Archive for the ‘Birth Parents’ Category

Signs to Look for When Choosing the Best Adoption Agency for You

The adoption process is full of choices.  Today, you can choose an adoptive family for your baby.  You can also choose to meet that family.  You even have the option to keep in touch with your child and his or her adoptive family over the years.  These are all choices made in your adoption plan.

As an expectant/birth parent, you also have the right to choose an adoption agency that can help you design your perfect adoption plan.  The right adoption agency will educate you on your many options, prepare you for the adoption process, and help you make informed decisions each step of the way.  The right adoption agency will be there to support you now and in the future.

How will you find the best adoption agency for you?  Look for the following positive signs of a reputable adoption agency.

  • They provide you with more than one option. A good adoption agency will encourage you to explore all of your unplanned pregnancy options before making a final decision. They will take the time to educate you about each one of these options so that you are fully confident in your choice.  Not only this, but the right adoption agency will also continuously remind you that it is okay to change your mind at any moment during your pregnancy.
  • They advise you regarding all of your legal rights. As an expectant/birth parent, you have the right to make all decisions regarding your child up until the adoption takes place.  Look for an adoption agency that works with adoption attorneys who can advise you on all of your   rights as well as the specific laws in your area. For example, they should be able to help you understand the exact period of time you have to make a decision and how long you have to change your mind.
  • They offer many types of adoption plans. The right adoption agency will give you more than one choice when it comes to making your adoption plan.  You should always have the option to design a closed, semi-open, or open adoption
  • They prepare you for the ups and downs of the adoption process. Adoption is a very positive choice for women facing an unplanned pregnancy, but it can also be a complex and deeply emotional decision. The adoption agency you choose should help you understand what to expect before, during, and after the adoption takes place.  They should be open and honest every step of the way. The right adoption agency will help you understand and cope with your emotions.
  • They express a lifelong commitment to you and your baby. How will the adoption agency support you after you place your baby for adoption?  Do they offer ongoing counseling services following the birth of your baby?  Do they have support groups?  Can they help put you in touch with your child down the road?  The right adoption agency will commit to you for years to come.
  • They are not-for-profit. Many adoption agencies today are in the business to facilitate adoptions and to profit from those adoptions.  A non-profit adoption agency, however, is not looking to make money.  Rather, they are looking to find the best possible home for your child.  Non-profit agencies are often the best adoption agencies to pursue.

If a prospective adoption agency exhibits any of the following, it is likely they do not have you or your child’s best interest in mind.  When choosing an adoption agency, consider these warning signs:

  • They give off a sense of urgency. If the adoption agency you are considering wants you to make a decision quickly, you may want to reevaluate their intentions. Some adoption professionals will want you to “make a decision by tomorrow” without fully educating you about your options or the adoption process.
  • They advertise “big budgets” and luxurious accommodations to recruit pregnant women. If the adoption agency is advertising big bucks and hotel suites to expectant parents, take it as a red flag.  Adoption agencies that attempt to recruit pregnant women are likely to pressure you into a decision later on or make you feel unable to change your mind.  This may also indicate they are only concerned with big profits, not you or your baby’s best interests.
  • They only show you glowing reviews and testimonials. Adoption agencies that only share glowing reviews or testimonials from other birth mothers may be ones to question.  This type of adoption agency may not give you the most accurate view of adoption.  They may only provide you with adoption’s fairy tale endings.  They may glamorize adoption to be the perfect solution, even when adoption may not be right for you and your baby.
  • They are not a licensed adoption agency. Ask the potential adoption agency for their license and a phone number to call to check their legitimacy and authority. If they cannot provide you with that certification, they are not a licensed adoption agency.

At Adoptions With Love, we truly believe that the more informed you are about adoption, the more positive you will feel about each choice you make throughout the process.  The best adoption agency for you will be open and honest as you consider the positive choice of adoption.

For questions to ask a potential adoption agency, download our free eBook, the Guide to Choosing an Adoption Agency.


Adoption Facilitators, Lawyers, and Agencies: Which is Best for You?

As an expectant mother, you are the only person who truly knows what is best for you and your baby.  You are the only one who can make a decision regarding your baby’s future. While you have the most control in creating your personal adoption plan, you do not have to go through it alone.  There are many knowledgeable, compassionate adoption professionals who can help you navigate this journey.

When facing an unplanned pregnancy, it can be difficult to know where you can and should turn for support.  There are thousands of different professionals who can walk you through the adoption process.  As an expectant mother choosing adoption, how will you decide upon the most reliable, professional support?  How will you know you are making the right choice?

In this blog, you will learn about three common types of adoption professionals available to you: adoption attorneys, adoption facilitators, and private adoption agencies.  Each professional varies in terms of the services it offers, the certifications it possesses, and its involvement with you and your baby.  Who will best ensure that all of your needs are met?  Who will give you the consistent support you deserve?  Let us take a deeper look.

