Archive for the ‘Birth Parents’ Category

Unplanned Pregnancy: Legal Considerations You May Face

Each year, hundreds of expectant parents find peace by placing their babies in loving, adoptive families. If you are currently facing an unplanned pregnancy and know you are not yet ready to parent a child, you may also want to consider the courageous choice of adoption.

Your first step will be in contacting adoption professionals to gather information and confirm that you are making an educated decision. At Adoptions With Love, we understand that the decision to place a child for adoption can be difficult. We also know that the adoption process can be overwhelming or confusing for expectant parents.  As an expectant parent, you maintain all rights to your baby and each decision made regarding your child. You will not have to make these decisions alone. Our team of compassionate counselors and knowledgeable lawyers will walk you through each of your options, guide you in making an informed decision, and support you in creating your own, unique plan moving forward.

If you work with our team at Adoptions With Love, you will be provided with an attorney (at no cost to you) who is specifically trained in the adoption laws of your state. You will also be able to speak one-on-one with a compassionate counselor, who will provide you with support and guidance each step of the way. Our team of professionals will be available to give you expert advice throughout your adoption journey and at any time of the day. Contacting our agency, or consulting with one of our adoption lawyers, does not mean that you are committed to making an adoption plan for your baby, either. Our priority at Adoptions With Love is only to answer your questions, ease your concerns, and ensure confidence in whichever choice you make next.

If you are considering adoption, keep in mind that adoption laws vary by state. You will need to speak with an expert who is specifically educated in your local adoption laws. Adoptions With Love can help. In order to place your child for adoption, all state statutes require that you, as an expectant parent, give consent to place your baby in a secure and loving home. This means that you agree to release all of your rights and responsibilities as the legal guardian of your child. You pass these duties along to the caring adoptive parents, who will accept them gratefully.

No matter where you are, you have plenty of time to make a decision about adoption. Your choice should never be rushed or made under pressure. The primary aim of adoption is to provide a stable, permanent home for your child. As a result, we want you to feel completely confident in your choice of making an adoption plan. Only you know what is best for your baby. However, consulting with adoption experts can provide you with the necessary knowledge and support needed when facing an unplanned pregnancy. With the right preparation, you will make the right decision.

For more information on how to deal with unplanned pregnancy, download our comprehensive guide here:

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If you would like to speak with an adoption professional about your feelings, your concerns, or to start your own adoption plan today, call Adoptions With Love toll-free at1-800-722-7731.

 


Financial Considerations of an Unplanned Pregnancy: The Cost of Raising a Child

One of the most important things to consider when facing an unplanned pregnancy is whether or not you are ready to parent a child. If you are unsure, try asking yourself the following: Are you fully able to provide for a baby at this time? Are you financially stable enough to fulfill your own life goals, and those for your child? Will you be able to balance both a career and a baby?

Having a baby is not simply a moment in time. Parenting itself is a lifelong commitment, requiring at least 18 years of steady support. If you are considering parenting, it is important that you also prepare for the expenses that may arise while raising a child.

A middle-income family with a baby born in 2013 can expect to spend about $245,340 on that child up until the age of 18. This figure does not include any costs before the birth (prenatal care), or any expenses after his or her eighteenth birthday (like a college education). According to the USDA, these are the top costs parents can expect to spend when raising a child:

  • Housing: From rent to mortgage payments, utility bills to home furnishings, the expenses associated with housing a child account for an average of 30 percent of total child-rearing expenses.
  • Childcare & Education: Childcare tuition and primary education costs are some of the most costly expenditures for families today. 18 percent of child-rearing costs include expenses such as babysitting, daycare, elementary school, high school, and educational supplies. If you choose to parent, consider who will help you take care of your child. Daycare costs an average of $11,666 annually. If you work 40 hours per week, you can expect nearly $6 of your hourly pay to go to daycare costs.
  • Food & Formula: Many parents today struggle in providing their children with healthy meals that are also cost-effective. Food and baby formula can comprise up to 16 percent of total child-rearing expenses.
  • Clothing & Diapers: As babies get bigger, so will their need for new clothes and shoes. This is why it is so important to prepare yourself, especially for the first few years. Those are often some of the most expensive. On average, an infant will use 100 diapers a week. This means that diapers can cost up to $1,000 per year. While government assistance can occasionally cover food costs, diapers remain an out of pocket expense.
  • Health Care: Medical expenses can get costly when raising a child. As a parent, you will consistently need to pay for pediatric checkups, vaccinations, shots, insurance, and any medications following your child’s birth.

