with us.

At Adoptions With Love, you will have the opportunity to make your dreams for your child a reality by choosing an adoptive family. If you would like to do so, we will show you profiles and photo albums of the loving families waiting to adopt. These families have also written personal letters, to share with you their own hopes and dreams for raising a child. You can handpick the adoptive family that best fits your wishes and needs, and even meet with them over the phone, online, or in-person. All of the families at Adoptions With Love have been thoroughly screened and interviewed, and are ready to support a child for life.

3. Make a hospital plan. Preparing for delivery is another important step to take in your third trimester. Because you are choosing adoption for your baby, your hospital experience will be especially unique and can be tailored to your needs. For example, you can decide if you want your child’s adoptive family to be with you at the time of birth. You can also decide how much time you want to spend with your child, and what (if any) mementos you want to take home.

By making a hospital plan now, you can go into labor feeling comfortable and confident in knowing that you have already prepared. Adoptions With Love can help you make this plan so that, when it is time for your baby to come, you can rest assured that all your needs will be met during your hospital stay. We will not only help you find a good doctor and hospital to have the baby, we can also be with you on the day your baby is born. In addition, we can help you stay in touch with your child’s adoptive family, call them when you would like them to arrive, and ensure that you get enough time to spend with your child before making your decision.

4. Make your post-adoption plan. A post-adoption plan is an arrangement made by an expectant/birth mother and the prospective adoptive parents of her child. It details how much (if any) contact you would like with your child’s adoptive family after the adoption takes place. This plan is designed around your needs as well as the best interests of your child.

If you would like ongoing, direct contact with your child and his or her adoptive family over the years, you can choose to have an open adoption plan. If you are more comfortable with a confidential arrangement, we can keep your adoption closed and private. You can also make an adoption plan that falls somewhere in-between open and closed, for example, with contact mediated through an adoption agency. No form of adoption is any more right than another; only you can decide what is best for you and your child.

Your post-adoption plan can be made now, in the final months of your pregnancy, or even after the birth of your baby. Just because you are approaching the finish line does not mean you need to rush in making this decision. All states today require that birth mothers wait until their baby is born before signing any adoption papers.

5. Seek post-adoption support. As you already know, adoption is an emotional journey – one that continues even after your child is placed. For this reason, we encourage you to receive ongoing counseling and support after the adoption takes place. Adoptions With Love offers continuous, confidential counseling services that will be free-of-cost to you. Our compassionate staff can help you navigate any complicated emotions post-pregnancy, as well as any communication or relationships that will carry on following your baby’s adoption. We will always be here for you.

To learn more about preparing for adoption, or for additional unplanned pregnancy advice, please download our free “Preparing for Adoption: A Month-by-Month Guide” below. For immediate adoption or unplanned pregnancy help, please do not hesitate to call Adoptions With Love at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072. We are here 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week to answer your call.

preparing to place baby for adoption

If you are in your first trimester of an unplanned pregnancy, learn what to do here.  If you are in your second trimester and considering adoption, you may also read, “Unplanned Pregnancy Advice for Trimester Two.”

 


Unplanned Pregnancy Advice for Trimester Two

Unplanned pregnancy is one of the most difficult experiences a woman will ever have to face. Right now, you may be feeling especially scared or confused about what to do next. You are now months into your pregnancy and feeling all sorts of major changes happening to your body and mind. You also know that some big decisions lie ahead, and may be feeling overwhelmed by all that is happening at once.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, it is important to know that there is support available to you. Your second trimester is a time for big changes and important decisions, and you should never feel like you are in this all alone. Adoptions With Love is always here for you, to help you explore your options, find pregnancy care and resources, and make the best possible decision for your baby. We offer free-of-cost, free-of-pressure unplanned pregnancy advice and services to expectant mothers nationwide.

That all starts now. To help you through the many stages of your pregnancy and prepare to make a decision for your baby, we have created a “Month-by-Month” guide for expectant parents. Here, you will explore your different options, learn what to expect during each trimester of your unexpected pregnancy, and find out how to make an adoption plan. If you are in your second trimester currently, keep reading for some of the most important unplanned pregnancy advice from Adoptions With Love.

