Archive for the ‘Birth Parents’ Category

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.











Making an Adoption Hospital Plan for Pregnancy & Delivery

The adoption journey can be very emotional; especially as your due date approaches and you begin to prepare for the birth of your baby. As excited as you are to welcome your son or daughter into this world, you may also be feeling some sadness or grief in anticipation of the day. All the while, you may be feeling scared or nervous about how labor, delivery, and your overall hospital stay will go.

Many expectant mothers worry about how they will feel, how they will be treated, and how they will cope during their hospital time. Some women wonder if they will have time alone with their baby after birth, if they can feed or bond with their baby in the hospital, and whether they want the adoptive parents there in the delivery room.

While it is common to worry about the hospital experience, you do not have to; an Adoptions With Love social worker can help you create an “adoption hospital plan” to ensure you are comfortable at every point of your hospital stay – in labor, during delivery, and after giving birth to your baby. By making a hospital plan, you can rest assured all your needs will be met during your hospital stay.

What is an Adoption Hospital Plan?

For those who may not know, an adoption hospital plan is a document that details exactly what you, the expectant mother, wants to happen (and not to happen) during your hospital stay. This plan is typically created before going into labor, to help give you peace of mind and prepare mentally for the delivery and adoption process. As you approach your due date, it can help to have a birthing plan in writing.

Your hospital plan can be thought of as your letter to the hospital staff, to the adoptive family, and to your adoption agency. It will detail exactly what you want your hospital stay to look like, including who will be there, how you will give birth, how much time you want with your baby, and which mementos (if any) you would like to bring home. By planning ahead, you can make your wishes known and ensure they are met prior to birth. You can also devote more thought and energy to your time with the baby.

Adoptions With Love can help you create an adoption hospital plan that meets all of your hopes and needs. If you have not already, we can also help you find and choose the right hospital to give birth – a facility with reputable, compassionate staff who understand your emotional and physical needs. Adoptions With Love is here to ensure you feel confident and comfortable at each and every phase of your adoption plan – during your pregnancy, in the hospital, and long after you have given birth.

Things to Consider When Making a Hospital Plan

Before making a hospital plan for pregnancy and delivery, there are several questions you must ask yourself. Try to be open and honest with your answers – the hospital experience will be emotional, but sharing your wants and needs with others now can give you greater control in all that lies ahead.

Your Labor & Delivery:

  • Who would you like to be your labor coach?
  • Who do you want to be allowed in the labor and delivery room? Who is not allowed to be in there with you?
  • Do you want the adoptive family at the hospital with you, in the delivery room or in the waiting area? If you have an open relationship with the prospective adoptive family, you might consider having them in the birthing room. This can help them bond with your child from the beginning, but is completely your choice.
  • At birth, who do you want to hold the baby first? (It can be you.)
  • Who (if allowed) do you want to cut the baby’s cord?

Your Baby:

  • Do you want to see or hold your baby?
  • Do you want to feed and/or change your baby?
  • How much time do you want to spend with your baby? Do you want alone time?
  • Do you want your baby to be in the room with you following birth? Do you want your baby to sleep in your room, or in the hospital nursery?
  • Will you name your baby, leave this to the adoptive family, or choose a name together?
  • Which, if any, mementos do you want to bring home from the hospital (baby bracelet, nursery card, copy of birth certificate and footprints, blanket, etc.)? Which would you like to pass onto the adoptive family?
  • Do you wish to take pictures of your baby? Is it okay if others take photos?

Your Hospital Stay:

  • Do you wish to be a “no information” patient? This means you will remain anonymous during your hospital stay, and only the direct care team will have access to your personal information.
  • After birth, do you wish to stay on the maternity ward, or another floor of the hospital?
  • Do you wish to see and meet the adoptive parents? Would you like to see them together with your baby in your room?
  • Who do you want to visit you in the hospital? Is there anyone (e.g. family, friends, the biological father) you wish to see or hold the baby?
  • Is there anyone you do not want allowed to visit you?
  • How do you wish to leave the hospital—before or after the adoptive family?
  • Who do you wish to carry your baby out of the hospital?

Remember, you are in the driver’s seat of your adoption plan as well as your hospital plan. You should never feel pressured to please anyone (including the adoptive parents) or obligated to make a certain decision. This is your plan and your choice. We are here to help you navigate the process.

Call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731 for help creating your adoption hospital plan. You can also text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, at any time of day and any day of week.

If you are pregnant and making an adoption plan, be sure to check out our “Preparing for Adoption: A Month-to-Month Guide” for more information on the process and making a hospital plan. If you are a clinical professional working with an expectant mother, please download our “Clinician’s Guide to Adoption” for more information on creating a good hospital experience.

Birth Mothers’ Thoughts on Mother’s Day

birth mothers day

Mother’s Day is a day of honor and celebration, recognizing the endless love that mothers have and the countless sacrifices that they make for their children. For families in the adoption community, Mother’s Day could not be celebrated without also acknowledging one of the greatest maternal sacrifices of all.

Adoption is a selfless, courageous choice made by birth mothers – women who not only gave their children life, but also gave their children a life to look forward to through adoption.  Through their choice, many adoptive families have had the opportunity to grow.