Adoption Facilitators

Adoption facilitators are professionals who assist in connecting prospective adoptive families with expectant/birth mothers considering adoption.  They offer general matching services and advertising for families in exchange for a fee.  In most cases, though, that is the extent of their offerings.  Once an expectant/birth mother selects an adoptive family for her baby, the facilitator steps out of the equation.  He or she is not certified to complete the adoption process or continue support for anyone involved.

The benefit of adoption facilitators is that they work with many different waiting families and will likely have a variety of options available to you and your baby.  However, adoption facilitators provide less than one-fourth of the services that licensed adoption agencies offer. They do not have resources in place to guide you through the adoption journey.  They are not qualified to offer  counseling on your many unplanned pregnancy options or help you decide whether adoption is truly right for you.  They are also not able to offer you any financial, housing, medical, or legal assistance.

Typically, adoption facilitators are companies or individuals who are unlicensed and unregulated by the government.  For this reason, their services are illegal in many states throughout the country.  If you are considering working with an adoption facilitator, it is crucial to consult with someone about your state adoption laws.  The unlawful use of an adoption facilitator can impact the legal standing of your baby’s adoption.

Adoption Attorneys

Some attorneys specialize in the field of adoption.  They are the professionals who are able to legalize and finalize the adoption process.  For this reason, all adoptions in the United States require the work of an adoption attorney.  But not all attorneys specialize in adoption and know all the adoption laws.

Many adoption agencies work closely with adoption attorneys and offer legal services as part of their service offerings.  If you choose to make an adoption plan with a full-service agency, you will likely get free legal counsel from an adoption attorney specific to your area.  In this case, you will not need to hire an adoption attorney on your own.

Some women, however, choose to work independently with an adoption attorney.  This is particularly common for expectant/birth mothers who already have found an adoptive family.  If you choose to work with an adoption lawyer on your own, you will be required to take on a more independent role throughout the adoption process.  You will need to seek additional support through other resources, such as an adoption social worker.

While adoption attorneys do comply with state adoption laws, they do not always offer binding post-placement contracts.  In a lawyer-facilitated adoption, there may be no option for regulated, ongoing contact between you and your child’s adoptive family.

Private Adoption Agencies

Private adoption agencies are social service agencies that work with expectant/birth parents and waiting adoptive families to find the best possible home for each and every child.  They are made up of well-trained, well-established, and highly qualified professionals.  Private adoption agencies are regulated and licensed by the state to provide extensive services to pregnant women, birth parents, and adoptive families at each stage of the adoption process.

If you choose to work with a private adoption agency, you will always have someone to turn to for help.  Unlike adoption facilitators and attorneys, an adoption agency professional will be there for you during your pregnancy, and after the adoption takes place.  They will arrange for someone to support you while you are in the hospital. They will help you design your perfect adoption plan, and offer resources and guidance to you at each stage of the process.

Today, most private adoption agencies offer free services for birth mothers, such as matching services, legal representation, one-to-one counseling, and financial assistance.  They also screen all of their adoptive families to ensure they are fit to adopt a baby.  Not only this, but most private adoption agencies offer legal, binding contracts so that birth parents can maintain longer-term contact with their child and his or her adoptive family.

As a pregnant mother considering adoption, you are entitled to these valuable services, at no cost to you.  Yet choosing an adoption facilitator or adoption attorney as your primary support may limit or exclude you from the extensive support you deserve.

To learn more about where to seek adoption help, please download our free Guide to Choosing an Adoption Agency. You may also call Adoptions With Love any time of day at 1-800-722-7731.


State by State: How to Place Your Child for Adoption in Massachusetts

Are you pregnant and considering adoption for your baby?  The decision to make an adoption plan for your child is never easy.  It is one of the biggest, most emotional and difficult decisions you will ever have to make, but in time you will find it is also one of the most loving choices you can make for your child.

If you feel ready to consider an adoption plan for your baby, but do not know where to start, you have come to the right place.  Adoptions With Love is a licensed, non-profit adoption agency that helps expectant/birth parents nationwide find the best possible home for their children.

If you are currently living in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there are specific steps you will need to take to place your baby for adoption.  You do not have to go through this on your own.  Our Massachusetts Adoption Agency will help guide you through this journey.  We are here to ensure that you understand the adoption process, and that you are comfortable and confident with each decision made along the way.

We have created this short guide to show you some of the steps you can take if you decide to make an adoption plan in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

1.) Choose an Adoption Agency

Choosing the right adoption agency is an important first step of the adoption process.  The adoption agency you choose should be by your side throughout the entire adoption experience—as you prepare for the adoption, after placement, and throughout your life.  Your agency professionals should always listen to your wishes, respect your choices, and use those to help you design the perfect adoption plan.