Parenting involves a great deal of savings and financial preparation. While the expenses above are the most significant, they still do not cover every single financial requirement of raising a child. As an expectant parent, you should also consider your means of transportation, the costs of personal care items (haircuts, toothbrushes), entertainment (computers, televisions, toys), and extracurricular activities (dance classes, music lessons, sports leagues, etc.).

Try to be honest in evaluating your life both now and in the future. If you decide that your current income is not enough to support a family, you are not alone. One of the most common reasons an expectant mother chooses not to parent is a result of financial instability. Child-rearing expenses only continue to grow, making parenting seem less of an option for women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Like you, each expectant mother still wants what is best for her baby. That is why many choose to place their children in adoptive homes, where financial security is ensured and opportunities are endless.

If you decide that adoption is right for you and your baby, financial assistance through an agency is available. At Adoptions With Love, we will assist you financially during your pregnancy and following the placement of your child. Hospital bills and the cost of delivery can add up quickly. We can help with any medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. We will also assist with maternity related expenses such as:

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Electricity, air conditioning, and other utilities
  • Maternity clothing
  • Medical bills
  • General living expenses

Do not be afraid to ask us for help. We will work hard to assure all of your needs are met, and to provide you with constant, stable support throughout your journey.

For more information on how to deal with unplanned pregnancy, download our comprehensive guide here:

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If you would like to speak with an adoption professional about your feelings, your concerns, or to start your own adoption plan today, call Adoptions With Love toll-free at1-800-722-7731.

 


A Father’s Role in an Unplanned Pregnancy

There is a common misunderstanding the expectant fathers do not want to be a part of the adoption journey. We rarely hear about the father’s role in unexpected pregnancies, or his place within adoption stories. It becomes easy to assume that he does not care enough to make a plan for his child. Yet this is not always the case. In fact, 80 percent of the birthfathers at Adoptions With Love participated in the adoption plan for their baby.

You can create a successful plan for your child, and engaging the biological father in this process can truly bring about a positive experience. As an expectant mother considering her options, you deserve incredible love and support. The father’s support can often be very meaningful.  Making a decision to parent or make an adoption plan will be difficult and emotional for him, also. Whatever path you choose will be a life-changing experience for the both of you and you can walk this path together.

Every pregnancy is unique, and yours will be exceptional whether or not the father is involved. You may or may not have a relationship with him and you may not know of his current whereabouts. If you are in a situation where it is possible and safe to include the father in your unplanned pregnancy, consider being open with him about your thoughts and your decision. He can be a huge part of this process and he may want to walk this journey beside you.

If you currently have a good relationship with the expectant father, you can help each other to carefully consider each of your options. Talk about your feelings towards having a baby, and how each possible option may affect your lives. If you are considering adoption as a positive choice, Adoptions With Love will offer you both individual counseling and guide you through the process.  There are always options in adoption. You both can decide on how you want your adoption plan to unfold. If you would like, you can choose a loving, adoptive family for your child together. You can even choose what type of contact you have with the family following the birth of your baby.

Even if you and the biological father are no longer together, you can both still create an individualized adoption plan. As an expectant mother, you may choose to have a fully open adoption.  An open adoption will allow you to maintain ongoing contact with both the adoptive family and your child. As an expectant father, he may be more comfortable with receiving pictures and letters from the family and not have ongoing contact. You each can define your own relationships with your child and with the wonderful adoptive family that you choose.

If you do not have a relationship with the father, or feel intimidated in telling him the news, it is okay. You will never have to contact him directly. A licensed adoption agency can still reach him through an attorney and present him with his legal parental rights. The relinquishment of parental rights will vary by state, so it is important to contact adoption professionals who are experts in these state laws. Adoptions With Love has the legal counsel to properly handle the rights of an expectant father.

Regardless of your relationship with the father of your baby, our compassionate team of counselors will help you develop an adoption plan for your child. You will never have to go through this alone. We understand that choosing adoption is one of the most responsible, loving and courageous decisions you can make. It is a challenging and emotional experience. You and the expectant father of your child should be proud in knowing that you gave your baby the best opportunities in life that he or she deserves. I For more information on a father’s role and rights in an unplanned pregnancy, find our extensive guide here:

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If you would like to speak with an adoption professional about your feelings, your concerns, or to start your own adoption plan today, call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731.


Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy: How to Tell Friends & Family

Discovering that you have an unplanned pregnancy can be very difficult. Sharing this news with others is often the most challenging step of all. Sometimes, it is hardest to talk with those who are closest to you. You may be unsure of how they will react and what they will think of you. You may feel that they will try to pressure you into making a certain decision, or that they will not agree with the choice you have already made regarding your pregnancy. You may also not want to involve anyone else until you have learned all of your options and thought through each one completely.

The first and most important thing you can do now is to take time for yourself to think. When coming face to face with an unplanned pregnancy, you will feel very strong emotions. Before telling your loved ones, give yourself time to come to terms with the fact that you are pregnant. Try to think of all of your options and what your next step will be. You do not have to make a final decision until the baby is born, but having a plan will bring you some peace of mind.   Having a well thought out plan will also reassure those you decide to tell. By having a solution ready, you can spin a person’s feelings of worry or confusion into something more positive. If you are considering adoption for your baby, be honest. Explain how much it would mean to have your loved one’s support through this process.

Of course, you do not have to share your pregnancy with everyone. Instead, decide who will be most supportive to you, emotionally, physically, and financially. Who will respect you and your decision in the long run? By confiding in those you trust most, you will enlist at least one other person who can support you. They will lend you confidence through this entire journey and can help you approach others who may be less supportive.

Just like you needed time, anyone else you tell will also need time to absorb this news. You cannot expect a certain reaction. Some will be excited, some will be disappointed, and some may initially be most concerned with how this will affect their lives. This is your life, and this is your decision. They may not know what is best for you and your child. They may think that parenting is the only option. If you choose adoption, explain to your friends and family that this is a loving decision that gives both you and your child the lives you deserve. Share with them your goals, as well as what opportunities you want your child to have. Try to educate your friends and family about the benefits of today’s adoptions. One of our adoption counselors can be with you and support you in doing so. We can answer any questions they may have and help them understand how this truly is a positive choice.

You may be asking, “Do I have to tell anyone at all?” It is okay if you do not want to tell your family or friends of your unplanned pregnancy, especially if you feel they will not lend support or will interfere with your final decision. However, we still encourage you to seek support from a trusted person, professional, or counselor. This is not a journey you need to face alone. Keeping your pregnancy to yourself can take a toll on your emotional health. You will need someone to lean on, to open up to about any thoughts and feelings. By keeping it private, your ability to physically take proper care of you and your baby’s health may also be affected. With open minds and open arms, we at Adoptions With Love would like to share our expert knowledge with you and support you through each phase of your pregnancy.

You can keep this entirely confidential, and we can help. A young woman recently came to Adoptions With Love with the same hope of keeping her pregnancy private. At the time, she was living at home with her parents, and no one knew she was pregnant. She was not ready to tell them yet. After learning more about adoption and deciding it was a positive choice, she came to us. We provided her with support and counseling.  We were available to her 24/7. She delivered a beautiful baby, placed him in a loving, adoptive family, and later came home to tell her family of her courageous journey.

We understand how intimidating it can be in telling others of your unplanned pregnancy.  Adoptions With Love wants to assure you that the only right decision now is the one that you will make. You ultimately know what is best for you and your baby’s future. You deserve unending love and support throughout this journey. If you are at all nervous about telling your family or friends about your pregnancy, or are having a difficult time emotionally, please call us toll-free at 1-800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0072.

For more information on how to deal with unplanned pregnancy, please download our free eBook, “The Guide to Unplanned Pregnancy.”


Unplanned Pregnancy & Adoption [Infographic]

If you have just discovered you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be feeling scared, confused, lost, or alone. You are about to embark on an emotional journey. At Adoptions With Love want you to know that you are not alone, and you will never have to be.

In recent research, our team found that 51% of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. Every woman has a different situation, and everyone’s reasons for considering adoption are her own. The most important thing for you to remember, though, is that there are people out there who truly care about your unique situation; there are compassionate individuals who care about you and your life ahead. We are here, and will help guide you through this.

You have time to make a plan, and you have many positive options. In making your next step, consider each one of them carefully. Gather as much information as you can about every possible choice, so that you will make a loving, intelligent, and fully informed decision regarding your child.