That is why every Saturday before Mother’s Day, the second Saturday in May, is celebrated as Birth Mother’s Day. This is the day that many adoptive families will honor the women who helped make their families possible. While some in open adoptions may honor this special day, many birth mothers do not know about Birth Mother’s Day. Others will recognize the holiday silently. Some may even cope with feelings of sadness or loss around this time of year, and choose not to recognize the day at all.

As a non-profit adoption agency, Adoptions With Love facilitates a regular support group for birth mothers who have made the loving choice of adoption. In light of Mother’s Day and Birth Mother’s Day this month, we asked the group about their own adoption stories and feelings around this time of year. Here is what some of birth mothers had to say:

Have you experienced Mother’s Day previously? If so, how did you feel around the holiday?

Chloe: Yes, my daughter is three now. It’s a strange feeling. I remember thinking about her a lot every time I saw Mother’s Day ads for things. Knowing that you’re a mother, and that no one knows, is a weird thing. It’s like you’re waiting for someone to say, “Happy Mother’s Day” but you know it’s impossible for them to do so. I have conflicting emotions about someone saying it to me anyway. My daughter, and my experience with placing her, feels very private and personal. It’s almost strange to me when other people bring her up.

Brittney: Last year was technically my first Mother’s Day, but it was only about a month after my son was born, so my emotions were still all over the place. I think I was so in shock over what had happened that I didn’t really relate the holiday to myself. On that day, I did receive a nice text message from the adoptive parents thanking me again for what I had done for them, wishing me a happy Mother’s Day, and reminding me how I will always have a special place in my son’s life. That text made me feel good, knowing that they were thinking of me on that particular day.

I almost feel like this year is my first Mother’s Day, seeing that last year fell so close after the birth/adoption. I am in a completely different place than I was this time last year, and feel more comfortable with the day approaching. It’s still hard for me to relate to Mother’s Day since I don’t do all the normal motherly duties. With that being said, I feel like I almost take it as any other day but, celebrating my mom of course and thinking of my son a little extra. The day itself does not make me sad; it reminds of the place I hold in my son’s life and how we will always be a part of each other.

Kaelyn: This is will be my second Mother’s Day. Last year I was expecting it to be extremely difficult, and basically prepared myself for the worst. When the day came, it was just like any ordinary day and I was okay. Social media posts definitely made it the hardest and I did get down. Then I started getting texts and phone calls (including one from the adoptive family wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day). It definitely made me sad, but also very happy. No matter what holiday it is, there is always mixed emotions but at the end of the day I was happy and filled with joy especially because so many people went out of their way to acknowledge me.

What is your relationship with your child’s adoptive family?

Chloe: They send pictures and letters. Great letters – full of details I didn’t know they’d think to include. I love hearing about all the daily minutia of her life — what she’s eating, what her favorite toy or show or book is. Anything about things she says or does or little anecdotes that show her personality. I love everything they tell me about her. I asked for a shared Shutterfly account, and they’ve posted pictures there as well. They make my whole week!! I smile for days every time they post one. I also met them when my daughter was about six months old. I recently reached out again to ask for another get-together, and they graciously agreed.

Julia: The relationship is great and has really evolved. There are, of course, some formalities when we talk with each other, but they are very relaxed now. We communicate so often I feel strongly that when my daughter is able to understand who I am as a birth mother, it won’t be as difficult for her to process.

We went to the zoo recently and since we Skype frequently, she knew who I was and was able to run up and hug me when she saw me. I communicate mostly with her mother and she’s able to ask me specific questions that she may not know about raising an African American child. Her mother and I both have the same tattoo in the same place. We both have the same picture framed in our houses.

When it’s time for the pictures and updates that are mailed directly to Adoptions With Love, the adoptive parents go above and beyond what is it expected. They’ve also started to FaceTime me when my daughter is doing funny things. I truly feel that I will be able to see her grow up and have a real relationship with her.

Brittney: I have an amazing relationship with the adoptive parents. Throughout this past year, we have become closer than I ever imagined. We have created a special friendship and bond that I don’t think happens very often in this type of situation. I never thought my relationship was going to turn out like this, but now that is has, I don’t think any of us would want it any other way.

We talk more frequently than birth/adoptive families usually do, but at this point it’s so natural and we can make a great conversation out of anything and understand each other on multiple levels. They really want me to be a big part in my son’s life and enjoy sharing every milestone with me. I am honored to have such an open relationship with them, and to be able to know not only the big things about my son, but also the small things. Having this strong relationship with them has helped me deal with the situation in a better way than I expected. I am grateful for them, just as I know they are grateful for me and I hope more birth/adoptive families can create a relationship like ours in the future.

Adoption is an emotional journey, and can be especially at this time of year. When needed, who or where do you turn to for support?

Chloe: Honestly, it’s really, really hard for me to ask for help on anything. It’s especially hard on this subject because I lived through the hardest parts on my own, so anyone else having opinions on what I did, or what I should do now, sometimes feels like an invasion. There’s also the very real issue that people just don’t get it. It’s not their fault. I have people on my side who genuinely care and want to help and would bend over backwards to listen if I wanted to talk. But when I talk about it, while they are understanding, they don’t actually understand.

That’s why this birth moms group has been so amazing. It’s this whole group of women who literally know what you went through, and how weird the adoption process sometimes is, and how complicated your emotions get, and are on that same rollercoaster ride of emotions you are. And they truly understand, and don’t try to insert their opinions into your story. They don’t tell you what you should do or judge what you’ve done. They just let you share your life, and they share theirs, and there’s a mutual understanding. So they’re who I talk to mostly. About relationships, about our kids, about our kids’ families, and most of all our emotions on all those subjects.