In order to make a legal, secure adoption plan in Massachusetts, you will be required to work with a non-profit agency licensed by the Commonwealth.

2.) Understand the Adoption Laws of Your Area

Adoption laws and regulations differ depending on the state.  It is important to find an adoption agency who is specifically trained in and knowledgeable about the laws in your area.

In Massachusetts, no parent can sign legal adoption documents until four days after the baby’s birth.  This ensures that birth parents are one hundred percent confident in their decision.  Once the legal documents are signed in Massachusetts, the birth parents cannot change their minds.  That is why, at Adoptions With Love, we want you to be completely certain that you are making the best possible decision for your child.

3.) Discuss an Adoption Plan

With a Massachusetts open adoption agency, you will have the option to design the type of adoption plan you want: an open adoption, semi-open adoption, or a closed adoption plan.  You can also select the family of your child, if you wish.

4.) Choose an Adoptive Family

If you would like to choose an adoptive family for your baby, your adoption agency can show you various waiting families who may be a match for your child.  You can take as much time as you need in choosing the perfect adoptive family for your baby.  You can also meet them in person.

In Massachusetts, it is required that all potential adoptive families are thoroughly screened and evaluated by a licensed adoption agency.  We go to their homes to ensure the environment is safe and secure. They have gone through an extensive home study process as well as a series of background checks to ensure the safety and stability of their home.  We want to make sure your baby is placed in a loving, safe, and stable home.

5.) Create an Open Adoption Agreement

An Open Adoption Agreement is a legal and binding agreement offered by licensed adoption agencies in Massachusetts.  This agreement is signed by the birth parents and adoptive parents.  It is entered into court at the time of finalization.  In this plan, you can determine if you want contact with your child and his or her adoptive family, as well as how much contact you would like.  You can choose to have ongoing face-to-face meetings with your adoptive family, communicate with them through email or phone, solely maintain contact through the agency, or have no contact at all.  The choices are yours.

Just as every woman is unique, every adoption plan is unique.  When you work with Adoptions With Love, know that your post-adoption plan will be completely tailored to meet the needs of you, your child, and your child’s adoptive family.

6.) Pursue Ongoing Adoption Support

After your baby’s adoption, it is important to seek ongoing support.  Through a reputable Massachusetts adoption agency, you can participate in support groups or meet one on one with licensed counselors.  At Adoptions With Love, we promise you will have our support and ongoing counseling after the adoption.

Adoptions With Love is a full-service adoption agency.  We provide the following free services to expectant/birth mothers considering adoption in the state of Massachusetts:

  • Complete counseling
  • Help designing your adoption plan
  • Assistance finding quality medical care
  • Housing assistance 
  • Financial assistance
  • Legal assistance
  • Ongoing Contact

This is our State by State Adoption blog series.  To learn about the different areas we service, or to find the specific steps of adoption in your state, please visit adoptionswithlove.org/areas-we-service.


A View of Openness: Peggy’s Adoption Story

The beauty of adoption is that it can come in many different forms, and blossoms in many different ways.  Every adoption story is unique.  This is one birth mother’s story.birth mother story

Peggy came to Adoptions With Love nearly thirty years ago, confronted with an unplanned pregnancy.  She wanted to give her daughter a normal life and loving adoptive family, but could not find an adoption agency that fully supported her wishes.

When Peggy first came to us, she wanted a semi-open adoption plan.  She knew that she wanted to choose the family for her baby, but she also desired a normal life for her daughter.  She thought being a part of that life would only complicate things.  Sixteen years later, that all changed.  She realized that what her daughter truly needed the most was to meet her birth mother.

Read Peggy’s inspirational story as she takes us on an emotional journey through her open adoption experience.  Learn how meeting Margot transformed her life forever.

Meeting Margot

It has been nearly 29 years since I was a freshman in college.  Yet I remember it as though it was yesterday, lying on that hard, plastic, dorm room mattress and realizing that there was something between me and the bed.

What do you do when you are a freshman in college with your whole life ahead of you and a baby growing inside you?  I did not know at the time.  I did know, however, that abortion was not for me.  I knew that the baby’s father should have some say in my decision.  I knew that I had to tell my parents.

Chris, the father and my ex-boyfriend at the time, was out of the parenting equation.  My parents were, too.  “If you keep the baby,” they told me, “we will help you and support your decision, but you will be the parent.”  They already had five children to raise.  They could not parent another.

The responsibility, the decision, came down to just me.  I considered single parenthood but remember asking, ‘What would my life be without my father?’  Growing up, I had the comfort of a mother, a father, and siblings.  I wanted that for my child, as well.  That is when I knew.  I was determined to find a family for my baby.