To help you move forward, we have collected all of the facts, alongside step-by-step considerations and questions to ask yourself, which will help prepare you for this journey. As you read on, you will find this helpful information compiled into an enlightening infographic. This resource will educate you on your options and show you that adoption is a very positive choice for you and your baby.

Choosing adoption does not mean you are giving up your child; you are making a thoughtful and loving plan. It shows that you love your child enough to give him or her a devoted family, a loving home and the opportunity to grow. For more support and assistance from Adoptions With Love, follow the link below for our full Guide to an Unplannned Pregnancy. We are here for you every step of the way.

Download our Free Guide to Unplanned Pregnancy

 

 

 

Unplanned Pregnancy and Adoption – The Illustrated Infographic

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Who are Adoptive Families?

“It’s been nearly 4 1/2 years since I first laid eyes on my daughter, and yet, to this day, not a day goes by when I’m not overwhelmed with gratitude that the world aligned itself to bring her into my life and family.” – Ella’s parents

Adoption is the most precious gift in life. It is an inspiring and selfless act in which a birthparent can provide their child with a secure life full of countless opportunities.  You will also be sharing another beautiful part of our world with your baby: love.

As with any other families, adoptive families all differ in their make-up. They uphold different values, faiths, parenting philosophies, and reasons behind their desire to adopt in the first place. Despite these differences, one affinity binds these families. All of their motivations to parent are built on a foundation of love.

Most commonly, families choose adoption in hopes of providing a permanent home for a child. This motivation stems partly from the wish to become a parent, but more deeply from an unconditional love for children. While adoption is certainly a mutual blessing, the primary aim of many adoptive families is to put the child’s well-being before their own. These families strive to provide stability, support, and complete devotion. Most of all, they honor the lifetime commitment of nurturing a child.

The goal of adoptive parents is to build or expand their family, and adoption offers them this opportunity. It presents them with the gift of becoming parents when doing so would otherwise seem impossible. Many prospective parents today are faced with the grief of not being able to conceive a child. In fact, 1 in 6 couples are diagnosed with infertility each year. Some may have had a successful pregnancy in the past, but are unable to conceive again. Some may have never even had a chance at starting a family.  For many, raising a child means fulfillment in life. Adoption unlocks the door of opportunity for families seeking that fulfillment in the heart of a child.

The adoptive families at Adoptions With Love have come to us with open arms, fully ready to commit to a child for life. They are not here because of convenience, and wholly respect that the heartfelt decision of an expectant/birthparent can take time. As a result, we make it a priority to get to know these prospective families individually, over a several month period.

In addition to securing background checks, FBI screenings, examining medical records, abuse and neglect clearances, and confirming financial stability, Adoptions With Love conducts home studies before approving an adoptive family. A home study is an ongoing conversation, or series of meetings, between an agency social worker and the prospective family. An approved home study ensures that the family is ready to parent through adoption, and bring a baby into their home. In addition, these meetings prepare the family for their parenting experience, and answer any questions before their journey begins. Home studies are a huge part of the adoption process: we learn about who these families are, what they are looking for, and how they will care for a child.

As an experienced, private, non-profit adoption agency, we aim to develop relationships with each and every one of our adoptive families. If you wish, you can meet our families. At Adoptions With Love, you have the option of choosing the adoptive parents for your baby. They have prepared extensive profile books, photo albums, and written personal letters to you and for you, so that you can learn about them and their home. If you desire, we can help you arrange continued contact with them and your child long after placement occurs either through our letter and picture program or through other types of ongoing communication or meetings. If you prefer limited contact, you can leave that all to us… It is your choice!

Ultimately, adoption is a gift for everyone who is involved.  By giving someone the joy of parenting, you are offering them hope, and granting yourself the gift of realizing your own personal goals and providing your child with opportunities that you feel you cannot give to him/her at this point in your life. It is a beautiful act; it is an act of love and courage.


Ten Questions to Ask an Adoption Agency

The decision to place your child for adoption requires a great amount of strength, courage, and most of all, love.  If and when you choose adoption as that right next step, feel comforted in knowing that you are giving your child a secure and wondrous future, filled with infinite opportunities. The book is now open, the pages are waiting to be filled, and remember, your child’s story begins with you. Who will help you write the first chapter?