Julia: I call the people that were with me when my daughter was born. Counseling helped a lot as well, just to have someone to talk to solely and specifically about adoption. I still e-mail my counselor occasionally just to say hi and tell her thanks for listening. My dogs were also there for support!

Brittney: When support is needed, I go to my mom. Also, attending the meetings at Adoptions With Love has been the best support— being able to be around girls that have dealt with the same situation puts your head in the right perspective, and the staff is also very supportive and understanding.

Do you have any advice for other birth mothers on coping with feelings this time of year?

Chloe: I think the most helpful thing I ever heard or said on the subject was that no matter what choice you make — whether you raise your child yourself or choose adoption — you still gave birth to them, and that makes you a mother. Being a birth mother doesn’t make you less of a mother than a woman who raises her own child, or less of a mother than a woman who adopts. You are all mothers, and being different kinds of mothers is okay.

Julia: Recognize the adoptive mother, text her, send her a card, do something. Also find something that will help keep your mind off Mother’s Day if you think it’s going to be a sad day. Plan a day with friends, or do an activity that will help ease your anxiety. If you can talk with the adoptive family, do that.

Also, recognize that adoption is not just about having a relationship with your child, it’s also about the parents as well. In the early years where the child is not able to understand exactly who you are as a birth parent, they are still able to recognize your relationship with the adoptive parent. The more positive that relationship is, the stronger your relationship will be when it’s time.

Brittney: The best advice I think I could give to other birth mothers is try to think of the positives on this day. I know for some it can be very emotional, but just think to yourself how you and the child will always share a special bond and be a part of each other. The day shouldn’t be about grieving your decision, but knowing you did what was right for the child and that even though you aren’t their mother figure, you are a special person to them in more ways than one.

Kaelyn: My advice is just to remember that, most importantly, it’s okay to have these feelings. For me, this year is my second Mother’s Day and I don’t have all the sad “what if” feelings anymore. It takes time and every person deals with things in their own way. When I was feeling down around this time last year, I asked for pictures of my daughter or just had a conversation with my adoptive mom asking if anything new has happened, how their weekend was… little things to put a smile on my face!

Birth Mother’s Day is the Saturday before Mother’s Day, created to recognize those who made the brave decision of adoption. Some birth parents, however, feel that they do not want to celebrate a separate holiday from other mothers. What are your thoughts/feelings on Birth Mother’s Day?

Chloe: I’m in both camps. I do think that birth mothers are mothers, and that we need to educate people and help them understand that we’re mothers even though we aren’t raising our children. But at the same time, having a Birth Mother’s Day is a great way to start the conversation and bring the subject to light.

I think that as mothers, we all think about our babies all the time. My daughter crosses my mind every single day. Sometimes as a quick passing reference, sometimes in deep thought. But she’s there somewhere every day. So I really wish that adoption and being a birth mother weren’t such taboo subjects, because it’s so much healthier and easier when we can talk about all the conflicting emotions that come with being birth moms.

Julia: I’ve heard about the holiday, though I’ve never celebrated it as it’s not recognized enough. I think that although my child isn’t living with me and I’m not actually raising her, it doesn’t make me less of a mother to be recognized on a separate day than others.

Brittney: I never knew there was a Birth Mother’s Day, and now knowing that there is, I prefer that day over Mother’s Day. I think it is a great way to recognize us and the decision we made. I like that it is separate from Mother’s Day because the way I look at it is, we are separate from the role our mother’s play and from the role the adoptive mother of our child plays.

Kaelyn: I had no idea Birth Mother’s Day was a day until this year. I believe it’s very important for all moms to celebrate regardless of being a birth mom, adoptive mom, etc. We are all mothers. Many people don’t recognize the sacrifice we make as birth mothers, so I definitely believe we deserve a day for us.

Adoption is not an easy decision, but rather, a sacrifice that requires a mother’s strength, bravery, and most of all, love. If this is your first Mother’s Day since placing your baby for adoption, you may be experiencing an array of different emotions. If you need someone to talk to, you can always call an Adoptions With Love counselor toll-free at 1-800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072.

*For the purpose of anonymity, all names have been changed

State-by-State: How to Place Your Baby for Adoption in Wyoming

Are you pregnant and considering adoption?  Discovering an unplanned pregnancy is an emotional, overwhelming time for many young women.  Right now, you may not know where you can go for help, who to call for support, or how to start the adoption process.  Know that you are not alone.  If you are an expectant mother in Wyoming, Adoptions With Love is here for you.

Adoptions With Love is a licensed, non-profit adoption agency helping expectant/birth parents nationwide find the best possible homes for their children.  For over 30 years, we have been building relationships with expert adoption counselors and attorneys licensed in your state.  If you need help placing your baby for adoption in Wyoming, know that you can always contact us.  We partner with experienced counselors and trusted Wyoming adoption attorneys who can help you explore your options, understand the adoption laws in your area, and design a plan that is tailored to your needs.

Before starting your adoption plan, it is important to do your research.  There are specific steps you will need to take to place your baby for adoption in Wyoming.  As a reputable adoption agency serving Wyoming for over 30 years, Adoptions With Love can guide you through this journey.  We are here to listen and answer questions, educate you on the adoption process, and ensure you are comfortable with each decision made along the way.  To help get you started, we have created this short guide to show you some of the steps to making an adoption plan in the state of Wyoming.