I first went to my university health center for adoption support.  They offered me abortion pamphlets and directed me to abortion clinics.  When I asked specifically about adoption services, they told me to “look in the Yellow Pages under A.”

I then visited a local adoption agency hoping they could help, only to find that Open Adoption did not exist in Rhode Island.  They told me that I would never meet the adoptive parents of my child.  They told me that I could not talk to potential families or choose the parents for my baby.

I was disheartened at first.  I wanted my child to have a sibling.  I wanted my child to be raised Catholic.  I wanted to find an agency that would help me find a couple who met those wishes.  I wanted an adoption agency that would offer me the counseling I knew I would need, one that would guide me through the process without telling me what to do.

I started to extend my search for an adoption agency outside my home state.  It was 1987 and I was seven months pregnant at the time.  Adoption had only started to evolve. Open adoption was not the norm, and as a result, only two agencies offered me the option of meeting prospective adoptive parents.  My mother and I visited both of these agencies.  The first agency made my mom wait outside the door while I went inside to discuss an adoption plan.  They asked personal details regarding the birth father and my medical history right from the get go, which was a bit unnerving.  But I remember them showing me photos of a waiting family who had a son.  I remember thinking, “This could be the family for my baby.”  Still, we moved on.

The second agency we visited was Adoptions With Love.  My mother and I felt welcomed, supported, understood from the minute we entered their doors— Everything about the agency felt right.  After that initial visit, the director of Adoptions With Love drove hundreds of miles, twice a week, to meet with me and my family.  She counseled me on my pregnancy options and prepared me for the entire adoption process—before, during, and after the birth of my baby.

I vividly remember looking at prospective families with Adoptions With Love.  They told me I could request letters and photos from the adoptive parents regularly after the adoption placement, too, and respected me when I declined.  Of course, I wanted to know that my baby was doing well, but I feared that sending the photos and letters would be too painful for the adoptive parents.  I decided that what was most important was for my child and his/her family to be “normal”.  Having to send photos to me could make the parents not feel that they were a “regular” family.

What was important to me was meeting the adoptive family.  I picked a family that seemed to be the perfect fit, only to learn that they could not go ahead with adoption due to a death in their family.  Adoptions With Love offered me two other couples, a Protestant couple with a child and a childless Catholic couple that planned to have more children.  I knew I needed to stick to my guns and find the family that I believed was right for my daughter. I gave birth the day after I had made this decision.  I was scared.  I had a baby girl but no parents to entrust her to.

I spent three days in the hospital with my daughter.  Those are three days I will never forget, even 29 years later.  I remember them vividly, both crying when she was in the nursery and trying not to cry when she was in my arms.  I remember the sound of her bassinet as it came rolling down the hospital halls.  I remember the day my friend, a priest, came in to bless my daughter.

Two days after my daughter’s birth, the director at Adoptions With Love came to visit. With her she brought a folder that contained a photo of a waiting Massachusetts family.  They had a son.  I was overwhelmed with happiness, with surprise, with tears.  It was the same family I had liked at the first agency.  It was the same family I wanted for my baby.

My daughter soon became Margot, named, by the adoptive parents, after me (Margaret).  I was ecstatic.  At last, I felt like I had done my job.  I found the right parents for my daughter.

I will not deny there were times of sadness.  The day I was discharged from the hospital, the day I bottle fed Margo for the last time, the day I left the hospital with empty arms, was the day I cried the most.  But I remember thinking that it was okay to cry. I had been strong when I needed to be strong.

When we first met, Margot’s adoptive parents suggested another meeting down the road. I thought this would only be confusing for Margot.  So when I said goodbye to my baby, I truly thought I would never see her again.  I prepared myself for this.  I kept my contact information updated in my file with Adoptions With Love, so that Margot could contact me one day, if and when she was ready.  I believed that if we were meant to see each other, we would.

I went back to school, finished my degree, and began my career as an oncology nurse.  I eventually married my husband, Tom, and twelve years after Margot’s birth, we had our daughter Helena.

I have always valued sibling relationships.  They were important for me to give to Margot, and important for me to give to Helena.  Tom and I continued to try and get pregnant. I conceived seven times after Helena’s birth and had seven early miscarriages.  On the eighth try, we conceived our second child, Allison.

Weeks into our pregnancy, Adoptions With Love called.  The director explained that Margo, now 16, was doing well and wanted to meet her birth mother.  She added that Margo’s family fully supported this meeting and that Margot had received counseling.

I received letters and phone calls from Margot up until our meeting.  I remember them vividly: a tracing of Margot’s hand, to show me that one finger was bent.  She asked if anyone in my family had a finger like hers.  She asked where she got her interest in tennis.

We met for the first time on Valentine’s Day.  I was already six months pregnant with Allison and never so nervous in my entire life.  Margot quickly eased my nerves with her overwhelming joy.