An adoption agency is the binding of this book; we can help you create a plan for your child before, during, and after birth. We work full-time, 24/7, with pregnant women and prospective families in order to find the best possible family for your baby. This will be a family in which your child can grow and thrive.

Choosing an adoption agency is a decision that is as equally as important as choosing a reputable doctor. You should use the best professional to help you with this important decision. There are thousands of potential agencies out there, some local and others at the click of a button.  How do you choose which is the right one for you and your child?  It is a decision that should be made with a lot of trust and research. Asking all of the right questions is important:

Is this adoption agency licensed? If you choose to plan your adoption through an agency, always choose one that is both reputable and licensed. A licensed agency is specifically required to follow state adoption standards (in training, education, and expertise), and will provide an extensive amount of services throughout the entire process of adoption, even after the birth of your baby.

How long have they been in existence? We truly believe that, in choosing an agency, you should look for highly experienced professionals who can provide you with their ethics, their background, and their qualifications.  At Adoptions With Love, we have been assisting families for over 28 years, and have thoughtfully placed over 1,800 children in loving homes. Adoptions With Love works all over the United States.

Is this agency a non-profit organization? There are many adoption agencies out there. Some agencies have a mission of generating profits, while others aim to truly build loving families.  Therefore, it is extremely important to do your research, but to also follow your heart. A non-profit adoption agency is a social service agency, and the right one will fully commit to you and to your child. It is not a decision that should be rushed or impersonal. Keep your own comfort level in mind, and find an agency that truly cares about your own unique situation.

What kind of support will be offered to you as an expectant/ birthparent? An adoption agency should always offer you a variety of support services; up until placement, and long after the adoption has been finalized. Adoptions With Love, for example, offers counseling services with trained professionals, legal assistance with experienced adoption lawyers, medical care, and financial assistance. Most importantly, Adoptions With Love stays in touch with birthparents over the years through their letter and picture program and by helping to facilitate meetings and reunions. The relationship does not end when you place your baby with a loving family.

What kind of financial assistance will this agency provide? When working with an adoption agency, you should never feel as though certain resources are unavailable or out of reach. Whether it is counseling that you need, food, rent and utility payments, medical attention, or maternity clothing, we will do our best to help you.

Does the agency work with attorneys who are knowledgeable of your local adoption laws? It is important to find an adoption agency who understands your rights as an expectant/birth parent upfront. We have always made it a priority to work with experienced lawyers who specialize in adoption and who protect the rights of expectant/birthparents.

How does this agency screen its families? An adoption agency’s goal should be to find the best possible family for your child. Our adoptive families undergo FBI background checks, state criminal records checks, child abuse and neglect checks, sexual offender checks, as well as medical and financial screenings. We require letters of reference, and a detailed home study process to ensure the safety and security of your child. At Adoptions With Love, we take the time to visit each home and get to know our families one-on-one, over a lengthy, several month long process.

Does the agency support both open and closed adoptions? We understand that no two people are alike. Every situation is different and we will support you in whichever path of adoption you wish to choose. If you wish to make the important choice of who the adoptive parents will be, we provide you with extensive profile books and letters written by the prospective adoptive parents so you can learn a lot about them. If you choose an open adoption, we will help you design the adoption plan that works best for you. However, some expectant parents would rather leave the choice of family to the experienced adoption professionals. It is your decision.

Does the agency take a lifelong interest in you and your baby? An adoption agency should be committed to both you and your child for the long run. At Adoptions with Love, we encourage you to contact us at any time, any day, and after the placement has been made. It is a blessing to see the story unfold, and to maintain connections with everyone who is a part of this journey.

Will the agency respect your choices? In the end, the choice is completely yours. As a birthparent, you have the right to raise your child, the right to change your mind at any point prescribed by state law, and the right to consider all other options. You should never feel pressured or misled by an adoption agency, by prospective parents, or by your family or peers. If adoption is ultimately the right option for you and the well-being of your child, you will know. You will know you have made a positive choice.

Adoptions are acts of pure love. You are giving your child the gift of a secure life, and a beautiful future. Therefore, each decision in making an adoption plan should be made with the utmost consideration for both your goals and the ones you carry for your child. It is a difficult choice to make—and it calls for a great deal of courage. That is where we will help. Contact Adoptions With Love at 1-800-722-7731, or text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0072 for more information. We are here for YOU.