1. Choose an adoption agency that serves Wyoming.

Your first step in making an adoption plan will be to choose the right adoption support to guide you through this unexpected journey.  There are many adoption professionals that work in the state of Wyoming, but it is important to find someone that you truly trust, someone that will listen to your wishes and help you design an adoption plan that meets your expectations.  You should also choose an adoption agency that is willing to discuss all of your options with you and that will respect any choice you make for your child.  Most of all, select an agency that is available 24/7, that will stand by your side not only as you prepare for the adoption, but also after the placement and throughout your life.

2. Meet with a qualified adoption counselor at your agency of choice.

Once you choose an adoption agency, you will work directly with one of its trained staff members on creating an adoption plan.  Meeting with this licensed, compassionate adoption social worker is beneficial for several reasons.  On one hand, these meetings will give you the opportunity to think about all of your options, learn about all of your birth mother rights, and understand exactly what to expect before, during, and after an adoption takes place.  Your adoption counselor will also give you the choice to design a custom adoption plan: in an open adoption agency like Adoptions With Love, you can choose between an open adoption, semi-open adoption, or closed adoption plan.  You can also select the family of your child if you wish.

3. Choose an adoptive family.

As an expectant/birth parent in Wyoming, you will be given the opportunity to choose an adoptive family for your baby.  Adoptions With Love will listen to your wishes and help you think about the perfect family for your child.  Then, we will present you detailed photo albums, personal profiles, and letters from the waiting families that best meet your desires.  Once you choose an adoptive family, you can speak to them through email, phone, or meet them in-person.  This is completely up to you.

No matter which family you choose, rest assured you will be placing your baby in a loving, safe and stable home.  In Wyoming, it is required that all potential adoptive families are thoroughly screened by a licensed adoption agency.  All families at Adoptions With Love have gone through an extensive home study process as well as a series of background checks to ensure they are ready to raise a child.

4. Understand the adoption laws in Wyoming.

Adoption laws and regulations vary state to state.  It is essential to select an adoption agency who works with knowledgeable attorneys trained in the adoption laws of Wyoming.

In Wyoming, no parent can sign legal adoption documents until after the baby is born.  This law is designed to give expectant/birth parents time to think about their decision, and ensure that they are one-hundred percent confident in their choice.  Once the adoption documents are signed, birth parents cannot change their minds.

There are many other laws about the financial aid you may receive, your rights and responsibilities as an expectant/birth mother, as well as the rights of your baby’s biological father.  For this reason, it is crucial to work with an adoption agency that has attorneys specifically trained in your state.  If you choose to work with Adoptions With Love, our adoption attorneys in Wyoming can help guide you through the legal process.  There is never any charge for our attorneys, counselors, or expectant/birth mother services at our agency.  In fact, we can help you with pregnancy-related expenses such as rent payments, transportation, utility bills, and maternity clothing.

5. Make a Post-Placement Plan

Adoption is a lifelong journey; it does not end with the placement of your child and it does not need to end your relationship with your child.  If you choose to make an adoption plan with Adoptions With Love, you will have the option to create a plan for ongoing, open contact with your child’s adoptive family.  You can do this through an open adoption or semi-open adoption plan.  If you are not ready to keep in touch with your child and his or her adoptive family, you may also choose to make a closed adoption plan.  Our trained social workers will help you as you consider all of your options for post-adoption contact with your child, his or her adoptive family, as well as our agency professionals.

Adoption is an emotional journey.  If you choose adoption, we encourage you to pursue ongoing counseling and support services.  At Adoptions With Love, you can receive confidential, post-placement counseling services at no cost.  We can help you navigate emotions, open communication, and a relationship with your child after the adoption takes place.  We will always be here for you.

Whether you just found out you are pregnant, are in your final trimester, or have just given birth to your baby, you can always contact us.  Call toll-free at 1-800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072 for more information on adoption in Wyoming.

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

State by State: How to Place Your Baby for Adoption in Texas

If you are pregnant and considering adoption, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available to you.  You know that you want to provide the best possible home for your child, but simply do not know where to begin.  Perhaps the most important thing to know as an expectant mother in Texas is that you do not have to walk this journey alone.  There are supportive, knowledgeable adoption professionals in Texas who can help you research all your unplanned pregnancy options and guide you in making an adoption plan for your baby.

The decision to place your baby for adoption is ultimately your choice to make.  It is one of the most loving and long-term decisions you can make for your child, and should always be well-informed.  Before choosing to make an adoption plan, it is important to do your research.  Ask questions.  Prepare.  Learn about the steps you need to take to place your baby for adoption in Texas.  As a licensed adoption agency serving Texas, Adoptions With Love can help.  We are here to listen and answer questions, educate you on adoption in Texas, and help you make the most positive, informed decision for you and your baby.  Whether you are facing an unplanned pregnancy or have already given birth to your baby, we extend our support to you.

For over 30 years, Adoptions With Love has been building relationships with expert adoption counselors and attorneys licensed in your state.  If you need help placing your baby for adoption in Texas, know that you can always contact us.  We partner with experienced counselors, trusted Texas adoption agencies and attorneys that can help you explore your options, understand the adoption laws in your area, and design a plan that is tailored to your needs.