Margot has always been my priority.  I have always let her make the rules when it comes to our adoption plan.  From the beginning, I told her adoptive parents that whatever Margot wanted was fine with me.  When she wanted to continue these reunions, we did.  She met my parents, my brothers and sisters, and eventually my aunts, uncles, and cousins as well.  Our meetings became more regular.  One weekend a month Margot would come and visit my family.  She even got to meet Chris, her birth father, a visit which Adoptions With Love mediated nearly three decades later.

In the months following Margot’s birth, I told people that I did not have children.  Now I tell everyone I have three beautiful daughters.  My three daughters are sisters, through and through.  I could not be more proud.

 


How to Choose an Adoption Agency: A Guide for Expectant Mothers [Infographic]

choosing an adoption agency

Did you know that one-third of women facing an unplanned pregnancy consider adoption as a positive option for their baby? If you have made the courageous decision to place your baby for adoption, your next step will be to start designing an adoption plan. Who do you want to help you through this process? Who will offer you the most reliable support throughout your pregnancy and beyond?

Choosing the right kind of adoption professional is vital to the adoption process. The agency or counselor you choose will become the backbone of your adoption plan, offering you guidance and services throughout this unexpected journey. With the many types of adoption professionals today, it can be difficult to know where to turn for the most reputable and trusted support.

At Adoptions With Love, we want you to receive the service that you and your baby deserve. Our expert adoption professionals have created the above infographic to show expectant mothers like you how to choose the best possible adoption support. The above step-by-step guide will help you:

  • Research the various types of adoption professionals. While there are many types of services for women choosing adoption and over 2,000 private agencies throughout the USA, not all will be right for you. For example, adoption attorneys do not offer counseling and ongoing contact/support. Adoption facilitators do not offer screening of adoptive parents, financial support, or ongoing counseling services and are illegal in 15 states. Private adoption agencies are licensed, professionally trained social workers that must adhere to guidelines that protect you and the baby. They carefully screen adoptive families and can commit to you at each stage of the adoption process.
  • Find an agency that gives you choices. Today, 95 percent of adoption agencies offer open, semi-open, and closed adoptions. At an open adoption agency, you will always have the right to control YOUR adoption plan.
  • Find an agency that offers legal adoption agreements. Legal, binding contracts will help ensure that your baby’s adoption will go according to YOUR plan, every step of the way. Today, many private agencies offer post-adoption contracts. In fact, 67 percent of privately adopted U.S. children currently have post-adoption agreements.
  • Find an agency that offers a thorough screening process of potential adoptive families. Many expectant/birth mothers find peace of mind knowing their child will grow up in a safe and secure environment. Choosing an adoption agency that carefully conducts home studies, does thorough background checks, and post-placement visits can ensure the stability of an adoptive family’s home. Look for an agency that requires extensive home studies and at least six months of post-adoption visits.
  • Choose an adoption agency. Our goal is to help you choose an adoption professional that can meet each of your important needs. Read the above infographic to learn how to choose an adoption agency and how to be confident in your choice.

Adoptions With Love is a non-profit, private domestic agency offering adoption assistance to pregnant women nationwide. If you would like more information on finding the right adoption agency or the perfect home for your child, please call us toll-free at 1-800-722-7731. Stay tuned for our free guide, How to Choose an Adoption Agency.


Meeting the Adoptive Family for my Baby: Five Tips for Expectant/Birth Mothers

If have chosen to make an adoption plan for your baby, you have the option of choosing an adoptive family for your child. You may have already done so. As an expectant mother, you have a great understanding of the life you want for your baby. You may already know the type of home and parents you want your baby to have. Most of all, you want what is best for your baby, and after looking through our many adoptive family profile books, you believe you have found a family (or several) that could be a perfect fit.

While profile books are a special way of initially “meeting” each waiting family, you always have the option of meeting a family in-person or over the phone. If you feel ready to take this next step in your adoption journey, Adoptions With Love can arrange a meeting between you and the prospective family you choose. You can meet them in-person prior to the birth of your baby, at the hospital the day your baby is born, or following the adoption placement. At your convenience, they will come to you, wherever you are. If you desire to meet an adoptive family through a phone conversation or internet Skype session, we are happy to arrange that as well.

It is normal to feel nervous about taking this next step. Meeting a potential family for your child can feel much like a first date. You want them to be the perfect parents for your baby. You hope that you have things in common and that the conversation goes smoothly. It usually does and can bring you great peace of mind.

You are not alone. The prospective parents will want the same. Like you, they are both nervous and excited to meet you for the first time. They want you to like them as possible parents for your baby and in many ways, as a family to you as well. If you wish to have an open adoption plan, the adoptive family you choose can become a big part of your life. It is important, therefore, that this first meeting goes well.