#30 Days of Love: National Adoption Awareness Month

Happy National Adoption Month!

This November, let’s celebrate adoption by highlighting the families created through this selfless and inspirational choice and honor the birth parents.  For the thirty days of November, Adoptions With Love will be embracing the love inherent in each aspect of adoption. We ask you to join us in our #30DaysofLove.

Even after 26 years of working in the adoption field, I am still in awe of each of our expectant parents as they make the brave and courageous choice of adoption for their child. This is a deep, personal sacrifice that only very few can fully understand.  This decision is made with such overwhelming love, allowing their child to have the type of life they feel they cannot provide.  Expectant parents never cease to amaze me as I counsel them through their unplanned pregnancies. With a remarkable strength, they are able to make an informed, selfless decision for their baby.

For our adopting parents, adoption is a beautiful way to complete their families. Our adoptive families desperately want to become parents, and the only way to do so is through the adoption process.  Our adoptive parents’ determination, strength and perseverance are truly admirable as they wait and hope for their own bundle of joy.

At the request of one of our children, now 20 years old, I recently found and contacted a birthmother about the prospect of a reunion.  With the support of his family, I reached out to locate his birthmother who was ready and very excited to reconnect. After exchanging a few emails, they finally all met in person just this past week.  The results were more wonderful than we had hoped for!  Her most touching comment will stay with me:  “I cannot thank you enough for finding me… The meeting went fantastically awesomely great!   We met at our designated spot, I knew it was him from the moment I saw him. “

Let’s celebrate each and every day of November to its fullest while educating others about the profound love inherent in adoption. Join us in our #30DaysofLove!


The Child That Was Never Mine

This letter came to Adoptions With Love from a birthmother who placed her baby for adoption.  She describes her thought process in detail and the loving choice of adoption that she knows is the right decision for her.  With her permission, it is being shared.  Names have been changed.

Looking back on my life, I have been faced with my fair share of difficult decisions. I never knew I could impact so many people with a choice until I was faced with an unplanned pregnancy. I had a very serious matter on my hands, but after a short internal struggle I was able to look at the big picture, and my decision was easy.  I was uncertain what to do, but I had to come up with a plan for the future of this child.  I choose adoption because the time was not right for me to have and raise a child alone, my Christian beliefs and it seemed the best option for all involved parties.

I did not know my life would change forever when in October 2013 I met a guy online. We hit it off instantly.  When we were together we were all smiles and we were very happy.  We rode those happy times without a care in the world.  Until I found out I was pregnant.

Winter was approaching.  I began experiencing morning sickness and immediately I knew before the two tests I took, that I had conceived.  I saw my doctor and he confirmed I was in fact with child.  A flood of emotions filled my heart but I did not feel a single bit of happiness.  At twenty nine years old I was the mother of a three year old, twice divorced and pregnant by a near stranger.  When I told him, my sadness deepened when he suggested an abortion.  He also had a three year old and was going through a divorce and he did not want any more children.  He researched abortion and initially convinced me to go ahead with the procedure.  I made arrangements for the following week but I called to cancel my appointment on the morning I was scheduled to go in.

I was raised Christian and although I did not always practice good Christian ways I considered myself of strong faith and morals.  I believe that every life is precious and that the Lord never makes mistakes.  Wanting to be at peace with myself I decided against abortion which solved a moral dilemma while leaving me uncertain about a very real situation.

He understood my issues with abortion and he himself was of Christian faith but remained extremely worried about what he considered to be “a problem.” One day he called and told me that a neighbor of his adopted a child.  I was immediately drawn to the idea.  I contacted Adoptions With Love.  I was now 8 weeks along.

Through the agency, I learned the ins and outs of adoption.  When I was told Adoptions With Love worked with people that could not conceive, my decision to create an adoption plan was made.  I had been blessed with the greatest gift, a blessing some could not experience.  My pregnancy was no longer a mistake.  I felt as if I had been chosen, as if this was my purpose.

The agency began to show me profiles of potential families.  For one reason or another I did not feel any of them were right for this child until I came across Robert and Meredith.  I knew in my heart when I read their biographies that they were the ones.  We shared the same interest, hobbies, values and most important our religious beliefs.  I explained to them later that “it was a mixture of faith and fate that led me to them.”