To help guide your adoption journey, here are the steps you must take to place your baby for adoption in Texas:

1. Choose and Meet with an Adoption Agency You Trust

Every adoption journey starts by choosing the right professional support to guide you through the process.  There are hundreds of adoption professionals in Texas who can help you, but it is important to find an agency that you trust, one that is reputable and will listen to your needs.  Choose an adoption agency that will discuss your options with you, adoption and beyond, and that will respect any choice you make.  The right adoption agency will stand by your side throughout the entire adoption experience – as you prepare for the adoption, after placement, and throughout your life in the years ahead.  Select an adoption agency that will be accessible to you any time of day, any day of the week, to answer your questions and help you design the perfect adoption plan.

2. Decide on the Adoption Plan that is Right for You

If you choose to work with an open adoption agency serving Texas, you will have complete say in your adoption plan, from choosing an adoptive family to deciding the amount of contact you want with your child’s family over the years.  At Adoptions With love, we can help you personally design the type of adoption plan that fits your wants and needs: you can choose an open adoption, semi-open adoption, or a closed adoption plan.  An adoption counselor will explain each option to you and, if you would like, will help you create an adoption plan that will last for years to come.  You can also select and meet an adoptive family for your baby, if you wish.

3. Select a Loving Adoptive Family

After creating your adoption plan, you will have the option to choose an adoptive family to raise your child.  If you would like to make this loving choice, your open adoption agency can share with you a selection of prospective Adoptive Parent Profiles.  These family profiles, consisting of letters and photos, will help you get to know each waiting family and choose the best match for your baby.  At Adoptions With Love, we will listen carefully to your wishes and show you the families that can meet all you envision for your child.

No matter which adoptive family you choose, know that your child will be safe and secure.  All potential adoptive families must be thoroughly screened and evaluated by a licensed adoption agency.  This includes a home study process as well as a series of background checks to ensure each family is fit to raise a child.  Adoption agencies such as Adoptions With Love are here to make sure your baby is placed in a loving, safe, and stable home.

4. Understand the Adoption Laws in Texas

Adoption laws and statutes vary state to state.  In Texas, no mother can sign legal adoption documents until at least 48 hours after the baby is born.  This gives birth mothers a chance to spend time with their baby and to think about their choice.  Once an adoption is finalized in Texas, you cannot change your mind.  For this reason, we encourage you to take time before making this decision.  Adoption is a lifelong choice, and we want you to be comfortable and confident that it is the best one for you and your child.

In making an adoption plan, it is important to find an adoption agency that is knowledgeable, experienced, and specifically trained in the laws of your area.  If you choose to work with Adoptions With Love, you can meet with our attorney partners who are experts in Texas adoptions.  They can meet with you – wherever you are – to help walk you through the legal adoption process.

Adoptions With Love’s legal services are always free of charge.  In fact, there is never a cost for expectant or birth parent services at our agency.  We can provide financial assistance for pregnancy-related expenses needed before, during, and up to six weeks after your baby’s adoption, such as:

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

5. Pursue Ongoing Adoption Support

Adoption is a lifelong journey full of new, sensitive emotions and relationships.  Adoptions With Love can help you navigate these feelings and manage any adoption relationships or communication for years to come.  As part of your post-adoption plan, we offer free ongoing, confidential counseling services.  We can also help you create a post-adoption contract with the adoptive family, and mediate any contact you wish to have with his or her family down the road.

At Adoptions With Love, we want you to know how brave you are for making this selfless choice.  Know that we are always here for you.  Whether you are pregnant or have already given birth to your baby, it is never too late to start your adoption in Texas.  Call us at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072.

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

Open Adoption vs. Closed Adoption: Which is Right for You?

Unplanned pregnancy often brings about a whirlwind of emotions and many big decisions that follow.  If you are here, you may have already made the courageous choice to place your baby for adoption.  Or perhaps you are still considering adoption as an option for you and your baby.  Before you make a decision, however, you first want to understand the difference between an open adoption and closed adoption plan.  You want to know which type of adoption plan is right for you and your child.

The open vs. closed adoption conversation is an important one to have with your adoption counselor.  On one hand, you can talk about your situation, your hopes, and your needs in a safe and confidential environment.  Then together, you can talk about the best possible options for ongoing communication.  Your adoption counselor should listen to you closely and guide you in choosing the type of relationship you wish to have with your child and his or her adoptive family long-term.  If you know you want to be a part of your child’s life, but are not emotionally prepared at the moment, your adoption counselor can help you design an adoption plan that you are comfortable with at every step of the way.

Closed Adoption:

A closed adoption plan means that there is no contact between the birth and adoptive families after an adoption takes place.  In many cases, no contact takes place prior to the adoption, either.  In a closed adoption, no identifying information about either family is revealed.  Only non-identifying information, such as the birth parents’ ages, medical histories, and reasons for adoption, is shared before the placement is finalized.  Depending on local law, these non-identifying records may become available to the adopted child when he or she reaches 21 years old.  However, the process and extent of this access can be limited and will vary state to state.

Adoption is undoubtedly an emotional, sensitive experience.  At Adoptions With Love, we understand that many expectant/birth parents are not ready to choose an adoptive family for their baby or meet prospective parents in person.  We understand that these connections may be too overwhelming at the time.  For this reason, we extend the option of ‘closed adoption’ plans.  Here, your closed adoption plan will be placed in the hands of an experienced, trustworthy, and licensed adoption professional.