As with a date, there are many things you can do to make this initial meeting a success. Consider the following five tips before you meet the adoptive family for your baby.

  • Be yourself. The most important thing to remember throughout this meeting is simply to be yourself. The adoptive family you are meeting may become a forever part of your life. Show them who you are and why you are here. You will have a connection to them for the rest of your life, and this meeting will help determine if you are the right fit for one another.
  • Think about what you want for your child. Do you want your child to celebrate certain holidays? Do you see your child taking dance lessons or playing a sport in the future? Prepare a list of hopes, dreams, and expectations that you wish to share with the potential adoptive family. By sharing this list, you can help the family make your dream for your child a reality.
  • Think about your ideal adoption plan. Set expectations for your adoption plan moving forward. If you want to continue an open adoption plan with ongoing contact between yourself and the adoptive parents, make a note to bring that up during your meeting. If you wish to have only mediated contact with your child after he or she is born, express that to the prospective adoptive family. You will want to ensure that you and the potential parents are always on the same page regarding future communication.
  • Prepare a list of questions. To ensure you are making the best possible choice for your baby, it is important to ask questions. For example, you may want to ask about their neighborhood, their hobbies, or how they spend the holidays. You may want to know more about how they met, or their family relationships: Do they have children or plan to adopt more in the future? Knowing their answers can help you confirm they are the right family to raise your baby.
  • Ask someone you trust to come along for support. If you feel especially nervous about the first meeting, bring a trusted friend to help calm the nerves. Whether it is the baby’s father, a family member, or your adoption specialist, extra company you know and trust can make you feel more at ease. If you choose to bring your adoption counselor, she can chime in with any questions or concerns you feel uncomfortable bringing up.

If you choose to make an adoption plan with an open adoption agency such as Adoptions With Love, we will work with you one-on-one to prepare for this preliminary meeting. If you decide that you do not want to meet an adoptive family in-person, we can still help you design the adoption plan that fits your needs. It is up to you. No two people are alike and there is no right or wrong way.

At Adoptions With Love, we have found that meeting an adoptive family helps put expectant/birth mothers’ minds at ease and mends their hearts. If you choose to meet the adoptive family for your baby, you too can rest assured that you are choosing the best possible outcome for your baby. For more information, call us toll-free at 1-800-722-7731.

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What to Expect When You Make an Adoption Plan: Post-Adoption Support for Birth Mothers

Choosing to create an adoption plan is one of the most courageous and positive choices a birth mother can make if she is not yet ready to raise a child.  Still, many birth mothers experience feelings of loss and grief, even though they know they made the best plan possible for their child.

Even if you know that adoption is the best choice for your baby, or that finding a loving, secure home for your child is the right thing to do, it is still a decision that you will carry with you for years to come.  Adoptions With Love understands that adoption can be an emotionally complicated decision.  It can affect your life in many ways, but it is possible to prepare for it and create a positive adoption experience.  Understanding that your feelings of loss are normal may help you cope with them.

During your pregnancy, you will likely go back and forth regarding your decision to place your baby for adoption. We will try and help you develop a list of the pros and cons of adoption verses parenting.  Before your baby is born, your head works great to reason.  After your baby is born, your heart works overtime.  The moment he or she arrives into this world, you will likely be in disbelief that the time to make your decision has finally come.  You will experience a rush of different emotions—from anger to sadness, to guilt and selfishness.  It is important to know that these feelings are normal.

In the hospital room, you may still find yourself re-evaluating your reasons behind choosing adoption.  These feelings are normal, and what most birth mothers discover when exploring their decision is peace of mind.  You should find comfort in the fact that you are giving your baby a secure home and a loving family.

The adoption process, though emotional and sometimes painful, can also be a very hopeful journey.  As a birth mother who chooses adoption, you will have the comfort of knowing that you were in charge of YOUR plan and gave your baby the best possible life that could be offered to him or her right now.  As a not-for-profit, private, domestic adoption agency, Adoptions With Love can ensure this comfort through our successful letter and picture program.  Whether you choose an open or closed adoption, you will always have the opportunity to see photographs or letters from your child’s adoptive family as he or she grows.  In an open adoption, you will be able to see the positive life experiences and opportunities you have given your child first-hand.

The most important part of the healing process for birth mothers is accepting and rebuilding, and we will help you through this experience.  We offer many post-adoption services for birth mothers who have made this admirable decision.  Every birth mother that works with Adoptions With Love is entitled to free, on-going counseling services and emotional support in times of need.