Months passed and we all planned for the baby’s arrival.  Twelve days before my due date I woke with labor pains.   Off to the hospital I went and with my mother by my side I gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 3:39 in the afternoon.  Naturally I was exhausted so my mother called the social worker at the agency and told her “the eagle has landed!”  He was beautiful.  I held him in my arms and smiled down at him, he was very special.  This tiny baby was truly a blessing, just not intended for his father or me.  I never actually considered myself his mother.  I was his grower. Enlisted with a job, an amazing opportunity, and I was elated to do it. I was responsible for something wonderful and I loved him before I ever met him.

Several hours after he was born his parents arrived.  The four of us sat in my room chatting, sharing stories and getting to know each other.  We formed a remarkable bond that we will share forever.  There was so much love in that room on that hot June afternoon.  I looked at the newly formed family with such pride.  My heart was again filled with so many emotions, but this time I felt no regret or sorrow.  As his birth mother I had the legal right to name him, but I left that honor to his parents.

The day Evan was born he and I drastically changed five lives!  His birth father and I passed our blessing to two truly deserving people.  These two people would raise him with love, kindness and morals.  As a result that little boy was going to do big things.

I signed the adoption papers four days later on my thirtieth birthday.  I shed so many tears that day.  It was and most likely will be the happiest cry I will ever experience.   Although we did not intend to create a child together, Evan is our greatest gift.  When I receive the pictures and updates about him, I know all is as it was meant to be.  My decision to carry a child for nine months for two very special people was the best, easiest choice I have ever made.


Baby Safe Haven and Adoption

The Baby Safe Haven Laws in each state allow parents to anonymously leave their unharmed infant with designated authorities without fear of prosecution.  Since 1999, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have enacted such laws.  The infant may be left at a hospital, fire station, police station or at a religious institution as long as there is a provider that can care for the child, no questions asked.  These laws were enacted to save the lives of children, while protecting the parents from prosecution.  The details of laws in each state vary.

Why would a parent choose to do leave their infant at a Baby Safe Haven facility?  Desperation and being in a state of crisis is one answer.  Lack of support and finances are other reasons.  Fear is another cause why a woman or man would choose to leave their infant with a stranger.

These are also some of the same reasons that parents choose to make an adoption plan for their infant.  Why would parents choose the Baby Safe Haven over making an adoption plan?  One of the answers to this question is lack of information regarding the option of adoption.  Baby Safe Haven gets a lot of press; whereas positive adoption education is lacking in our society.  Those of us who have been touched by adoption need to educate the general public that adoption is a positive, loving choice that biological parents make for their child.  Making an adoption plan is the most difficult decision parents can make for their baby; yet it is one of the bravest and most courageous acts.

Recently we received a call from a hospital about a young woman who was going to leave her baby under the Baby Safe Haven Law.  She had planned to give birth at home and then bring the baby somewhere.  She ended up in the hospital talking to a social worker who encouraged her to explore adoption.  After some very intensive counseling, this young couple decided to make an adoption plan and chose a family for their baby.  They felt good that they now have the option of receiving letters and pictures over the years and opening up the adoption in the future.  In the meantime, they have a picture in their mind of the safe and loving home where their child is being raised.  Their wishes were respected and everything was handled with discretion and in complete privacy. They had not known about the option of adoption prior to meeting with the social worker.

For this child’s sake, there is now a history which will follow him.   This child will grow up knowing that his parents made a loving choice for him; to give him parents who could give him the life he deserves.  This will be the life that his birth parents felt that they could not give him at this point in their lives.  The birth parents will continue to have choices regarding exchange of information and openness.  These options are not available when choosing the Baby Safe Haven Law.

Making an adoption plan, rather than opting for Baby Safe Haven gives the biological parents the opportunity to partake in counseling with a professional that can help them cope with their grief and sadness.  A caseworker/counselor can help the biological parents work on their life circumstances that led them to make the difficult decision regarding adoption or Baby Safe Haven.  Adoption gives the biological parents choices, such as choosing the family for the baby and designing an open adoption, closed adoption or semi-open adoption.

The Baby Safe Haven program has saved children’s lives.  It is a much better choice than leaving a baby in a dumpster.

We need to let couples or individuals who are facing parenthood for which they are unprepared know that adoption is a positive option for them.  Adoptions can be planned in total privacy while respecting the wishes of both birth parents.