If you choose to make a closed adoption plan at Adoptions With Love, you will have the option to adjust your plan later down the road.  Right now, you may feel you do not want to receive letters or pictures from your child’s adoptive family.  In a year or two, however, you may want to check in to see how your child has grown.  Through our letter and picture program, we will keep these updates of your child on file, so that you can access them if and when you are ready.

Closed adoption was once the norm.  In the past, the majority of adopted children did not know who their birth parents were or what they looked like.  Adoptees did not have many clues into their backgrounds, culture, or medical histories, and could not contact their birth parents for answers.  There were a lot of unknowns in adoption and in the identities of many adoptees.

Today, only about 5 percent of adoptions are completely closed.  This is because many birth parents want their children to have access to important, self-identifying information.  In many cases, birth parents also want to remain a part of their child’s life in some way.  About 90 percent of expectant/birth mothers considering adoption desire some level of contact with their child’s adoptive family.

Open Adoption:

There is no single, universal definition of open adoption.  This is because “open adoption” means something different to everyone touched by it.  For some expectant/birth parents, open adoption may mean selecting an adoptive family for their child and speaking with them before the adoption takes place.  Many women who have established an open relationship with the adoptive family will also invite them to be at the hospital or in the birthing room.  On the other hand, some birth parents will desire an open adoption plan that involves more ongoing communication over the years.  Sometimes this contact between families will involve phone calls or emails, texting or Skype.  Sometimes it will involve letters through an adoption agency.  Now and then, it can mean in-person visits.

Generally speaking, there are a few main components that describe an open adoption plan:

  • An exchange of identifying information (such as last names, phone numbers, and email addresses) between families
  • Pre-placement contact with an adoptive family. If you would like to meet the adoptive family in person, they will travel to you, wherever you are, before your baby is born.
  • Post-placement contact arrangements for ongoing communication. Open adoption agreements outline the type of communication you are comfortable with (phone calls, letters, emails, visits), as well as how much communication you desire (regularly, every month, once a year).

There is no right or wrong way to make an adoption plan.  At Adoptions With Love, YOU can decide how open or closed your adoption plan will be.  You may choose to get together with the adoptive family every year.  Or, you may decide to exchange letters and pictures with the adoptive family, but never meet in person.  Perhaps you would only like the adoptive family to reach you through a private, anonymous email account.  Maybe you desire open, ongoing communication, but wish to keep the adoption relationship off social media.  All this can be arranged in an open or semi-open plan.

Today, about 55 percent of adoptions are completely open and about 40 percent are semi-open.  Ultimately, the plan you choose will come down to two considerations: your own individual wants and needs as a birth parent, and the very best interests of your child.  Which adoption plan will you be most comfortable with down the road?  Which plan will be most beneficial for your child as he or she grows?

Many expectant/birth parents find great peace of mind in open adoption arrangements.  If you choose to have some level of ongoing contact with the adoptive family, you will have the comfort of knowing your child is loved and safe.  Through letters and pictures, you will constantly be reminded of the wonderful life you chose for your baby.  Your child will also benefit.  By having contact with you, your child will have a better sense of who he or she is.  Your child will not have to carry burning questions about where he or she came from, or fantasize about who you are.

Open vs. closed adoption, there is no one-size-fits-all plan.  At Adoptions With Love, you will have the option to define your adoption plan, whether open or closed, and adjust it as the years go on.  If you desire to make an open adoption plan with us, rest assured that all the waiting families at Adoptions With Love are open to some “openness” with the birth family.

To learn more about making an adoption plan, you may call Adoptions With Love at 1-800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0072.  We are available 24/7 to answer your call.  If you would like more information about open vs. closed adoption, please download our free Guide to Open Adoption.

My Adoption Journey Does Not Define Me; It Inspires Me [Erica’s Story]

post-adoption birthmother storyUnplanned pregnancy can be one of the most momentous experiences of a young woman’s life.  It is an emotional, often overwhelming event for all those who are touched by it.  In the same token, the choice to place your baby for adoption is a life-altering one.  Adoption is the beginning of a lifelong journey, full of both love and loss, and can change a young woman’s life forever.  But this does not mean she has to be defined by it.  Adoption and unplanned pregnancy do not have to define a person, but they can inspire a person.  Here is one birth mother’s story about finding herself – and positively defining herself – after her son’s adoption.

A few months prior to getting pregnant, I was in a toxic relationship with a different man… someone I should have never even gotten involved with in the first place.  He was older, more experienced, had a past with addiction, did not value life the same way I did, lacked motivation and self-confidence, and held onto previous relationships (literally bringing them into the next one with him).  He addressed to me from the start that he was not looking for anything serious and felt he was not a good guy for me.  I swept all the red flags under the rug, and was blinded by his sense of humor and our effortless friendship that I let myself fall… and I let myself fall hard.  All the red flags aside, we had a special connection and chemistry that I never had with someone before which is why I continued to spend every waking minute with him.

Long story short, I found out that he was still seeing the woman from his past relationship.  I could not believe it.  I ended all things right there on the spot and we never spoke again.  My heart ached and I could not understand how someone I had fallen in love with did not reciprocate the same feelings for me; not only that, how could someone I loved have no problem disrespecting and hurting me so much.