If you have recently placed your baby in a loving adoptive family, you may already know all about these feelings.  We hope the following tips will offer you some peace of mind throughout your adoption journey:

  • Accept help where it is offered. Lean on a friend’s shoulder, hold an extended hand, tell someone you are having a bad day when they ask. Seek trusted, outside adoption services for support.
  • Be honest with yourself. If you are feeling guilty, sad, or afraid, do not hide those feelings.  Reach out to someone who will listen.
  • Remember that you have been in charge of YOUR plan. You have made the best decision you possibly could make for your child and the life ahead of them.
  • Remember that you are not alone. There are millions of women who have been through this before, and there are services that you can call on for support.  Do not isolate yourself.
  • Remember the decisions you have made along this journey. Remember the times you thought you would never make it through and the times you thought you would quit.  Now look how far you have come.
  • Do not blame yourself. Forgive yourself, forgive others, and keep on forgiving.
  • Remember that your child is happy, the adoptive parents of your child are happy, and you, too, deserve to be happy.
  • Look at the positive aspects of life. Look at where love exists.    Dream.  Remain hopeful.

Please do not hesitate to contact Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731, or text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0072, for more information.


The Importance of Finding Supportive Unplanned Pregnancy Help

At this moment, you may be feeling unsure or overwhelmed about what is best for you and your baby. Any decision you make regarding your unplanned pregnancy will likely be one of the biggest decisions you have ever made. You want to make sure you get as much information as you can about your options and discuss your thoughts, feelings, or questions with someone you trust.

While it is important to talk to a loved one about your situation, remember that this is ultimately your decision. Your friends and family may want the best for you, but that does not mean they truly know what is best for you and your baby at this time. Your family also may be emotionally involved with your decision.

After telling your loved ones of your pregnancy, you may consider seeking out an unbiased third party to help inform and guide you towards the best decision. Many expectant mothers today find that an outside support network such as a counselor, health educator, or an adoption agency allows them to approach this significant decision with a clear and open mind. After telling your loved ones, you too may consider turning to a counselor or social worker for advice about your pregnancy.

If you are going back and forth between your unplanned pregnancy options, seek out a professional counselor who is willing to fully listen, respect, and understand your decision process. Talk with someone who can walk you through your options, who can help you make a decision, and who will respect any decision you make. Talk with someone who is available and willing to sit down and guide you through this journey.

Usually the best unplanned pregnancy advice comes from those who can look at your situation from an honest, unbiased perspective. No matter where you choose to go for outside support, make sure you do not feel pressured into any decision and you are fully involved in the decision-making process. Ensure that all of the information you receive is accurate and reliable. Choose an agency, clinic, or counselor that welcomes your partner, friend, or family member to be involved and accompany you if you wish.

As a not for profit, private adoption agency, Adoptions With Love welcomes you to call us at any time of day for professional unplanned pregnancy help. Our team of compassionate counselors is here at all hours of the day helping women like you through this incredible decision. We will help you look at all of your choices without judgment or pressure and always with respect.

Adoptions With Love is a team of trained professionals who can honestly and attentively walk you through each and every one your options. No matter what direction you take, we want to make sure you are fully ready, committed, and confident in your choice. Any choice you make becomes a life-long journey, so we encourage you to carefully consider every single aspect of your choice.

Our Reality Check-List can help you decide between parenting and adoption. If you would like to discuss your answers in detail with Amy, Nancy, Claudia, or Amelia, do not hesitate to contact or visit us.

Call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731, or text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0072.

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How to Know if You Are Ready to Parent Your Baby: 15 Questions to Ask

You have just discovered you are pregnant and are unsure if you are ready to parent your child.  It is okay if you are not.  While parenting requires a lot of planning ahead, over 50 percent of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned.  Fortunately, you have many choices as an expectant mother.  You have time to make a conscious decision regarding your pregnancy.  You have the ability to decide whether you are emotionally, financially, and physically ready to raise a child.

If you are considering parenting, understand that it is a lifelong commitment.  It is true that parenthood comes with many joys, but it also demands a lot of hard work.  Only you can decide if you are ready to begin this journey.

Being pregnant does not mean that parenthood has to be a part of your plan at this time. If you have other ambitions to pursue right now, adoption may be the most positive choice for you.

As you consider your unplanned pregnancy options, it is important to take time to reflect on yourself, your relationships, and your situation.  Do some soul-searching.  Talk with others about your feelings on parenthood.  Consider the costs and the reality of becoming a parent.  Ask yourself the following questions to find out if you are truly ready to parent at this time.