Revisit Your Unplanned Pregnancy Options

During your second trimester, you should take time to again research and reconsider your different pregnancy options. No matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, you still have the option to parent your child or make a loving adoption plan.

Before you make this decision, however, it is important to think about what you want for yourself and for your child. Ask yourself questions such as: Am I truly ready to raise a child? Am I emotionally and financially in the right place? How will having a baby affect my life and personal goals? Can I still go to college and fulfill a career while raising a child? Where do I see myself in five or ten years? Is there a child by my side? Am I happy?

Thinking about your own, as well as your child’s, wants and needs can help you decide on the path that is right for you. If you find in your heart you are not ready to become a parent, you might consider placing your baby for adoption. You can learn more about this positive alternative from a trusted doctor, counselor, or adoption professional.

While you do not have to make an immediate decision, making a plan for your baby now can help prepare you for the road ahead. If you start an adoption plan, for example, you can get many of your expenses covered, choose an adoptive family for your baby, and prepare emotionally for the placement. Having a plan and knowing what you want can also make it easier to tell family and friends the news.

Seek Support from a Professional

Deciding to parent or make an adoption plan is a difficult and momentous decision. Right now, you probably still have many questions or hesitations. Finding the right support as you work through your thoughts can make all the difference. You do not have to do this alone. If you have not already, now is the time to seek professional support and build a network of resources to help you through this process.

Speaking with an adoption professional can be very helpful as you navigate your unplanned pregnancy. At Adoptions With Love, we will work closely with you to explore your pregnancy options, as well as the benefits and challenges of each choice. We will listen to your wishes and answer any questions you might have (we encourage you to make a list of questions for us!). All interactions with Adoptions With Love are completely confidential, so you can always express yourself openly and honestly in a safe place.

Through Adoptions With Love, you can also attend birth mother support groups and speak with other women who have been through this experience. They can offer you personal, unbiased unplanned pregnancy advice and will welcome you to explore your feelings with them.

It is important to know that meeting with an adoption agency does not bind you to choosing adoption.  Adoptions With Love is here as a resource for you. Our counselors are compassionate and will never judge you or pressure you into a decision. We will always respect you and your choices, no matter which path you choose to take. We understand that this is your child and only your decision.

Consider Telling Others that You Are Pregnant

At this stage in your pregnancy, you are likely starting to show. Your belly is getting bigger, your hands and feet may be swelling, and your emotions are all over the place. Not to mention, your baby is now about two pounds and has probably started to kick and move around. It is getting harder and harder for you to hide this from other people in your life.

The second trimester is about the time expectant parents will share the news about their pregnancy. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, however, delivering that news might not come so easily. Up until now, you have likely kept your pregnancy a secret from most – if not all – people in your life. We understand this completely. Telling your friends and family, as well as the father of your baby, is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the unplanned pregnancy journey.

If you feel uneasy about sharing the news, consider asking a trusted friend or counselor to stand by your side or help you prepare for the conversation. An Adoptions With Love social worker, for example, can help you plan how, where, and when to tell your loved ones. We can also help you tell the biological father and help him understand the positive choice of adoption. If you do not have a good relationship with the father, we can contact him so that you do not have to speak with him directly.

It helps to first share this news with people you trust and who you know will support your pregnancy – perhaps a best friend, your parents, or your boyfriend. By doing so, you can practice having the conversation as well as build your confidence for telling others. The support of trusted friends or family will also mean a lot as you explore your different options and continue navigating the pregnancy.

Remember, if you need counseling or unplanned pregnancy advice, know that Adoptions With Love offers free services to any woman exploring her options. As part of those services, we can help you tell friends, family, and the birth father about your pregnancy and potential adoption plan. If you do not want to tell your friends or family about the news, we will also support you. Adoption is completely confidential, and you have the option to keep yours private.

For more unplanned pregnancy advice, you may download our free “Month-by-Month” guide below. To learn more about making an adoption plan, please call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Unexpected Pregnancy: What to Do in Trimester One

Are you unexpectedly expecting? Discovering an unplanned pregnancy can be a very overwhelming and emotional experience. Right now, you may be feeling scared, confused, embarrassed, panicked, or even in disbelief. It is important to know that these conflicting emotions are completely normal for newly expectant mothers. It is also important to know that you have the ability to turn that positive pregnancy test into a positive experience overall, even if you are not ready to become a parent.