A few months went by and I was still heart broken.  A night out lead to me running into an ex-boyfriend from college and I am sure you know the rest.  Fast forward to 6 months after my run-in, and I was in the hospital with a nurse telling me the pain in my back was due to the fact that I was 6 months pregnant.

Talk about shock. I was devastated and confused.  Here I was pregnant with my college ex boyfriend’s child, while still in love with a man who never even gave me his heart.

I shared the news of my pregnancy immediately after I found out with my college ex-boyfriend. Our relationship back in the day ended on a rough patch, too (shocking, I know… *eye roll*).  He was NOT the guy I pictured in my dreams of raising a family and not the guy in my dreams being a role model for my children as a father, but also a loving husband.  All that aside, I still felt he had every right to know about and be involved in my pregnancy as I did.  This was his child, too.

He told me he wanted no role in this pregnancy or raising a baby, and took it even further to say that this baby was not his.  If he wanted to play that game I had no problem looking him in the eye and saying “BYE” forever.

I was not going to let his words beat me down further or be any sort of distraction, because I had a baby I needed to look out for.  He proved to me, again, that he is not the man I thought he was.  His foolish comments and cowardice actually made it easier for me to drop him behind and continue on this journey alone– figuring out how I would give my son the best life possible.

I think one of the hardest parts of my pregnancy was feeling so alone.  Knowing I was pregnant by a man I had no feelings for, while the guy I actually loved and cared about had no idea what I was going through and was about to go through.  It drove me insane.  THEN on top of that WHY was I still having feelings for such a low life loser when my life was in complete shambles?!

It took me to such a low place of insecurity and self-hate.  I hated the way I looked, hated the way I felt, and felt like such a terrible person that I was pregnant even in the first place.  I spent the remainder of my pregnancy beating myself up and believing that I was not worthy of any type of love.  I even avoided seeing my friends and family because I was so disgusted with myself and did not want any kind of attention.

I would wake up (if I even slept through the night) throw on a frumpy dress, go to work and sit at my desk while my mind wandered all day into outer space.  I pretended to work while texting with my mom all day to keep my sanity.  I could not even fathom the possibility I could potentially have an even bigger broken heart after my son would be born.  Through my self-hate and insecurities, the only thing I felt so strongly about was the love I already had for my son and the life I wanted to give him.  I fell in love with the couple who were going to be his parents, and I trusted the relationship and the open adoption plan we agreed on.  I felt so content with my son’s plan and that God was leading this relationship in the right direction.

I’m embarrassed to admit the majority of my fears were internal… fears for myself and not my son; that I would never be loved, and that I would never find someone who would respect and love me back.

After my son was born I felt the most love I had ever felt in my life. The second I held him up to my chest I could feel this was the biggest gift of love God has ever given me.  I was still going to go through with my adoption plan, because although I could not explain it, it felt right. I felt like all those who had come into my life through my pregnancy (new friends, old friends, close family, distant family, my son’s adoptive parents, doctors, nurses, and social workers) God was telling me Erica, this is the kind of love you deserve, and this is the kind of love I want to be in your life.

By no means was I down a dark path before getting pregnant, but I accepted being treated a certain way, and I accepted just existing rather than fully living to my greatest potential.

I did not demand the best things possible in my life.  I was okay with going to work every day doing something I did not love and keeping a job that did not bring out the best qualities in me.  I was okay with living in a part of the city that did not fit my needs.  I accepted relationships that did not demand communication, loyalty, respect, and love.

When my son was born my life completely changed (as you can imagine).  I got a taste of the sweet life and the life I wanted for my future.  I was able to take a step back and look at my life in a way I would never have been able to if I had not gone through this experience.  It took me living through a full year of my son’s life, where I still only existed and did not fully live up to my potential, to make a change.  I knew deep down what I deserved but was fighting with myself on when it would be appropriate to start demanding it.

The month my son turned one I finally felt ready.  I woke up one morning and decided I had made it through the first year of his life which meant I could do anything!  It was MY time to make changes.  I realized I was never truly living; I was not even living before my pregnancy, and it took this experience to wake me up and show me the kind of life I need and want to live.

I could not keep going to my God-awful desk job to sit and be miserable, when I could go into a career where I would instead make a difference in the world.  I had just gone through the most challenging experience of my life and believed I went through all of it to come to a realization as to what my purpose in life is.

I believe I am meant to be a part of adoption in some capacity.  I cannot say enough about the nurses I dealt with through my pregnancy and the imprint they left on my heart.  My adoption journey opened my eyes in more ways than one.  It made me want to be to someone else who the nurses and hospital staff were to me during the most vulnerable time of my life.

I built up the courage to quit my full time job and take every prerequisite needed to apply to nursing school.  I had only three months to take 6 classes, two labs, and apply to the program, in order to start the following spring.  I started nannying, bar tending, blogging, dog walking, dog sitting; doing ANY job I could get my hands on to still pay my bills while I worked towards this new life; a life after adoption.

A few weeks ago all my hard work paid off when I got an email from admissions.  I was only able to read the first word in the first sentence, “Congratulations”, before I fell to my knees in thanks.

During these past two years I have learned so much about myself.  I know the kind of life I want to live and the legacy I want to leave behind as an example for my son and future children.  It is an amazing feeling to see things fall in place all because I decided to follow my heart, stop just existing and start demanding greatness in all aspects of my life.