  1. Do you enjoy spending time with children? Do you enjoy teaching and guiding others?
  2. What are your views on parenting? What do you believe makes a great parent?
  3. Is having children a part of your plan? If so, why do you want to become a parent?
  4. Do you feel pressure to parent this baby? Do you feel your decision is being influenced by anyone else?
  5. Are you ready to put your child’s needs before your own?
  6. Do you currently have a stable job? If so, are you able to take time off of work to be with your baby?
  7. Are you financially prepared to raise a child (current estimates show it costs nearly $250,000 to raise a child to adulthood)?
  8. Do you have the finances to pay for prenatal costs, doctor appointments, and hospital bills?
  9. Do you live in a safe environment to raise a child? Can you raise your child in your current home, or will you have to move? Will you have to move in with family or friends?
  10. Will you have to rely on friends and family for help? Are you comfortable with this?
  11. How is your relationship with the baby’s father?
  12. How does the baby’s father feel about your pregnancy? Will you involve him in your decision?
  13. What type of support is the baby’s father willing to provide: financial, childcare, emotional?
  14. Can you attain your long term goals, and still make a good life for you and your child? If so, how?
  15. How will having a child impact your life? What will change? Are you ready to make those changes?

Reflect on your answers as you move through each question.  Consider your reflections.  Are there questions that challenge you?  Do you feel your answers are positive and confident?  Adoptions With Love created this article to help guide you towards the right decision for you and your baby.  You may also download our Reality Check-List to see just how prepared for parenthood you are at this time.

Try to picture yourself with a baby at this time.  Write down your thoughts and feelings, then discuss them with a trusted friend, counselor, or adoption professional.  Adoptions With Love is only one phone call away.  If you would like a non-biased, confidential conversation regarding your options, contact us at 1-800-722-7731.  Our compassionate team at Adoptions With Love can help you develop the best plan for you and your baby.

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Sources:
Parenttrust.org


Pregnant? Here Are Your Unplanned Pregnancy Options

Discovering an unplanned pregnancy can be a very emotional, and often confusing, experience.  It is a moment that marks an incredible turn in your life.  If you have just learned you are pregnant, know that you have several options—you can continue your pregnancy and parent your child, continue your pregnancy and place your baby for adoption, or terminate the pregnancy.

In this blog, we discuss your various unplanned pregnancy options, in hopes that your decision will be both informed and well-thought-out.  This is an unexpected journey, but you can make it a positive one.  Our goal is to guide you through it.  As we walk you through each consideration, know that our team of adoption professionals and counselors is only one phone call away.  You do not have to do this alone.  We understand this is not an easy decision to make, but by giving you the right information and support, we can help you design a loving, thoughtful plan for your child.

Parenthood:

For most women facing an unplanned pregnancy, parenting is the first consideration to cross their mind.  This may be the case for you.  At this time, you may truly feel that you are the best-fit parent for your child.  It is important to know, however, that parenting will require you to make big changes to your life plans and lifestyle.

Parenthood is both challenging and rewarding.  As a parent, you will experience incredible amounts of love and pride.  Parenting also calls for a lot of hard work, patience, and flexibility.  As you consider your options, try not to underestimate the amount of time, energy, and finances that parenthood involves.  It is a 24-hour/7-days-a-week commitment for the next 21 years of your life.  Are you ready?  Are you prepared to handle everything that parenthood brings?

Your situation may not be perfect right now, but parenthood may be possible.  Find out if you are ready to become a parent by completing our free Reality Check-List.

Adoption:

Like parenthood, choosing to make an adoption plan for your child also requires a lot of your love.  Adoption is a strong, courageous, and selfless act that will give your child a life beyond what you can provide at this time.  As you carefully consider your options, picture your child five or ten years from now.  If you see your child in a place that you cannot get him or her, then adoption may be your answer.

By choosing adoption, you will be able to give your baby the most significant gifts of all: opportunity, unconditional love, and stability.  You can choose a family for your baby.  You can also receive letters, pictures, or even have in-person visits as your child grows.  Adoption does not put an end to your relationship with your child.  Rather, it begins a new type of relationship for each of you.  You can remain a part of your child’s life while still pursuing your own goals.

Many birth mothers gain peace of mind after adoption, even while experiencing loss, knowing their child is loved and safe.  Most birth mothers report that they know they made the right choice, even though it was a difficult one. At Adoptions With Love, we offer various adoption counselling services to help expectant mothers through the adoption process and with challenges they face before and after the baby is born.

If you choose to place your child with a loving adoptive family, know that you still have various adoption options.  Call us if you would like to discuss the many different closed and open adoption plans.

Consider all of your options:

There is no rush as you consider your options.  Take time to re-examine yourself, your life, and your future.  The best t choice will be the one that feels right in your heart; that gives you peace of mind and makes the most sense for you at this time.

If you choose to continue your pregnancy, however, it is important that you begin prenatal care as soon as possible.  If you choose to make an adoption plan for your baby, we can help you with the prenatal costs associated with your pregnancy.

 

In the end, only you can decide what option is best for you and your baby.  But you do not have to make this decision alone.  Call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 800-722-7731 to learn more about your unplanned pregnancy options, or download our free checklist here to learn what option is right for you.

 

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