If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy and do not know what to do, you have come to the right place. Adoptions With Love is a non-profit, full-service adoption agency helping expectant mothers make the best possible choices for themselves and their children. We can also help you. This blog is designed to get you through your first trimester, outlining the most important steps expectant mothers should take in the first few months of an unplanned pregnancy.

1. Look for pregnancy symptoms. Are you feeling fatigued, gaining weight, or more nauseous than normal? Are your breasts tender of have they changed in size? Did you miss your last period and think you might be pregnant? These symptoms can be a good indicator that you are pregnant. However, it is important to confirm with a doctor. Other factors can cause signs that resemble pregnancy symptoms. For example, too much exercise or stress can cause a missed period.

2. Confirm your pregnancy with a trusted medical professional. If you are exhibiting signs of pregnancy, missed your period, and think you could be pregnant, it is important to see a clinical professional. Make an appointment with your primary care doctor or OB/GYN and request to schedule a pregnancy test. Even if your home test came back positive, you should still make a doctor’s appointment to confirm its results.

Your doctor will be able to tell you how far along you are in your pregnancy, and how your baby is developing. (By the end of your third trimester, your baby is already about the size of a peach and has begun to develop eyes and ears, fingers and toes, as well as a heart, brain, and muscles.) Understanding how far along you are will determine your next steps for care.

3. Start taking good care of yourself. Pregnancy, without a doubt, requires some lifestyle changes. If you were not expecting to get pregnant, you might have unknowingly partaken in activities unhealthy for your baby up until this point – not getting enough sleep, drinking alcohol or using drugs, consuming a lot of caffeine, taking prescription medications, smoking, or consuming raw foods. After learning you are pregnant, you may have felt depressed or overly stressed.

Now that you know you are pregnant, you can make positive changes in your life: start eating healthy, drinking water, limiting your caffeine intake, and cease any smoking or substance use (alcohol, drugs, tobacco). Start taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid, which can help prevent health problems in your baby, and pursue ongoing prenatal care. If you are battling any negative feelings, see a counselor who specializes in unplanned pregnancy. The compassionate social workers at Adoptions With Love can also help you work through any complicated emotions.

4. Learn about your different pregnancy options. You have many unexpected pregnancy options as an expectant mother. If you know in your heart you are not ready to become a parent, your first trimester will be the time to decide if you would like to terminate your pregnancy or carry your child to term and make an adoption plan.

By now, you may have already started to bond with the baby in your belly. You may be thinking that terminating your pregnancy is not an option at this point. If you are not ready to raise a child, know that adoption is a positive alternative. Adoption allows you to make a thoughtful plan for your baby, even when you were not planning to have him or her. Through adoption, you can choose a family for your baby and keep in touch with your child’s adoptive family years down the road. Ask your doctor for more information about adoption, or call Adoptions With Love to learn more about making an adoption plan.

5. Make a plan for your pregnancy. If you choose to continue your pregnancy, now is the time to start planning for what is ahead. Things to consider include where you will live, which doctor you will see for prenatal care, and how you will finance any medical or maternity expenses.

Many insurance plans include some maternity assistance. If you do not have health insurance, however, your state may offer public assistance programs for pregnant women, such as food stamps or government-funded housing.

If you choose to move forward with making an adoption plan, there will also be financial assistance available to you. Adoptions With Love, for example, offers housing assistance, legal services, and complete counseling at no cost to expectant mothers during and weeks after their pregnancy. If you do not have a doctor, we can help you find quality medical care. We can also cover any uninsured medical expenses after your adoption is complete.

Your first trimester is the time to find the right resources, take care of your health, and begin making a plan. In the early stages of an unexpected pregnancy, knowing what to do can truly benefit your baby’s health and your feelings during this time. If you need adoption support or help at any point in your pregnancy – now or months from now – know that Adoptions With Love is here for you, and only one call away. Contact us toll-free at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072 to get started.

For more tips on what to do for an unexpected pregnancy, as well as help through each trimester, please download our month-by-month guide below.