Through the amazing open relationship I have with my son and his parents, my post-adoption support network, all the positive, likeminded people I have surrounded myself with, and the goals I have for my future, I am able to overcome my self-doubt and finally start living.

I am not defined by getting pregnant, I am not defined by my adoption story, I am not defined by my past relationships, and I am not defined by my post-baby body.  I am defined by my heart and the ability I have to love, and let me tell you, that is my greatest and strongest quality.


This is a True Birthmother Account Written by Erica.

Navigating Social Media Post-Adoption: Tips for Birth Parents

Social has had a profound and powerful impact on adoption relationships over the years.  Today, social media offers birth parents and adoptive families an easily accessible avenue for sharing information. Today, you can receive real-time updates from your child’s adoptive family, view pictures of your child as he or she grows, and chat with your child at the click of a button. You can stay connected even when far away.

This type of accessibility and contact was not available to birth parents years ago. In the past, adoptions were primarily closed. Birth parents could not keep in touch with their child’s adoptive family over the years. They did not receive letters or photos to give them some peace of mind. They did not even have the option to choose an adoptive family or meet them in person.

Today, over 95 percent of adoptions are open plans, meaning that contact between the adoption triad exists in some shape or form. Birth parents can now keep contact with their child’s adoptive family through letters and pictures, phone conversations and texting, email and Skype, Facebook and other social media platforms.

As an open adoption agency, Adoptions With Love has helped birth parents all over the country maintain connections with their child and their child’s adoptive family over the years. We can also help you to create and navigate an open adoption plan.

Whether you are in the midst of making an adoption plan or have already placed your baby with an adoptive family, it is never too early or too late to start thinking about social media: What role will it play in your adoption plan? Will you be in contact with your child’s family online? If not, how will you react if your biological child contacts you on Facebook?

If you are still considering open adoption or are ready to make an adoption plan, it is first important to contact your adoption counselor. Together, create a pre- and post-adoption plan for social media use and decide how you would like to be contacted by your child’s adoptive family, and how you would like to be able to contact your child. Do you see Facebook in that plan, or would you prefer that it be left out? Having a plan and specific boundaries regarding social media will be an important part of your open adoption agreement. You may consider making this adoption plan with your child’s adoptive parents, too.

Be sure to share this plan with your child’s birth father, as well as other friends and family members who have been touched by your adoption in some way. Make them aware of the boundaries you have established as well as how you prefer them to act on social media when it comes to adoption. For example, do you want your parents adding your child’s adoptive family on Facebook? Do you want friends commenting about your adoption journey? Think about what you are comfortable with being shared on social media by others.

If you have already placed your child for adoption, here are eight tips on how to use social media appropriately in an open or semi-open adoption.

Friending the Adoptive Family:

  • As part of your post-adoption arrangement, set clear boundaries about who you will and will not accept requests from on Facebook and other social media platforms. If an extended adoptive family member tries to contact you (such as your child’s grandmother), have a plan for how you will react.
  • If you receive a friend request from your child, contact your adoption counselor before responding. If you desire contact with your child, you will want to first ensure that the adoptive parents are comfortable with this change. An adoption counselor can help you get in touch with your child’s adoptive family, as well as help you explore more traditional formats of open communication, such as private emails.

Open Adoption Communication on Social Media:

  • No matter your privacy settings, just about everything on the web is public. If you have an open adoption plan and are consistently sharing information and photos of your child, you may consider bringing it to a different platform. Create a separate, private email account designed just for adoption communication. Consider setting up a private Facebook group or password-protected website to share pictures, updates, and milestones between yours and the adoptive family. By doing so, you will be able to share sensitive, special adoption information with a specific group of trusted people.

Posting on Social Media:

  • Remember that anything you share on social media will live on in the Internet. Assume that everything you post is public. If your child has not already, there is always the possibility that he or she will stumble upon your social profile and photos. He or she may read statuses you posted while pregnant or sensitive information you once shared about your adoption plans. Scan your profile to ensure that everything you want to be seen is seen, and everything you want private is hidden or removed.
  • Consider your current privacy settings on each social media platform. Who can view your photos? Who can read what you post? Who has access to your profile, and can they access to information about your adoption, too? Adjust your privacy settings to ensure that everything meant to be private is kept as so.
  • As you receive pictures or get to know your child as he or she grows, you may feel tempted to share these updates on your Facebook wall or tag family and friends. Before doing so, remember that anything you post on Facebook is not only viewable, but also shareable by friends. If you share an update of your child, others could end up sharing it too. Keep your child’s best interests at heart and post only what you think your child and his or her adoptive family would be comfortable sharing. Do not share any identifying information (such as photos) about your child or the adoptive family.
  • Your friends are constantly posting, posting, posting on social media. If you have shared any information about your child or adoption plan with friends, even in person, there is always the chance it will come back to your social page. They may contact you via Facebook with questions and publicly reveal any identifying information you have shared. Monitor what your friends post if it pertains to your adoption.
  • Adoption relationships are sensitive, so it is important not criticize your child’s adoptive family on social media. Be respectful of their profiles, their posts, and their parenting decisions. Do not channel your frustrations through Facebook posts if it at all relates to your child and his or her adoption.

If you are unsure how to move forward with online communication or have questions about social media and open adoption, please call Adoptions With Love at 1-800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072. For more advice about using social media pre and post adoption, please download our free eBook below.

adoption and social media